Microsoft’s Satya Nadella Calls It “Productivity Paranoia.” What It Is

Microsoft's Satya Nadella calls it 'Productivity Paranoia.'  What is it

Satya Nadella says managers’ fear of idle workers is creating “productivity paranoia.

More than two years after remote work and hybrid work became commonplace, there is still a clear distinction about how it plays out: About 85% of managers worry that they can’t tell if employees doing enough work, while 87% of workers say their productivity is average.

That’s the result of a survey of corporate attitudes by Microsoft Corp., the workplace software giant and owner of LinkedIn. Managers’ fear of idle workers is creating what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calls “productivity paranoia,” with undesirable results like employee tracking. pellets.

“Leaders think their employees are not productive, while employees think they are productive and in many cases even feel burned out,” he said in an interview with the company. Bloomberg Television. “One of the most important things for us in this world of new work and combined work is to bridge this paradox.”

Microsoft surveyed global employees in a variety of industries several times a year during the pandemic – the latest data polled 20,000 people in 11 countries to track trends and adapt their technology. themselves to suit the needs of their customers.

Data consistently shows a disconnect between managers and hierarchy and files, and Microsoft has provided tools like its Viva employee experience software to bridge the gap. Viva now has more than 10 million monthly active users at companies like PayPal Holdings Inc. and Unilever Plc, using it to help teams align their goals and stay in touch.

But while new communication tools are bringing bosses closer to employees, Microsoft still wants executives to know that workplace surveillance isn’t the answer to boosting productivity.

“There’s a growing debate about employee oversight, and we take a really strong stance – we just think it’s wrong,” said Jared Spataro, vice president of Microsoft. “We don’t think employers should survey and note the activity of keystrokes, mouse clicks and that sort of thing because, in many ways, we feel like it’s more of a heat measurement than a result.” .”

Microsoft itself had to adjust and roll back some features in its workplace products because they enabled this kind of behavior. In 2020, the company made changes to the Productivity Score feature, which privacy advocates complain makes it too easy to track workers’ personal details.

Other pandemic work trends, like mass layoffs, appear to be fading. For the first time in 18 months, what LinkedIn and Microsoft call the “Great Recession” and others call the “Great Resignation” is slowing down. According to Ryan Roslansky, who runs the service, the annual growth rate of people changing jobs on LinkedIn is currently flat. And more job listings for direct roles.

Before the pandemic, 2% of jobs on LinkedIn were listed as remote, a number that had increased to 20% by March 2022. Now that number has dropped to 15%, he said.

Many of the company’s senior executives are yearning to return to the pre-pandemic days, Spataro said. But Microsoft still recommends a flexible approach.

“People come to work for other people, not for some policy,” Nadella said.

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