Research from home: more productive, casual clothing and better work-life balance

These findings give Microsoft insight into how work will change in the future and how organizations can deal with it in the best possible way.

Microsoft: working in the Netherlands thinks casual clothing is the biggest advantage of working from home

• According to the research, employees experience quite a few benefits from working from home. They find the greatest advantage to be able to wear casual clothes more often (61%), followed by more time for hobbies (45%) and working with a pet next to the workplace (24%).

• For many people, the amount of work has increased. Despite the fact that two out of three (68%) of employees indicate that they have more work than before, they believe the work-life balance is the same as before the pandemic.

• Working remotely makes employees a lot more productive. Last year they indicated that they waste 52% of the working week on productivity-inhibiting things such as (meaningless) meetings and work stoppages, now it is only 39%.

• The morning dawn has gold in its mouth. According to the respondents, the best time for the Dutch to work productively is at 10:00 am. However, that peak in productivity decreases quickly, after an hour (11:00) the productivity drops again.

• More productive or not: just under half (43%) of employees indicate that they worked without the necessary hardware during the pandemic. A separate mouse (65%), a large screen (65%) and good internet (89%) were missing.

Three in four companies (76%) have implemented flexible work and home work policies since the pandemic, compared to only one in four in 2019 (24%)

Changing work culture calls for “caring” leaders

• According to the survey, a large number of companies are more flexible with matters such as working hours and working from home. Since the pandemic, three in four companies (76%) have implemented a flexible (home) work policy, compared to only one in four (24%) in 2019.

• Nevertheless, managers and employees feel that the corporate culture is under pressure and a clear decline is visible. In 2019, 40% said their company has an innovative work culture and in 2020 only 28%. In 2020 (39%) there will also be less innovation in core products and services than in 2019 (56%).

• According to employees, leaders do not succeed in creating cohesion within their team (53%). Also, managers do not encourage their team to fail (65%) and do not protect work-life balance well enough (58%).

• The world post COVID-19 requires a new way of leadership. Half (53%) of employees indicate that leaders do not help keep the team together, followed by 58% that their supervisor does not monitor their work-life balance.

Companies save considerable costs by working from home

• Managers expect that in the future 75% of the staff will continue to work remotely. According to them, this not only increases employee productivity, but also has a positive impact on talent retention (45%), the environment (40%) and cost savings (48%).

• The surveyed companies from 10 European cities indicate that they can make huge savings on the annual costs of an employee. According to the organizations, for example, profit can be made in the field of meal costs (1,000 – 2,500), travel costs (500 – 1,500) and rent (5,000 – 10,000). Two out of three companies spend less than 1,000 euros on supporting work tools and training on an employee each year.


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