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Employees seek valid reasons for return to office, finds Microsoft survey

Socialising and rebuilding team bonds is the biggest motivator

Employees seek valid reasons for return to office, finds Microsoft survey
“The data underscores we have a deep human need to connect with the people we associate with, and that spending time together can help us build stronger relationships, which are key to doing our best work,” the report said.

At a time when most companies are facing strong resistance after calling employees back to office, a Microsoft report revealed that almost 80% of staffers in the country want their organisations to provide a convincing reason to do so.

The Microsoft Work Trend Index Pulse Report 2022 also highlighted that employees are most likely to come to the workplace to meet colleagues than for any other reason. Around 91% of employees in India would be motivated by the promise of socialising with co-workers and 92% by the prospect of rebuilding team bonds. “The data underscores we have a deep human need to connect with the people we associate with, and that spending time together can help us build stronger relationships, which are key to doing our best work,” the report said.

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In terms of the last pivot of learning and development, 60% of employees in India said there are not enough growth opportunities in their company to stay for the long term. The findings revealed that if people can’t learn, they leave. As many as 90% of employees in India (versus a global average of 76%) said they would stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development opportunities.

The report also said a hybrid work model has led to a growing disconnect between employees and leaders. “They are at odds about what constitutes productivity, how to maintain autonomy while ensuring accountability, the benefits of flexibility and the role of the office.”

Bhaskar Basu, country head – Modern Work, Microsoft India, said that thriving employees are what will give organisations a competitive advantage. “To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognises work is no longer just a place, but an experience that needs to keep employees engaged and connected, no matter where they are working from,” he said.

To help leaders navigate the new realities of work, the Work Trend Index Pulse report points to three urgent pivots every leader should make. The report is based on an external study of 20,000 people in 11 countries, including India, drawing on analysis of trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, LinkedIn labour trends, and Glint People Science insights.

The three urgent pivots are: ending the productivity paranoia, embracing that people come to the workplace for each other, and providing opportunities for learning and development.

The report said a hyper focus on productivity is impacting the health and well-being with 47% of employees and 58% of leaders in India reporting that they are already burnt out at work.

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