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The only thing that makes employees want to go back to the office

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The hybrid work world has been a reality for several months now, but whether it works well is really a matter of debate. A new report from Microsofttitled ‘Strengthening Your Workforce in Economic Uncertainty’, contacts both employers and employees and finds that there is a clear gap between management and employee perspectives.

The study collected data from a survey of 20,000 people in 11 countries, as well as anonymized and aggregated data from LinkedIn and Microsoft 365. What it found was that there is a huge gap when it comes to perceptions about productivity today.

About 87% of employees today say they are productive at work, but 85% of leaders are less sure. The transition to a hybrid work environment makes it challenging for managers to know with confidence that people are productive.

“Honestly, I find that leaders have tools they’ve developed throughout their careers to measure how productive their employees are — and without a physical workspace, many of those tools are inaccessible,” Jared Spataro, CVP Modern Work at Microsoft, said: londonbusinessblog.com. “So the question is how do we look at productivity in this new era? We must turn away from looking at activity and at results. But this productivity paranoia is really about activity.”

The paranoia comes from two groups of people who have different challenges. executives, Spataro notes, have not been given a halal pass when it comes to results. They are still expected to achieve higher profit targets, etc., which causes stress. So their expectations have not changed in recent years.

However, workers have undergone significant changes, both emotionally, in terms of business as a deeper examination of work-life balance and what it’s worth to them, and practically, as many have emigrated in recent years, leaving them far from their offices.

Getting people back without arguing

Getting people back to the office has been a struggle, naturally. And again, that’s largely due to different perceptions between employees and managers.

Microsoft’s research found that 84% of people would be motivated to get back to work more often with the promise of improving relationships with colleagues. But most bosses try to use company policies to push them back, rather than using those human connections as leverage.

“It turns out that personal connections with the person who [you] working with are the biggest draw,” says Spataro. “They’re bigger than tacos. The idea that I can really connect with my colleague really matters.”

Employees demand flexibility and so the hybrid working week has become fashionable. But Spataro says he thinks the workplace will eventually look like the office we know from pre-pandemic times, but with much more flexibility.

As an example, he says that the most successful companies are those that retire requires employees to be in the office a certain percentage of the working week. Instead, they create times of the week when employees have the opportunity to be together — and strongly urge everyone to be there at that time, recognizing that it will be a sacrifice.

To use a sports analogy, you have to be able to tell the player, ‘We recognize that certain things are going to be great for you,’ he says. “That is mainly flexibility. “But if we’re going to win as a team, sometimes we’re going to do things that don’t always suit us.” And those are things like commuting. . . . I see that happening, but only where leaders are strong and perceptive. They have to convince the employees that what is good for the team will be good for them in the long run.”

Re-hiring employees

One of the other big takeaways from the report is that employees are making more mental calculations these days: They wonder, “Are they become more valuable at work or are they stagnant?” If it’s the latter, it’s more likely walk away.

That puts the responsibility on employers to give employees opportunities to learn and grow. In reality, 76% of those surveyed said they would stay with their company longer if they learned and developed more. However, if they don’t feel that senior management is prioritizing that, they will move on to other positions.

“It’s a change of mindset,” Spataro says.

Bridging the gap between the current mindset of employees and managers should be a critical priority for companies, he adds. Ultimately, people are essential to a business and the more engaged and innovative they are, the better it is for everyone.

“Do you have a relationship of trust between the manager and the employees?” asks Spataro. “After all our research, the idea we’ve come up with is the idea of ​​social capital. Just as you might think that financial capital is one thing, there is such a thing as social capital that makes an organization run. It makes any group of people who do things together run.”

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