How has the pandemic changed the way we work, and which trends are here to stay? The topic of New Work has become a little quieter in recent months. Enough of the term and the transformation that comes with it – or so some managers and employees thought – but even if we don’t keep calling it New Work, the spirit of change is with us. At least, that’s what a new study from Microsoft with the encouraging title “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work” shows.

As positive as the title of the study may be, the brave new world of work 4.0 does not then reflect the hopes and dreams of all employees in the organizational chart. According to the study, managers in particular complain about the effects of the transformation.

Nearly three-quarters say they can’t change things for employees, either because they don’t have the resources or because they’ve lost their influence. Fifty-four percent even say that as leaders, they have completely lost touch with employees. However, these statements are not surprising. While at the beginning of the pandemic, people at the management level were somewhat persuaded that all was well with the world and that it was not imperative to check in with colleagues because they would do their jobs the same way, now comes the rude awakening. Employee loyalty is at an all-time low in many companies. New colleagues in particular have not been able to establish a connection with management, which is now taking its revenge in hybrid work.

But is there a way back to the classic way of working? On the part of employees, perhaps. While more than half of those currently working hybrid are considering moving to virtual work, the other half who have only been in the home office are considering switching to a hybrid work model to be closer to the somewhat alienated manager again. But one thing sticks and is notable. Nearly 40% of employees surveyed by Microsoft no longer fully understand the point of having an office.

But office and manager aside, a change is evident among employees. 53% want more work-life balance. They are looking for the physical closeness to family that they have developed so much over the pandemic. Money and career now matter less than personal well-being or mental health. There is, the study continues, more of a search for meaning in work than there was before Corona.

 

So if The study clearly shows one thing is that people can be unified. Each of them is different, has different requirements and desires. But most of them have one thing in common – they want to make the most of their (professional) life.

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