Microsoft’s internal research has shown that employees are working less when working from home
New research from the tech giant shows that employees and bosses disagree about productivity.
A major new survey by Microsoft shows that bosses and employees fundamentally disagree about the performance of employees who work from home.
Bosses worry about whether working from home is as productive as working in the office.
While 87 percent of employees believe they work just as well and/or more effectively from home, 80 percent of managers disagree.
The survey surveyed more than 20,000 employees in 11 countries.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, told the BBC that this tension needs to be resolved because workplace habits are unlikely to be the same as they were before the pandemic.
“We need to overcome what we describe as ‘job performance paranoia,’ because all the data we have shows that 80 percent or more of people feel they are very productive, while their management thinks otherwise.” This means there are differences in terms of expectations and what they feel,” he says.
Already passed the peak of working from home?
Ryan Roslansky, CEO of Microsoft-owned business social network LinkedIn, as well as Satya Nadella, say employers are adapting to perhaps the biggest shift in work patterns in history.
The number of work-from-home jobs posted on LinkedIn has increased during the pandemic.
Roslanski, however, says the data shows that working from home has peaked.
He adds that of the 14 or 15 million job postings posted on LinkedIn before the pandemic, only about two percent were for remote work.
A few months ago, there were about 20 percent of such employments, and this month it dropped to 15 percent.
In times of chronic labor shortages, employers must work harder to recruit, motivate and retain people.
Nadella says that this is also the case at Microsoft.
“During the pandemic, t0,000 people joined Microsoft who somehow saw the company through the prism of the pandemic. Now that we’re thinking about the next phase, we need to re-inspire and recruit them, as well as help them make connections with other people,” he says.
Microsoft employees can work from home up to 50 percent of the time.
More than that requires management approval or transfer to reduced hours.
Some companies struggled to impose new working conditions and expectations.
Apple workers have been protesting calls to return to the office for three days a week since September.
Elon Musk, the head of the Tesla company, requested that all 40 hours a week be worked from the office.
“If you don’t show up, we’ll assume you quit,” Musk said in an email to employees.
Globally, it is not known how many people have changed jobs during the pandemic.
This is a phenomenon that Microsoft has called “the great reshuffle,” and it means that employees born after 1997, the so-called Generation Z, are almost twice as likely to change jobs.
“At the height of our ‘major reorganization’ we saw a 50% year-over-year increase in the number of members switching jobs on LinkedIn.
“Among Generation Z, that percentage was 90,” the report states.
By 2030, Generation Z will make up about 30 percent of the entire workforce, so CEOs need to understand them, says a business network executive.
In addition to their fresh observations, Microsoft has new tools designed to mitigate this potential discrepancy in expectations.
The company focuses on helping younger workers in the company develop a sense of belonging and gives them the opportunity to learn within the organization in the way that employees did in the past.
Their new Viva software, for example, allows for direct contact with senior management, online classes and a channel for sharing personal photos – sort of like an internal company page to guide employees in their new work environment, which employers are left out of.