For the majority of office workers, working outside the office has been the new normal for nearly two and a half years. However, hybrid work has created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders, according to new research from the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index Pulse Report, released in conjunction with the latest product upgrades to employee experience platform Viva.

The report “Hybrid work is just work. Are We Doing It Wrong?” is based on data from 20,000 people in 11 countries, in addition to trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity alerts and findings from LinkedIn and Glint People Science.

Organizations have reached a critical inflection point in the evolution of hybrid work, and Microsoft’s findings clearly demonstrate that a new approach is needed from companies, said Sunita Khatri, senior director of product marketing at Microsoft.

“Now more than ever, leaders must balance the interest of employees with what is necessary for the business to run successfully,” Khatri said. “This means aligning people’s tasks with work that matters or makes an impact, and creating an employee experience that meets employee expectations.”

These tensions are particularly acute when it comes to performance issues. Dubbed by Microsoft “productivity paranoia,” research shows that 85 percent of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that their employees are productive, while 87 percent of employees surveyed for the report say are productive at work.

Managers miss visual performance cues

Many leaders and managers miss the old visual cues of what it means to be productive because they can’t physically “see” who’s working hard, according to Microsoft. The report found that 49% of hybrid work managers say they have a hard time trusting their employees to do their best work, compared to 36% of in-person managers.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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