You would possibly assume you’re working tougher than ever from dwelling—however it’s unlikely your boss agrees with you.

That’s what Microsoft deduced from a serious new survey that had 20,000 respondents throughout 11 international locations, together with the U.S., India, China, the U.Ok. and Germany.

Published Thursday, the tech large’s survey outcomes revealed that even supposing individuals have been working greater than ever, leaders have been nonetheless “questioning if their employees are being productive.” While 87% of workers reported being productive at work, 85% of leaders mentioned the shift to hybrid work had made it tough to believe in employees’ productiveness.

Just 12% of leaders mentioned that they had full confidence that their crew was productive.

Some research within the post-COVID period has signaled employee productiveness within the U.S. is continuous to sluggish.

Alongside its ballot, Microsoft additionally carried out an evaluation of trillions of knowledge factors to evaluate whether or not employers is perhaps onto one thing—however what they discovered prompt productiveness would possibly truly be increased than it was earlier than the pandemic.

The common Microsoft Teams consumer was regarded as attending 153% extra conferences now than they have been in the beginning of the pandemic, the corporate mentioned, with many people discovering themselves being double-booked, multitasking, and having to say no assembly invitations rather more usually.

Productivity paranoia

While Microsoft mentioned this elevated exercise was placing employees beneath extra “strain,” it famous that employers’ suspicions about productiveness have been additionally altering the best way individuals labored.

“As some organizations use technology to track activity rather than impact, employees lack context on how and why they’re being tracked, which can undermine trust and lead to ‘productivity theater,’” Microsoft mentioned within the report on its survey outcomes.

“This has led to productivity paranoia: where leaders fear that lost productivity is due to employees not working, even though hours worked, number of meetings, and other activity metrics have increased.”

In a commentary piece for Fortune on Wednesday, Microsoft’s Jared Spataro insisted that utilizing know-how to spy on individuals at work was “not the answer” to the productiveness disconnect.

“Some leaders miss the visibility that the office used to provide, and some companies have even turned to monitoring keystrokes, mouse movements, and onscreen activity to alleviate this paranoia,” he mentioned.

“But while you might get a lot of data from tracking this type of employee activity, I can confidently say it’s the wrong data. And surveillance doesn’t just lead to bad data—it undermines trust, a critical factor in organizational success that, once lost, is incredibly difficult to regain.”

Many high-profile leaders and entrepreneurs together with Elon Musk and Malcolm Gladwell have overtly criticized distant working as a destroyer of productiveness, whereas firms from Apple to Peloton have ordered their employees again to the workplace.

However, not all leaders are towards distant or hybrid working.

A latest examine discovered that 82% of CFOs mentioned hybrid working was a extra inexpensive enterprise mannequin within the present financial local weather. Meanwhile, center managers have discovered themselves trapped in the midst of the return to workplace debate, and a number of the world’s largest firms like IBM have drawn a line beneath mandating work takes place of their workplaces.

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