The move towards working from home doesn't mean that businesses around the world are back to business as usual, a new report from Microsoft states.
In fact, the company's first-annual "Work Trend Index" found that there appears to be a serious remote working crisis bubbling under the surface which needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Microsoft’s report argues that hybrid working is here to stay, but business leaders are “out of touch” and need a wake-up call, with many teams feeling the effect of overworking.
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The report claims high productivity, which has become almost normal in remote working, actually results in an exhausted workforce. Furthermore, the report states Gen Z workers are losing motivation and need to be “re-energized”.
Using Microsoft Teams and Outlook to spot collaboration trends, Microsoft also said employee networks are contracting, which may stifle innovation. Hybrid working is expected to revive the networks.
In order to deflate the crisis bubble, business leaders are advised to create a plan which would empower people for “extreme flexibility”; to invest in space and technology that bridges the physical and digital worlds, as well as to combat exhaustion from the top. They should also prioritize rebuilding social capital and culture and rethink employee experience to compete for the best and most diverse talent.
After all, Microsoft argues, “talent is everywhere in a hybrid work world”, and hybrid work is here to stay. The number of remote work job postings increased five times on LinkedIn in the past year, and 46% of the global workforce are planning to move now that they don’t have to work from an office.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – work has become “more human”, the report says. Almost half (40%) of employees feel more comfortable being themselves at work now, compared to pre-pandemic times. One in six have even cried with a colleague in the past year.
“As opportunity is democratized with remote work and talent movement, we’ll see a spread of skills across the country, and this is the time for business leaders to take the opportunity to access different skills and talent not previously available to them,” said Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn.
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