Microsoft has just released an insightful report into their experiences of how the workforce is changing. It follows a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and an analysis of trillions of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn.  

They argue that, with over 40 percent of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year, a thoughtful approach to hybrid work will be critical for attracting and retaining diverse talent.  

Clearly, Microsoft has a vested interest in understanding the future of work. They were notably one of the first tech companies to invest heavily in contractors that today make up a significant portion of their workforce, supporting 160,000+ employees around the world. 

One of the more insightful conclusions is that one in five respondents to their survey say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance, while fifty-four percent feel overworked and thirty-nine percent feel exhausted. The strong indicators are that working in isolation plugged into a computer is initially good for work productivity, but the effectiveness of workers soon drops without some level of social interaction and human engagement. It destroys the close networks that exist in businesses between colleagues and leaves new entrants into the workplace (i.e. Gen Z) feeling emotionally lost and somewhat inhibited from getting involved in general business conversations. 

“Networking as someone early in their career has gotten so much more daunting since the move to fully remote work — especially since switching to a totally different team during the pandemic. Without hallway conversations, chance encounters, and small talk over coffee, it’s hard to feel connected even to my immediate team, much less build meaningful connections across the company.” Source: Hannah McConnaughey, Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft 

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About the Author

Ian Tomlin is a management consultant and writer on the subject of enterprise computing and organizational design.  He serves on the SimplifyVMS Management Team.  Ian has written several books on the subject of digital transformation, cloud computing, social operating systems, codeless applications development, business intelligence, data science, office security, customer data platforms, vendor management systems, Managed Service Provisioning (MSP), customer experience, and organizational design.  He can be reached via LinkedIn or Twitter.