30 Mar 2021 | 12.36 pm
Workers Want Remote To Stay
But work-life balance is a struggle, says Microsoft
30 Mar 2021 | 12.36 pm
The majority of employees want flexible and remote working to stay, but with fewer virtual meetings and a better work-life balance, according to Microsoft.
The tech giant published findings from two pieces of research this week, looking at remote working practices globally and in Ireland.
A Microsoft survey of 30,000 people in 31 countries found that nearly three-quarters of employees want flexible working options to continue. Four in ten workers added that they would consider leaving their job if flexible working was not provided.
Microsoft’s research also found that remote job postings on LinkedIn increased fivefold during the pandemic. Time spent in meetings has more than doubled globally, while over 40 billion more emails were delivered in February this year when compared with the same period in 2020.
In a separate Microsoft-commissioned survey of Irish workers this year, more than eight in ten have migrated to collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams in the past year. More than half (56%) also said that they are making less landline calls as a result.
The Irish survey also found that more than three-quarters of workers use collaboration platforms more to host internal conference calls, while around half said that the platforms helped them to create a broader work circle.
When asked about remote working tribulations, eight in ten workers in Ireland want a better work-life balance, three-quarters want to disconnect once the working day is over and almost the same amount want to better manage daily distractions during the working day. Two in three employees want a reduction in the number of virtual meetings they attend every day.
The majority (55%) of those working remotely worldwide have either received from their employer or purchased a new device since the move to remote working, according to Microsoft. One in five still see desktops as the key device (compared with tablets and mobile phones) to use for collaboration platforms to carry out work-related communications remotely.
Commenting on the findings, Aisling Curtis (pictured), commercial director with Microsoft Ireland, said that in a hybrid workplace, traditional tools are being replaced in favour of real-time collaboration and communications that enable productivity.
“Senior leaders need to be careful, as we move towards a new hybrid world of work, that they establish a culture that allows all their employees to continue to innovate and collaborate, while also providing the flexibility to disconnect when and where they need to,” Curtis added.
Microsoft employs more than 2,500 people in Dublin and recently announced plans to recruit 200 more for its digital sales team in the coming months. In late 2020, the company told its Irish staff that they can apply to work from home permanently if they so wished.