2022 Work Trend Index Report: Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work, Work | Microsoft

Workforce Trends

As organizations shift more heavily from remote to hybrid work, this newly released 44-page report covers five trends business leaders need to know about hybrid work. The report is based on findings from a study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and labor trends on LinkedIn. The five themes include: 1) Employees have a new “worth it” equation. 2) Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations. 3) Leaders need to make the office worth the commute, 4) Flexible work doesn’t have to mean “always on.” 5) Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world. Regarding #4, the report notes that one drawback of flexible work is digital overload and an “always on” mindset. Since March 2020, the weekly time spent in meetings for the average Teams user has increased 252 percent, and after-hours and weekend work has grown at 28 percent and 14 percent, respectively. It would be interesting to see if those working outside of regular business hours report burnout or positive benefits. For example, if someone has the flexibility to take time from standard business hours to attend a doctor’s appointment — but make up that work after business hours—this flexibility can help that person manage work and personal responsibilities more effectively. The challenge, however, is when flexibility yields benefits for one person (e.g., I can make up my work in the evening) but contributes to the burnout/digital overload of others (e.g., I am working in the evening messaging co-workers that have already finished their workday). The report notes how firms are creating new norms around flexible work to address the unintended consequences of flexibility. Page 24 includes a few good tips. Other ideas are discussed across the five hybrid work themes.

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