The pandemic caused by the coronavirus has forced the world to adapt to the new normal, and organizations around the world have transitioned to working from home settings. Although this allows people to work in a safe and comfortable home, a study shows that there are quite a few pitfalls in remote work. To determine its impact and long-term consequences, a substantive study was conducted that involved data from 61,182 Microsoft employees in the United States. It turns out that during the pandemic, the average weekly working hours of the tech giant’s employees increased significantly.
The research, published in the journal Natural Human Behavior, is due to the fact that before the COVID-19 pandemic, only nearly 5% of Americans were working from home, and by April 2020, this number jumped to 37%.
The results of the study show that remote work within Microsoft’s company “results in the employee’s collaboration network becoming more static and isolated.” The study adds that remote settings lead to “less bridges between different parts” and explain the synchronization between employees Communication is reduced.
The study explained: “In general, these effects may make it more difficult for employees to access and share new information online.”
However, the study also pointed out that due to the transition to remote work, an average weekly increase of 10% does not necessarily mean that employees work longer. Researchers say this may also indicate a decline in productivity.
“The increase in working hours per week may indicate that employees are less efficient and need more time to complete their work, or that they are replacing part of their commuting time with working hours,” the study said, adding that they can only measure the time of day. The time between one and the last work activity. The study stated: “It may also be due to breaks or interruptions in non-work activities, and the same working hours are distributed in a larger share of the calendar day.”
According to a Microsoft blog post, the study also shows that remote work has reduced the amount of time employees spend on collaboration across group connections by approximately 25%. It also caused Microsoft’s organizational structure to become “lack of vitality.”
To reach the above conclusions, the study examined data for the first six months of 2020, which included Microsoft employees’ emails, calendars, instant messages, video/audio calls, and weekly working hours.