Microsoft Viva enhancements address employee disconnection in hybrid work environments

For most office workers, working outside the office has been the new normal for nearly two and a half years. Hybrid working, however, has created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders, according to new research from Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index Pulse Report, published alongside the latest product updates to its employee experience platform, Viva.

The report “Hybrid work is just work. Are we wrong? ”Is based on data from 20,000 people in 11 countries, plus trillions of productivity signals from Microsoft 365 and results from LinkedIn and Glint People Science.

Organizations have reached a critical turning point in the evolution of hybrid work, with Microsoft’s findings clearly demonstrating that a new approach is needed on the part of companies, said Sunita Khatri, senior director of product marketing at Microsoft.

“Now more than ever, leaders need to balance employee interest with what it takes for the business to succeed in the future,” said Khatri. “This means aligning people’s tasks with work that matters or has an impact and creating an employee experience that meets employee expectations.”

These tensions are particularly acute when it comes to productivity issues. Dubbed “productivity paranoia” by Microsoft, research shows 85% of leaders say switching to hybrid work made it difficult to trust their employees to be productive, while 87% of employees surveyed for the report claimed to be productive on the job.

Managers lack visual cues of productivity

Many leaders and managers lack the old visual cues of what it means to be productive because they can’t physically “see” who works hard, according to Microsoft. The report found that 49% of hybrid work managers said they struggled to trust their employees are doing their best, compared with 36% of in-person managers.

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