Microsoft hit the headlines recently, as the company announced an indefinite delay to the reopening of its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft, like the rest of the world, has had to get to grips with the new realities of pandemic life, including embracing remote and hybrid working trends.
Remote working and inclusion
With over 180,000 workers spread across five countries, there’s plenty that we can glean from Microsoft’s data when it comes to remote working. The company’s most recent survey revealed that, “feelings of inclusion and manager support are at all-time highs, while self-reported productivity levels remain consistent”.
CEO of the NeuroLeadership Institute, Dr David Rock, believes that the intense bond derived from “a sense of mutual goals and shared experiences” has done much to contribute to this sense of inclusion.
Practical elements also play a role, with James Moir, Director of Operations at Work Here, Work There, observing:
“Inclusion is about support, communication and working together to achieve things, but it’s also about ensuring that employees have the right environment. That means supporting them on the tech front, helping to furnish their home offices appropriately and providing things like workstation assessments and electrical safety checks to ensure that each individual can work remotely in a safe and healthy way.”
The personalisation of work
What also stood out from the Microsoft survey was how much more personal our working styles have become. Each worker has developed their own routines for achieving maximum productivity, with far more flexibility built in than was possible in the office.
“This is both a benefit and a challenge,” continues Work Here, Work There’s James Moir. “The personalisation of work also means the personalisation of the working environment. Companies need to adapt the provision of technology and furniture to account for that. This is going to be a key trend in remote and hybrid working in 2022.”