Flexible Ways of Working Are Here to Stay, Finds New Microsoft Ireland Research – With Leaders Focused on Trying to Maintain Culture and Innovation
Microsoft has released new research into remote working in Ireland on 5th November as part of a pan-European piece of research commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Boston Consulting Group and KRC Research.
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Some key points of the research:
The hybrid workplace is here to stay:
- 97% cited the importance of changing their firm’s ways of working to become more innovative and flexible.
- 71% of employees worked remotely during the first lockdown
- Leaders expect 45% of employees will continue to work remotely. Employees expect to spend one third of time outside of the office
Explosion in remote working policies:
- 72% of organisations have implemented remote working policies, (versus 22% last year)
- Productivity: Seven in 10 leaders (73%) saw equal or more productivity from remote workers.
o For people surveyed in Ireland their best time of day to really focus was between 9 and 11am. The ability to do focused work plummets in the afternoon.
- Retention: Well over half (68%) of business leaders see remote working as key to retaining talented employees, higher than the European average of 56%.
- Sustainability: Taking a broader societal view, more than half of leaders (61%) see increased sustainability as a key business reason to adopt remote working.
Top benefits for employees:
- 79% Dressing casually
- 56% More time for hobbies
- 46% Personalised workspace
- 32% Working with pet by my side
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- 41% of leaders thought their companies were innovative around core products and services – The same number agreed with that sentiment in our research in 2019 (42%).
An innovative culture is where employees feel empowered, where there is open communications with managers, and where there is a strong, inclusive vision from the top.
- Employees in innovative companies:
o 72% are equally or more productive when working remotely (vs 60% in less innovative companies)
o 59% of employees feel empowered to make decisions.
o 71% feel it’s okay to make mistakes.
o 93% collaborate with colleagues seamlessly.
o 94% can focus attention solely on the task at hand.
o 80% feel that their contribution makes a difference in the company.
o 90% agree that their team can get a lot done when they work hard.
o 69% feel happy at work (vs 39% of employees with less innovative company cultures).
However, for many leaders, this year marked the first time they were responsible for leading people who were working remotely.
- 58% said they feel they have not yet effectively learned how to delegate and empower virtual teams.
- 56% of leaders found it harder to create a strong and unified team.
- 51% feel they have not effectively learned how to be empathetic with their teams.
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