Working Hard or Hardly Working?

by Business Centric Technology (BCT) on October 7, 2022 in Ask a Recruiter, Business Trends, Dallas IT Recruiting, Uncategorized


A recent Microsoft article points to ways hybrid working scenarios have led to mistrust in worker productivity and leadership’s ability to track impact over “productivity theater.” Three main themes emerged from their research, shared below. You can see the full article here.

Productivity Paranoia

According to the article, “…85% of leaders say that the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive. And 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.” 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…Many leaders and managers are missing the old visual cues of what it means to be productive because they can’t “see” who is hard at work by walking down the hall or past the conference room. Indeed, compared to in-person managers, hybrid managers are more likely to say they struggle to trust their employees to do their best work (49% vs. 36%) and report that they have less visibility into the work their employees do (54% vs. 38%). And as employees feel the pressure to “prove” they’re working, digital overwhelm is soaring.” Is there a way out? Perhaps. The article continues, “Productivity paranoia risks making hybrid work unsustainable. Leaders need to pivot from worrying about whether their people are working enough to helping them focus on the work that’s most important.”

It’s Made of People

Believe it or not, hybrid work has people missing Larry’s boring fishing stories and how loud Mary chews her lunch. From the article, “The return to the office has been a struggle at many organizations—with some employers rolling back plans after one-size-fits-all policies failed to generate a great return. So how can leaders inspire people to prioritize in-person time together? The data shows that people come in for each other to recapture what they miss: the social connection of being with other people. In other words: rebuilding social capital can be a powerful lever for bringing people back to the office…While 82% of business decision makers say getting employees back to the office in person is a concern in the coming year, the fact is that people now expect flexibility and autonomy around how, when, and where they work. Policy alone will not reverse this reality: 73% of employees and 78% of business decision makers say they need a better reason to go in than just company expectations. While a less certain job market may motivate some employees to spend more time in the office, a more lasting, effective approach requires concerted efforts to rebuild social capital. Organizations that fail to use in-person time to rebuild and strengthen team bonds may risk losing out on attracting and retaining top talent.”

Fall in Love Again

Employees that make it back to the office may hear a lot more “Bring it in!” for a group hug to congratulate impact than ever before. The article concludes, “Amid macroeconomic headwinds, now is the time for every organization to re-recruit, re-onboard, and re-energize employees. And the data shows if people can’t learn and grow, they’ll leave. As employees embrace a new “worth-it” equation, they’re increasingly turning to job-hopping, the creator economy, side hustles, and entrepreneurship to achieve their career goals. And in a still-tight labor market, leaders who were hoping for the tide to turn have so far been disappointed. Rather than ignore or fight these trends, the best leaders will prioritize learning and development to help both people and the business grow…Across the workforce, employees are hungry for growth opportunities: 56% of employees and 68% of business decision makers say there are not enough growth opportunities in their company to make them want to stay long term. And many employees believe that learning requires leaving: 55% say the best way for them to develop their skills is to change companies. That sentiment increases as people rise through the ranks at their company, climbing from 51% among lower- and entry-level workers to 66% among upper- and mid-level managers, and 69% among executives. Making it easier for employees to find their next growth opportunity inside the company seems obvious, but the data shows organizations aren’t prioritizing internal mobility enough.” 

Where To From Here?

The workforce is changing faster than the employment surveys can assess. As new trends spring up, only slightly older ones are fading. Companies must stay attractive across all movements and workforce generations to keep up with high employee liquidity. Perhaps it begins with giving people a place to grow their lives and not just their careers. 

Trent Lyons is a Technical Recruitment Lead at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Trent, who specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career, contact us today.