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7 Workplace Trends According to Microsoft

Did you know: 41% of employees are considering quitting?

Did you know:

  • 46% of the workforce planning to move because they can now work remotely.
  • Remote job postings on LinkedIn have increased over 5X since the pandemic.
  • Weekly meeting time has more than doubled for Teams users since February 2020.
  • There was a 40.6b increase in emails delivered in Feb. 2020 vs. Feb 2021.

According to research conducted by Microsoft, the year 2020 introduced dramatic workplace shifts that are here to stay.

I’ve provided the key excerpts below:

1. Flexible work is here to stay

Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work. Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work.

Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft

2. Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call

“Many business leaders are faring better than their employees. Sixty-one percent of leaders say they are “thriving” right now — 23 percentage points higher than those without decision-making authority. They also report building stronger relationships with colleagues (+11 percentage points) and leadership (+19 percentage points), earning higher incomes (+17 percentage points), and taking all or more of their allotted vacation days (+12 percentage points).”

3. High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce

“Self-assessed productivity has remained the same or higher for many employees over the past year, but at a human cost. One in five global survey respondents say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance. Fifty-four percent feel overworked. Thirty-nine percent feel exhausted.”

4. Gen Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized

“Sixty percent of this generation — those between the ages of 18 and 25 — say they are merely surviving or flat-out struggling right now.”

5. Shrinking networks are endangering innovation

“…companies became more siloed than they were before the pandemic. And while interactions with our close networks are still more frequent than they were before the pandemic, the trend shows even these close team interactions have started to diminish over time.”

When you lose connections, you stop innovating. It’s harder for new ideas to get in and groupthink becomes a serious possibility.

Dr. Nancy Baym, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft

6. Authenticity will spur productivity and wellbeing

Before the pandemic, we encouraged people to ‘bring their whole self to work,’ but it was tough to truly empower them to do that. The shared vulnerability of this time has given us a huge opportunity to bring real authenticity to company culture and transform work for the better.

Jared Spataro, CVP at Microsoft 365

“Compared to one year ago, 39 percent of people say they’re more likely to be their full, authentic selves at work and 31 percent are less likely to feel embarrassed or ashamed when their home life shows up at work. And people who interacted with their coworkers more closely than before not only experienced stronger work relationships, but also reported higher productivity and better overall wellbeing.”

7. Talent is everywhere in a hybrid work world

This shift is likely to stick, and it’s good for democratizing access to opportunity. Companies in major cities can hire talent from underrepresented groups that may not have the means or desire to move to a big city. And in smaller cities, companies will now have access to talent that may have a different set of skills than they had before.

Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist at LinkedIn

The Consequence: Employees are More Willing to Quit

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