Hybrid Workplace – is this the normal in this ‘never normal’?

Updated: Jan 18

✦ Are we ready for a hybrid workplace?


Stressed out, disconnected and unmotivated - that´s how people are feeling in today’s environment according to the 2021 Work Trend Index by Microsoft titled “The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?”.


The report says that the hybrid workplace, a blend of flexible work or work-from-home and on-site work where some employees work in the office, will be the norm. Adapting to this new norm requires rethinking among business leaders.


1. What is this study by Microsoft on work trends?


The 2021 Work Trend Index is based on a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and the analyses of trillions of aggregate productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn. This report also includes perspectives from experts who have studied collaboration, social capital, and space design at work for decades.


Some of the numbers are staggering.

147%

40.4B

45%

66%

Meetings

Email

Chat

Documents

Weekly meeting time has more than doubled for Teams users and is still rising

​Increase in number of emails delivered in February 2021 vs February 2020

Weekly Teams chats per-person are up 45% and still rising

​Number of people working on Office documents is up 66% year over year


2. What is this Work Trend Index for and who should use it?


This report is meant for business leaders, stating that society is on the cusp of a new era of work and leaders must see that adapting to the new hybrid model of work requires rethinking of the workplace.


3. What are the key findings in this report?


There are 7 key findings:

  1. Flexible work is here to stay

  2. Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call

  3. High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce

  4. Gen Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized

  5. Shrinking networks are endangering innovation

  6. Authenticity will spur productivity and well-being

  7. Talent is everywhere in a hybrid work world


4. Is the hybrid model or flexible work really here for good?


It looks like it. Even for Singapore which has declared that it will be moving forward to live normally with COVID-19, unlike Australia, New Zealand and China which are aiming for zero cases, the government quickly implemented snap measures such as work from home (WFH) and no cross-deployment of workers to multiple worksites beginning 27 September to curb the wave of infections.


5. How are businesses in Singapore dealing with the hybrid workplace?