Satya Nadela, Microsoft’s chief executive officer, warned that workers’ well-being could suffer from an increasing workday that often gets better overnight.
Nadela, whose company has studied how remote work affects collaboration in its team software development efforts, cites Microsoft research showing that about one-third of white-collar workers have a “third peak” of productivity late in the evening based on keyboard activity. . Productivity typically increases before and after lunch, but this third peak explains how distant work has broken down the already-vague boundaries between our jobs and our home lives. Speaking at the Wharton Future of Work conference on Thursday, Nadela said managers need to set clear rules and expectations for staff so that they are not pressured to reply to emails late at night.
“We think about productivity through collaboration and output metrics, but wellness is one of the most important parts of productivity,” he said. “We know what stress does to workers. We need to learn soft skills, good old fashioned management practices, so that people take care of their well-being. I can set that expectation, our people can get an email from the CEO over the weekend and they don’t seem to have to respond. “
According to Harris Poll, commissioned by online therapy provider Talkspace, two out of three employees considering leaving their jobs said their employer did not follow the first epidemic promises to focus on employees’ mental health.
A new survey of Microsoft employees found that about 30 percent experienced work at a “peak” in the morning, afternoon and, to a lesser extent, around 10 a.m. , Microsoft has found that spending hours working after hours is growing faster, at 28 percent. The data shows how employees have increasingly adopted more asynchronous schedules, which do not always match those of their distant colleagues or managers.
Microsoft brought about 50,000 workers on board during the epidemic, Nadela said. People, especially in the technology sector, are demanding more flexibility about where and when they work, he said. An ongoing survey of knowledge workers from the Future Forum – a software consortium supported by Slack – software programmers, data analysts and the like – found that more than 3 out of 4 people want the ability to choose where they work, where 95 percent Be able to set your own schedule.
Asked if he refrained from sending emails over the weekend, Nadela said, “I’m learning every day.”
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