We’d all like to take a fresh look at our life.
However, we never seem to find the time.
Our ambitions propel us. Work consumes us. And time has a way of messing with our heads.
So, how have we evolved in the two years after the pandemic?
Have we paused to ponder for a moment? Or has the unpleasant inconvenience of working from home forced some of us to work harder and smell fewer roses?
No, not to sell a bit more software – okay, not just that – but to assist its customers and staff understand what’s going on.
Managers Are Unable to Manage
Last year, Redmond’s Work Trend Index provided an exceptional image. Bosses were having a wonderful time, but their employees were suffering: 37% claimed they were working too hard, while 41% said they were searching for another employment.
The charitable would argue that this was a foreshadowing of the Great Resignation.
But now that another year has gone, Microsoft has polled 31,000 individuals across the world – as well as analyzed trillions of productivity signals from its own software – to ask, “What gives?” and “Who’s taken to this distant thing?”
The title of the report is surprisingly upbeat: “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work.”
Within it, though, is an image of dissatisfaction and, yes, a reevaluation of what life is all about.
Suddenly, it’s the bosses who are whining.
Almost three-quarters feel they simply cannot alter things for staff, either because they lack resources or because they have lost their power.
A startling 54 percent believe that leadership is utterly disconnected from employees. How could that possibly have happened? Could this be related to all the bosses who said they were “thriving” last year?
It’s easy to get caught up in your own comfort and forget about others who aren’t.
What Do Those Roses Smell Like?
The study’s most incisive conclusion is philosophical: people have truly, really paused to examine the purpose of life.
Consider a few more of the study’s findings.
Moreover half of the hybrid employees are thinking about becoming remote. Meanwhile, more than half of remote workers are exploring a mixed work environment. The latter, of course, are only debating whether to become hybrid in order to meet their enigmatic bosses.
A sizable proportion, 38 percent, agree that they are no longer certain what the purpose of an office is. Despite the fact that many admit to lacking the ability to form genuine personal interactions at work.
The most touching, and maybe even promising, aspects of this survey, on the other hand, reveal that individuals have paused, pondered, and puzzled about how work affects their lives. In a bad manner, you understand.
Here’s a gentle nudge in the right direction: Work/life balance is now more important to 53% of employees than it was before the outbreak.
Perhaps being physically closer to your family members, experiencing their lives and hardships on a more frequent basis, has left some wondering what it’s all about. Really.
Money’s Influence? No, it is the Power of Peace.
And now for the most shocking aspect of all. What prompted individuals to resign?
At the top, there was a tie. Was it a conflict between the desire for greater money and the desire for more power? It was not the case.
It was instead a choice between personal well-being or mental health and work/life balance. To me, it all sounds like one huge thing.
It’s individuals all across the world seeing their own work-life and yelling within, “I just won’t take this anymore.”
It’s not simply about money or promotion this time. That was the seventh reason for resigning.
The real question, of course, is whether this shift toward the light can be sustained.
How long will the job market accommodate people who chose self-preservation to self-immolation? How long will it take until a recession, or some other catalyst for increasing financial need, infects the human soul?
And how long will it take before the majority of businesses realize that maximizing profit – so that the leadership can make even more money – may not be the greatest approach to operate a business?