Report helps leaders navigate the realities of hybrid work

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Microsoft Corp. has released a Work Trend Index Pulse report, “Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?”

The data makes clear that hybrid work has 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.

To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognizes work 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 organizations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft.

“Today, we’re announcing new innovations across our employee experience platform Microsoft Viva to help leaders end productivity paranoia, rebuild social capital and re-recruit and re-energize their employees.”

The Work Trend Index Pulse report helps leaders navigate the new realities of hybrid work. It is based on an external study of 20,000 people in 11 countries including five markets in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC).

It also draws on analysis of trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, LinkedIn labor trends and Glint People Science insights. It points to three urgent pivots every leader should make: 

1. End productivity paranoia 

In APAC, 83% of employees report they are productive at work, but 89% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that 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. 58% of companies are rarely, if ever, collecting employee feedback.

2. Embrace that people come in for each other

76% of employees in APAC say they need a better reason to go into the office than company expectations, but they would be motivated to go in if they could socialize with co-workers (83%) or rebuild team bonds (83%).

Digital communication will be crucial to keep people connected inside and outside of the office. Both employees and leaders rank communication as the most critical skill needed to be successful in their roles this year.

3. Re-skill to re-recruit your employees

59% of employees in APAC 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 (72%) or if they could benefit more from learning and development support (78%).