Hybrid work creates a growing gap between bosses and staff, according to data from a Microsoft rapport. “The data makes clear that hybrid work (mixing working from home and at the office) has created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders”, Microsoft’s Work Trend Pulse report says stressing disagreement about productivity.
“They’re at odds about what constitutes productivity, how to maintain autonomy while ensuring accountability, the benefits of flexibility and the role of the office”, according to the report called “Hybrid Work is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?”
“To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognizes work is no longer just a place but an experience that needs to transcend time and space so employees can stay engaged and connected no matter where they are working”, the company claims.
“Thriving employees are what will give organizations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” Satya Nadella, the company’s chairman and CEO, says in a statement.
On its employee experience platform Microsoft Viva, the company presents “three urgent pivots every leader should make”. The report suggests:
- End productivity paranoia: 87% of employees report they are productive at work, but 85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence their employees are being productive. Leaders need to create clarity and alignment around company goals, eliminate busywork that doesn’t support those goals and listen to their people — 57% of companies are rarely, if ever, collecting employee feedback.
- Embrace that people come in for each other: 73% of employees say they need a better reason to go into the office besides company expectations — but they would be motivated to go in if they could socialize with co-workers (84%) or rebuild team bonds (85%). Digital communication will be crucial to keep people connected inside and out the office — both employees and leaders rank communication as the No. 1 most critical skill needed to be successful in their roles this year.
- Re-skill to re-recruit your employees: 55% of employees say the best way to develop their skills is to change companies. However, they also say they would stay longer at their company if it was easier to change jobs internally (68%) or if they could benefit more from learning and development support (76%).
To address these challenges, Microsoft says it is expanding its employee experience platform Microsoft Viva with apps for managers and artificial intelligence tools.