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Leadership out of touch with employee expectations - Microsoft

By Shannon Williams
Wed 15 Jun 2022

According to the Work Trend Index report from Microsoft, 60% of managers in Singapore say leadership at their company is out of touch with employee expectations, while 78% say they don't have the influence or resources to drive change for their team.

The 2022 Work Trend Index outlines five locally relevant trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, including Singapore, along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and labor trends on LinkedIn:

  • Employees are redefining what's worth it. 52% of employees in Singapore are more likely to prioritise their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic.
  • 23% employees left their jobs last year, but the Great Reshuffle isn't over: 63% of Gen Z and Millennials in Singapore are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead.
  • Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations. While more than half (51%) of leaders in Singapore plan on bringing full-time in-person work, but employees feel otherwise. 
  • More than half (53%) of workers in Singapore are considering a switch to remote or hybrid. As a result, the differences in expectations left managers feeling like they don't have the power to drive change in their team. 
  • Leaders need to make the office worth the commute. 38% of hybrid employees in Singapore say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office. Yet, only 30% of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms.
  • Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world. 49% of leaders in Singapore say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work hybrid or remote. However, with workers in Singapore considering a shift to remote or hybrid in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office as they rebuild social capital. 
  • Flexibility doesn't have to mean "always on." Hybrid work has opened the doors for more flexible work, but the digital overload has caused people to spend more time engaging with work. Global data showed that the workday span for average Microsoft Teams user has increased by 13% or 46 minutes. After-hours work and weekend work have also increased 28% and 14% respectively.

"The past two years prompted many of us to review our priorities and how we navigate work, especially when flexibility and well-being become non-negotiables for our people," says Lee Hui Li, managing director of Microsoft Singapore. 

"Today, we are not the same people who went home to work in early 2020. Hence, leaders must embrace these new expectations with the right tools and reciprocal policies in place, so they can set their people and their business up for long-term success, as they build a resilient, digitally inclusive economy."

Making hybrid work work for everyone will require intentional leadership around how, when and where to work and technology has a key role to play. Microsoft is introducing new features across its suite of solutions designed to improve the hybrid work experience.

  • The language interpretation feature in Teams enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near real time. 
  • The meeting organiser can assign interpreters and select up to 16 source and target language combinations, while attendees will hear the translation. 
  • Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams offers a rich set of new capabilities that bring visual collaboration to life, including collaboration cursors, more than 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and the ability to open existing boards and collaborate with external colleagues in Teams meetings. T
  • o improve hybrid brainstorming, completion of action items and making decisions together without having to switch context or apps, Microsoft is introducing Loop components in Outlook mail.
  • In Singapore, Microsoft is introducing a new offering in Microsoft Teams Phone called Operator Connect, in partnership with Singtel. This assigns a single business-provided mobile phone number for desktop and mobile devices, making it seamless to move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions. 
  • To support flexible work styles, two PowerPoint experiences, cameo and recording studio, are being brought together. This will make it possible for presenters to deliver presentations with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not they attend the meeting.
     
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