Microsoft is marking five years since the launch of Teams which today sees over 270 million users, with the launch of new research results into how business leaders and employees are responding to hybrid work.
The company also announced new features across Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Surface Hub and Microsoft Viva to empower hybrid work and address employees’ new expectations for the workplace.
The annual Microsoft Work Trend Index Report outlines how employees today have a new “worth it” equation on how they view work and the workplace.
Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President, Modern Work, Microsoft states, “The last two years have been profoundly impactful and values such as flexibility and well-being have become non-negotiables for most employees. Making hybrid work work for everyone will therefore require intentional leadership around how, when, and where to work, and technology has a key role to play. By embracing and adapting to these new expectations, organizations can set their people and their business up for long-term success.”
Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index outlines five urgent trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and work trends on LinkedIn.
These trends show amongst others how 53% of employees say they’re more likely to prioritize their health and well-being over work than they were before the pandemic and that over and above this, 52% of Generation Z and millennials are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead, up 3% year over year.
The survey also highlights the need for leaders to make the office worth the commute. This is corroborated by 38% of hybrid employees who said that their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office alongside the fact that only 28% of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms.
Flexible work also meant more work. After two years, weekly meeting time for the average Teams user is up 252%, and chats sent per person each week is up 32% — and still climbing. While workday span has increased by 46 minutes, after-hours and weekend work are up 28% and 14%, respectively. With 51% of hybrid workers considering a shift to full remote work in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital we’ve lost over the past two years. 43% of leaders say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work in a hybrid or remote environment. The new enhancements announced by Microsoft in Teams include Teams Connect shared channels that enable collaboration with people inside and outside the organization from a shared workspace, a new AI-powered Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera that uses automatic framing technology to provide a dynamic view of in-room interactions, language interpretation that enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near real time and Microsoft Whiteboard to bring visual collaboration to life