IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
Microsoft hybrid work study: End productivity paranoia
Tue, 11th Oct 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Businesses are most concerned about productivity levels, while they should be focusing on re-recruiting their employees, a new report from Microsoft has found.

Microsoft just released its latest Work Trend Index report titled Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?

The report sheds new light into evolving trends like productivity paranoia, the point of the office and importance of skilling to the bottom line and what that means for Australian businesses and employees alike.

 Microsoft surveyed 20,000 people in 11 countries and analysed trillions of anonymous and aggregated Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with LinkedIn labor trends and Glint People Science findings. 

The data points to three urgent pivots for leaders to drive alignment and empower people for the new ways we work: end productivity paranoia, embrace the fact that people come in for each other, and re-recruit your employees with opportunities to learn and grow.

End productivity paranoia
People are working longer and harder than ever, but leaders are more and more concerned the most important work is not getting done. 

This "productivity paranoia is an urgent call for leaders to create clarity and alignment on what work truly drives impact, and listen to their employees.

According to the survey, 62% of employees in Australia (versus the global average of 48%) and 66% of managers in Australia (versus the global average of 53%) report that they are already burnt out at work.

While 85% of employees in Australia report that they are productive at work, 90% of BDMs say that the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that people are being productive.

More than half of companies in Australia may rarely hear about their employees experiences at work
Embrace the fact that people come in for each other
The report says businesses should use the office to rebuild social capital, and stop thinking it is necessary for every kind of work. 

"Reconnecting with co-workers and rebuilding team bonds motivate employees to go into the office, particularly younger workers," Microsoft says. "And authentic, digital communication will be critical to keep people connected in and out of the office."

According to the survey, 87% of BDMs in Australia say getting employees back to the office in-person is a concern (versus the global average of 82%.

Some 77% of employees in Australia (versus the global average of 73%) and 80% of BDs in Australia (versus the global average of 78%), say they need a better reason to go in than just company expectations.

The report shows 83% of employees in Australia would be motivated by the promise of socialising with coworkers, while 83% in Australia are motivated by rebuilding team bonds

Furthermore, 78% of employees in Australia would go to the office more frequently if they knew their direct team members would be there and 78% if their work friends were there.

Re-recruit your employees
Microsoft says companies today are not just competing with their peers for top talent; they are also competing with the allure of the creator economy, side hustles, and entrepreneurship. 

"Recruiting an employee doesn;t end when they accept their job offer – leaders must continuously re-recruit their people with skilling and growth opportunities, or risk losing them.

The survey found 66% of employees in Australia and New Zealand (versus the global average of 56%) and 78% of BDMs in ANZ (versus the global average of 68%) say there are not enough growth opportunities in their company to stay long term.

Some 69% of employees in ANZ say the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies (versus the global average of 55%). 

Moreover, 76% of Gen Z/Millennial employees in Australia report that they would stay longer at their company if it was easier to change jobs internally

The report also found that if they could benefit more from learning and development support, 80% of employees in Australia say they would stay at their company longer.