Microsoft Analyzed Data on Its Newly Remote Workforce | Harvard Business Review – The Big Idea

People Analytics

People analytics (PA) continues to be recognized as a way to provide insights that enable organizations to make better decisions. As the coronavirus pandemic continues, a few organizations are leveraging PA to help shape their choices about workforce practices. This article highlights a study conducted by Microsoft of its workforce. The study intended to understand “ how flexible and adaptable [work] might or might not be, how collaboration and networks morph in remote settings, what agility looks like in different spaces, and how to nurture and improve employee well-being during times of crisis.” After examining various data points, such as calendars, de-identified emails, instant message metadata, and more, there were several findings, including 1) Workdays are lengthening.  Employees tend to sign in to work earlier and sign off later to accommodate breaks they take throughout the day to care for children, grab some fresh air or exercise, and walk the dog. 2) Meetings are getting shorter. Individual meetings have reduced in duration– giving rise to the 30-minute over the typical one-hour session. As noted by the authors, this finding has led to more scrutiny of one-hour long meetings and raises the question “is this a good use of everyone’s time.” This and other learnings are likely to lead to shifts in workforce practices beyond the pandemic.

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