reveal productivity improvements

Microsoft Argentina presented together with the University of San Andrés that analyzed the changes in work and corporate leadership

This week, Microsoft Argentina presented along with the University of San Andrés the study: “Future of work: practices that the pandemic changed forever”, where he analyzed the changes that occur at work, in leadership and in communication dynamics in the current context of massive remote work.

“In recent months we have experienced an acceleration of digital transformation with a great impact on the way we work. Everything we thought for the Future of work was anticipated, while we accompanied our clients to incorporate technology to continue operating, and we supported our team being closer than ever in virtuality. In this context, Microsoft assumes a crucial role: to provide the tools and platforms that allow any type of organization to develop the digital capacity necessary to face new challenges and continue to operate in a world where everything is remote “, said Fernando López Iervasi, General Manager of Microsoft Argentina.

“In many companies, remoteness came for the first time while in others it deepened, but we have no doubts that it will remain and that the workspace will be hybrid. The study is key to understanding how the pandemic impacted, and how technology can contribute to solving the new needs and challenges of organizations. Today the focus is on people, but not on whether or not they are productive, but on their well-being. The concern is to understand how to help teams achieve a balance between their personal and work life, “said Silvina Uviz D’Agostino, director of Human Resources at Microsoft Argentina.

“The quarantine meant a paradigm shift in relation to the incorporation of remote work as the usual way of working. It managed to change the mentality of people who did not believe that this was possible, that it was ineffective or that perceived it only as a ‘benefit ‘We see that remote work is here to stay, “said Sebastián Steizel, Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Business School of the University of San Andrés.

The myth that people work less is broken

According to data from the study, the myth that people work less from home or that there are jobs that cannot be done virtually is disproved.

On the contrary, it is found that the difficult thing is to “stop working”: 75% of people feel that they work more while 56% feel more productive.

Also, working is more complex than before, with 43% of respondents saying that coordinating tasks with other people is more difficult and 41% said that solving problems virtually becomes more complicated.

The lack of links and personal contact arises as a problem since there is a greater sense of disconnection with colleagues (62%) and with the organization (46%).

Refering to quality of working life in remote work there is some polarization, since 48% believe it is worse, 15% that it is the same and 37% believe that it is better. However, the majority of respondents (70%) feel comfortable and at ease working virtually.

Leadership, the main challenge was emotional support

During interviews with HR directors, they were more concerned with the emotional support of their teams than with productivity. During the quarantine, the main challenge was to ensure the emotional well-being of people more than the challenge of virtuality.

Between a quarter and a third of people have a lower sense of control and availability from their leaders, while 60% did not show changes in the behavior of their leaders.

Meetings: the new punctuality

Punctuality was an outstanding value that contributed to increasing productivity. Remote work makes it easier to participate in meetings since more people located in different geographical locations can be included.

According to the study, currently the meetings are: less spontaneous and more scheduled than before (55%), there are a greater number of scheduled meetings (70%), they are more productive (57%) and they are more focused, since 54% affirm that they talk less about informal and personal topics.

Technology as a medium did not negatively affect the dynamics of the meetings: 54% feel that they can participate in the same way as before and 35% feel that they can do it more than before.

Communication: discover and use tools that were already

During the quarantine, there were few additions and the presence was mostly replaced by the use of video conferencing and chat: 92% of people said they use video calls more than before and 79% said they use chat more.

There was also an increase in other tools: 63% use more collaborative platforms, 41% use more corporate social networks while the use of email remained since only 29% of people claimed to use it more than before.

Work prepares for post-pandemic

The question that comes: why go to the office?

Most of the Human Resources directors said he is planning between two and three days of remote work per week. A hybrid job is coming that will be flexible according to the needs of each team.

Spaces are being reconditioned or offices are being removed to accommodate this reality where there will be fewer “personalized” positions.

There is an appreciation of informal, communicational and spontaneous contact. You are thinking about why you will have to go to the office.

Looking ahead, the study concludes that there is optimism and a belief that there will be a better quality of working life. Regarding communication tools, more technology will be used than before: more videoconferencing (84%), more chat (68%) and more collaborative platforms (61%).

Regarding work: the vast majority (87%) want to have 50% or more remote work in the future, more than half of the people (55%) believe that it will be more productive than before and 58% believe that will improve your quality of work life. In terms of leadership, most people do not feel that the new future reality will affect relationships with bosses (73%) and with colleagues (58%).

According to Microsoft, the data of the study carried out by the University of San Andrés they are in line with the main findings of its Labor Trends Index.

According to the data of the latest edition released in September 2020, the causes of stress differ according to the type of work: For frontline workers, the most stress generated in the workplace is the concern about catching COVID -19 while remote workers said that what causes them the most stress is the lack of separation between work and personal life and feeling disconnected from their colleagues.

After six months there are more communications and fewer limitsUsage patterns in Teams show that people are in more meetings, taking more ad hoc calls, and handling more chats than they did before the pandemic. Chats after work hours or chats between 5:00 p.m. and 12:00 p.m. also increased.

Lack of relocation may hurt and not help remote worker productivity.

According to studies by Microsoft Research, commuting to work helped maintain boundaries. Meditation can help combat stress during the workday: 70% of respondents said that meditation could help reduce work-related stress.

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