The job has completely changed in the last two years. This change was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic which forced companies to accept that their employees work from home. In doing so, the working conditions have also changed, as have the employees.
This new paradigm is one of many factors behind the Great Quit, which refers to the large number of people quitting their jobs.
One of the trends that has also been revealed is that the boundaries have become increasingly porous between work and private life, especially as employees work more and more from home even with the return to the office decided by some companies. . Many companies are opting for either a hybrid way of working – days in the office and days away – while others have simply adopted remote working as a principle.
It is the disappearance of these boundaries between private life and professional life that worries Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft (MSFT) – Get the Microsoft Corporation report. He has just issued a warning in the form of a warning bulletin against the lengthening of working hours caused by working from home.
The end of 9 to 5
Nadella thinks it’s the employee’s well-being that suffers the most. He is particularly concerned about the situation of white collar workers who are often managers or team leaders.
The CEO knows what he is talking about because Microsoft is one of the companies that have developed one of the new communication tools that have become essential in the new organization of work. This communication tool is the Teams messaging app.
“We think about productivity through collaboration and exit metrics, but well-being is one of the most important elements of productivity,” he said recently at the Wharton Future of Work Conference, according to Bloomberg.
“We know what stress does to workers. We need to learn the soft skills, the good old-fashioned management practices, so that people look after their well-being. I can set that expectation, that our employees can get an email from the CEO on the weekend and not feel pressured to respond,” he said.
Microsoft recently studied the impact of remote work on collaboration in an effort to improve Teams. The study shows that employees are most often productive at two times of the working day: before lunch and after lunch.
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But a third moment of intense activity has appeared since the pandemic: white-collar workers are also productive at night.
“The rise of the triple peak day”, observes the Microsoft study. “After work, do you…go back to work? For some, there’s a new pattern that replaces the 9 to 5.”
“Always On Mentality”
Findings from Microsoft and its researchers suggest that the 9-to-5 workday is fading in an age of remote and hybrid work and more flexible hours. This pattern was first spotted at the start of the pandemic, when Microsoft Teams chats outside of the typical workday increased more than in any other time segment, particularly between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to the research. .
“Having your kids at home, with no breaks to eat or exercise, we see that one of the ways to cope is to take a break, have dinner, and then spend time in the evening getting things done. things,” said Mary Czerwinski, research director, human understanding and empathy, Microsoft Research.
“Parents who look after their children in the afternoon compensate for this time by working in the evening. Others optimize the newfound flexibility of working from anywhere by varying their hours. Some just need a margin extra maneuvering at night, away from pings and business calls, to really focus,” Czerwinski continued.
Whichever way you slice it, the lines between office hours and everything else have tightened over the past year and a half. The average Teams user now sends 42% more chats per person after hours, according to results from the Microsoft Work Trend Index.
When Czerwinski and his team studied the activities of some Microsoft employees this summer, they noticed that about 30% of them had a peak in evening work, measured by keyboard use. The timing and amplitude varied from person to person, but it was less intense than the two peaks of work earlier in the day.
Likewise, teams working across different time zones often schedule meetings during non-traditional hours to accommodate key contributors, the researchers observed.
“A key to mitigating the ‘always on’ mentality is for managers to work with teams on explicit standards. It’s also essential to check in with people who may feel like they have to work around the clock to keep up. the beat,” advises the research. “Different workers have different needs and challenges, many of which go unnoticed. Empathy and communication are key.”