19 Apr

Microsoft recently came out with their 2022  work trend report with some interesting data that they pulled over the last year. And it gives leaders five distinct things that you should one be aware about, but to take actionable steps, to be able to improve and make hybrid work for everyone, 

The report found that employees have a new worth. It equation work has become only a part of life. It shouldn't be the whole life. And the only thing that people care about, so priorities have shifted. People are now more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic. 53% of employees are more likely to prioritize health and wellbeing than prior to the pandemic. From a leadership perspective. 

The key takeaway is that the best leaders are and will create a culture that embraces flexibility and prioritizes employees wellbeing, not only today, but in the future as well.

The study further went on to identify that 54% of managers say that leadership is out of touch with employees. So managers today feel a wedge between leadership and employee expectations. 74% of managers say they don't have the right influence or resources to effectively change the overall employee experience. 

The key leadership takeaway is that leaders need to decentralize decision-making and empower managers to make changes on behalf of their employees in individual needs. Since they're more in touch with the field, 

Flexible work, doesn't have to mean always on yet. We've seen an overwhelming 252% increase in weekly time spent in meetings for the average team user since 2020. We've also compiled that with a 32% increase in chats sent per person. 

Leaders need to create new norms around flexible work to reduce time spent in meetings and empower people to hit the off switch. This should not be a solo effort, but a team led movement to establish more sustainable hybrid work practices. 

One of the most interesting things I found from the report is that 38% of hybrid employees say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office. In essence leaders today need to make the office almost worth the commute for employees based on their current expectations in mindset Today, 

Leaders must reestablish or establish the why when and how of the office. This means defining a purpose of in-person collaborations, creating new team agreements on when the come together in person defining hybrid etiquette and rethinking how space technology and information can play a role in supporting the organization and the employees moving forward, Rebuilding social capital, it looks different in a hybrid world. And while 51% of high bear employees say they're more likely to go remote in the years ahead, this becomes a huge focus for leadership and managers and employees. Alike Leaders should not see the return to office as the only solve for rebuilding the social capital we've lost over the past two years, they should prioritize time for relationship building to happen. Knowing remote and newly onboard employees will need extra support managers play a crucial role in fostering close team bonds and acting as a dock connector to help employees broaden their networks.

I put a link to the 2020 work trend report by Microsoft that I referenced here in this brief video insight. It's a great report about helping leaders today. Simply understand our new realities of making hybrid work.