The hybrid model of work has made it impossible for managers and leaders to check on their employees from time to time and ensure that they are focusing on work, says the Work Trend Index Pulse report by Microsoft. While only 36 per cent in-person managers find it difficult to trust their employees to put in their best effort, a significant 49 per cent hybrid managers find it challenging to trust their employees to give their best.
This is probably because the hybrid model allows less visibility to the managers now. Not surprisingly, 54 per cent hybrid managers say they have less visibility into what their employees are doing, while only 38 per cent of in-person managers have such a complaint.
There is more pressure on employees to prove that they are working. This leads to the phenomenon called ‘productivity paranoia’, which makes the sustainability of hybrid work questionable.
Instead of trying to keep track of how much their employees are working, leaders should focus on helping their employees focus on the most important tasks. Employees need help to prioritise their work, and managers are the ones who can guide them there.
A whopping 81 per cent of employees feel it is important for their managers to help them prioritise their work, so as to ease the load. Only about 31 per cent say their managers have ever clearly guided them during one-on-one interactions.
Even on the higher rungs, 74 per cent of people managers feel their performance will improve if they receive help with prioritising their own work. About 80 per cent feel they would benefit personally if their senior leaders gave them more clarity on what work to prioritise for more impact.
It was discovered that employees possessing clarity about their work priorities are 3.95 times as likely to say they plan to stay on at the company for a minimum of two years; 7.1 times as likely to say that they rarely consider switching; and 4.5 times as likely to feel contented with their current employers.
These are the discoveries made from a survey of 20,000 people in 11 countries and an analysis of trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with LinkedIn labour trends and Glint People Science findings.