Is hybrid work the next great disruption?

Apr 10, 2021

Is hybrid work the next great disruption?

Amidst the pandemic changing the very nature of the working world, Microsoft says the workplace is on the cusp of disruption. Microsoft’s latest report, ‘The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Work – Are We Ready?’, has highlighted numerous trends among the workforce focusing on Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.


The report has also looked at data from LinkedIn, focused on data from Asia Pacific countries, and compared this with global data. 47% of workers across Asia are likely to consider changing employers (compared to 41% global average)  56% are likely to consider a career change (compared to 44% global average).


In Japan, 38% of workers are likely to consider changing employers within the year. 35% of workers in Asia experienced decreased interactions with co-workers. This was higher than the 40% average across the world. While 63% of workers in Japan say their productivity levels have remained the same compared to last year, 48% of workers are feeling exhausted (versus 39% global average) and 45% are feeling stressed (versus the 42% global average).


61% of workers in Australia and New Zealand think that their employer cares about their work-life balance (versus the 50% global average). The study also found that people are more likely to move now they can work remotely: 50% of remote workers in Australia and New Zealand are likely to move to a new location because they can now work remotely (versus 46% globally).


“The world is on the brink of a disruption as great as last year’s sudden shift to remote work: the move to hybrid — a blended model where some employees return to the workplace and others continue to work from home,” says Rosalind Quek, General Manager, Modern Workplace, Microsoft Asia. “Adapting to this new hybrid model will require rethinking of long-held assumptions.”


Microsoft highlighted seven global work trends, citing its research. These include:

1.     Flexible work is here to stay: 73% of workers surveyed want flexible remote work options to continue, while at the same time, 67% are craving more in-person time with their teams. 

2.     Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call: Research shows that 61% of leaders say they are thriving right now – 23% higher than those without decision-making power.

3.     High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce: 54% feel overworked while 39% feel exhausted.

4.     Generation Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized: 60% of this generation, those between the ages of 18 and 25, say they are merely surviving or flat-out struggling.

5.     Shrinking networks are endangering innovation: Aggregate trends across billions of Microsoft Teams meetings and Outlook emails show interactions with our broader networks diminished with the move to remote work.

6.     Authenticity will spur productivity and well-being: Co-workers leaned on each other in new ways to get through the last year. 17% say they have cried with a colleague, especially those in healthcare (23%), travel and tourism (21%), and education (20%).

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