Microsoft’s Work Trend Index Reveals 2021 Workplace Trends
- Keep it Flexible: Despite 67% of workers wanting more in-person collaboration with teammates, 73% want flexible working options to remain. Make like the 66% of employers that are redesigning existing workspaces to accommodate the demands of hybrid work – see Work’s Flexible Future for inspiration on how to support tomorrow’s agile workers.
- The Inclusivity Opportunity: Continuing to offer remote working opportunities will help attract more diverse applicants. Women (46% vs 40%), candidates without a degree (59% vs 54%) and Gen Z workers (21% vs 18%) are more likely to apply for remote positions than on-site roles.
- The Peril of Productivity over People: Despite the shift to remote working and external life stresses, workers are more productive than ever. In the year February 2020-21, weekly meeting time increased by 148%, while delivered emails rose by 40.6 billion.
- However, this has come at the expense of worker wellbeing; 20% of respondents say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance, while over half (54%) feel overworked, leading 39% to report feeling exhausted.
- As 41% of the global workforce have considered changing their employment in the past year, now more than ever, employers must ensure they provide safe, supportive environments for their workers – or risk haemorrhaging staff.
- Lead by Example: Microsoft also published its hybrid work strategy, explaining the steps the company has taken to support its workplace shift. This includes implementing Covid-secure strategies in existing workspaces, creating prototype hybrid offices, and exploring mixed-reality scenarios (like its new Mesh platform – see The Brief).
- Brands should emulate Microsoft and share best practices to tackle the return-to-work challenge, and help businesses across the globe recover from Covid-19 disruption.