Business won’t be what we are used to, claims Microsoft trends report

remote workMicrosoft. has announced its first-annual Work Trend Index. Titled “The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work — Are We Ready?” the report claims to set out seven hybrid work trends every business leader must know as we enter a new era of remote work. The report suggests that business leaders should resist the urge to see hybrid work as business as usual. It will require the rethinking of long-held assumptions.

Among the trends identified by the report are a greater focus on the needs of individuals and the already well-documented desire for greater flexibility in the times and locations people work.

“The choices you make today will impact your organisation for years to come. It’s a moment that requires clear vision and a growth mindset,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365. “These decisions will impact everything from how you shape culture, to how you attract and retain talent, to how you can better foster collaboration and innovation.”


The nature of the workforce needs to change

  • Collaboration trends in Microsoft Teams and Outlook suggest our networks have contracted, but hybrid work will revive them.
  • Time spent in meetings has more than doubled globally, and over 40 billion more emails were delivered in February of this year compared with last.
  • Work has become more human. Nearly 40 percent say they feel more comfortable bringing their ‘full selves’ to work than before the pandemic, and one in six have cried with a colleague this past year.


Workplace disruption

  • 73 percent of workers surveyed want flexible remote work options to continue.
  • Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times during the pandemic.
  • Over 40 percent of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year and 46 percent are planning to move now that they can work remotely. In short, addressing flexible work will impact who stays, who goes and who joins a company.

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“During this pandemic we’ve observed a swift acceleration of certain pre-COVID trends. But perhaps one of the most exciting trends is this rise in remote work,” said Karin Kimbrough, chief economist, LinkedIn. “As opportunity is democratised with remote work and talent movement, we’ll see a spread of skills across the country, and this is the time for business leaders to take the opportunity to access different skills and talent not previously available to them.”

The full findings can be viewed at Microsoft’s Worklab, a digital publication about the future of work.

Image by Esa Niemelä