Bosses think employees are less productive at home, while employees think they are more efficient, a large new study finds.
The Microsoft survey surveyed more than 20,000 employees from 11 countries and found that bosses and their employees fundamentally disagree about working from home.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the BBC this tension needed to be resolved as workplaces are unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic work habits.
“We have to get past what we describe as ‘productivity paranoia’ because all the data we have shows that over 80% of individual people think they are very productive – except that their management thinks they are not productive.
“That means there’s a real discrepancy in terms of the expectations and what they’re feeling.”
The survey found that 87 percent of employees felt they worked this, or more, efficiently from home, while 80 percent of managers disagreed.
Bosses think employees are less productive at home, while employees think they are more efficient, a large new study finds. Pictured: Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella
The survey found that 87 percent of employees felt they were working from home this, or more, efficiently
The division means employees are embracing hybrid work and resisting returning to pre-Covid work patterns.
Microsoft says trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft Office continue to rise, which appears to support the position of employees.
However, the survey also found that 85 percent of bosses say the shift to hybrid work makes it challenging to trust employees to be productive.
The tech giant said this has led some companies to use tracking technology to measure how productive employees are, which in turn undermines trust and leads to “productivity theater” — where employees try their best to appear busy.
Both Mr Nadella and Ryan Roslansky, the boss of Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, told the BBC this means employers are facing the biggest shift in work patterns in history.
Bosses miss the visual cues of productivity because employees are out of the office and thus become paranoid, staff not working as hard as they could be, Microsoft said.
Pictured: LinkedIn boss Ryan Roslansky says remote jobs may have peaked
The company warned that this kind of paranoia can make hybrid works unsustainable.
The survey found that 81 percent of employees say it’s important for their managers to help them prioritize their workload, but less than a third say their managers have never provided clear guidance during one-on-one sessions.
Mr Roslansky told the BBC that remote work jobs may have peaked as only 15 percent of jobs advertised on LinkedIn are remote jobs – compared to 20 percent just a few months ago and 2 percent pre-pandemic .
Research published earlier this year found that one in six white-collar workers is looking to quit their job this year because their employer is forcing them to return to the office.
A survey by messaging app Slack of 1,000 employees found that 29 percent of employees are considering changing jobs this year, while those in legal jobs, IT and telecom, sales and media and marketing are the most likely to make a move.
While the most frequently cited reason was a lack of pay raises and bonuses, 16 percent of those surveyed — or one in six — said they wanted to quit because they were forced to go back to the office.
A previous study found that 20 percent think their boss prefers those who work in the office over those who work remotely (Pictured: Employees commute to work in London Bridge 2022)
Meanwhile, 20 percent believe their boss favors those who work in the office over those who work remotely, the report said.
Companies that offer hybrid or telecommuting are less likely to be affected by layoffs, with nearly a third of respondents saying flexible work policies encourage them to stay in their current job.
A third of workers surveyed said they postponed their layoffs in the past year due to uncertainty about the impact of the pandemic on the labor market.
As the country emerged from the pandemic, a large number of large companies opted for “hybrid” and “blended” work models in an effort to lure their employees back to the office.
Meanwhile, some said they wanted to encourage more workers to come to the office – and more often – to boost the many city center businesses that rely on the commute trade.
As the cost of living crisis continues to hit families across the country, some workers are thought to be motivated to go back to the office in an effort to cut energy bills.
According to forecasts from energy analysts Cornwall Insight, The Telegraph reports, bills are forecast to rise to £5,400 in January and even further to £6,600.
The average UK worker goes to the office a day and a half a week, meaning remote working in January is likely to result in £789 energy bills, compared to £580 for those who go to work.
Consultancy Advances Workplace Associates claims that the average workplace presence is 29 percent in UK offices.
The Office for National Statistics said in July that 37 percent of Londoners were out of office, compared to 14 percent before the pandemic.
Daily energy consumption can contribute significantly to monthly bills. Boiling a kettle three times a day costs £8 a month or £100 a year, below the October energy price cap, Citizen’s Advice Bureau has found.
Similarly, running a desktop computer for eight hours a day costs £35.68 per month.