The hybrid work model has several benefits but has also created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders.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, reveals data from a Work Trend Index Pulse report released by Microsoft recently.
The report, “Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?”, featuring findings from a survey of 20,000 employees across 11 countries and spanning more than 20 industries, offers insight into the challenges and opportunities facing leaders and employees today, and highlights how improvements to culture, leadership and technology can help.
To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognises the office 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.
“Thriving employees are what will give organisations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft, while announcing new innovations across the company's employee experience platform Microsoft Viva “to help leaders end productivity paranoia, rebuild social capital and re-recruit and re-energise their employees”.
To help leaders navigate the new realities of work, the Work Trend Index Pulse report points to three urgent pivots every leader should make:
End productivity paranoia: As many as 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 socialise 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%).