Eight in 10 people expect flexible work from home policies post Covid-19, Microsoft survey finds

About 70% of respondents say they desire to continue working from home

Zack Stewart, grade 12 teacher at the Dubai American Academy, holds an online class from his home in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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Eighty-two per cent of people are expecting to have more flexible work-from-home policies post-coronavirus, according to a new survey that analysed the impact of the pandemic on work culture globally.

Meanwhile, 71 per cent of those surveyed said they desire to continue working from home, at least part-time, Microsoft revealed in its Work Trend Index report.

“We see this blending of work and life as a durable workplace trend … with potential for technology to help ease some of the challenges that come with it,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365.

“Our goal was to uncover both good and challenging aspects of remote work so we can accelerate product development in the right areas, anticipate how work will change in the future and help our customers thrive in this new world of work,” he added.

Remote working is also making employees feel more inclusive.

More than half of respondents (52 per cent) feel more valued as a remote contributor in meetings because everyone is now in the same virtual room.

The US tech major evaluated conclusions from over 30 research projects conducted across Microsoft’s various platforms in the past few months to produce the report. Besides, it used the findings of a third-party survey that interviewed more than 2,000 remote workers in six countries.

The report found that people are working more not only in the morning and evening hours, but also on the weekends. Team chats outside of typical working hours have increased between 15 per cent and 23 per cent during lockdown and spiked to nearly 200 per cent on weekends.

The research also pointed at the importance of taking regular breaks between meetings or punctuating long meetings with small breaks when possible.

It said that brainwave markers associated with overwork and stress are significantly higher in video meetings than in other works such as writing emails or speaking to a co-worker face-to-face.