In the last four months, work has changed dramatically, but will these changes persist in the future?
Microsoft produced the second Work Trend Index (Work Trend Index) in which they explore this idea by combining the perspectives from three sources of information: trends in the use of their Teams tool, the results of a Harris Poll survey of more than 2,000 remote workers in six countries and the conclusions of more than 30 research projects carried out at Microsoft, seeking to learn about the experience of remote workers through surveys, interviews, day-to-day studies, focus groups, and studies of the human brain.
Microsoft's goal is to uncover both the good and bad aspects of telework in order to accelerate developing products in the right areas, predicting how work will change in the future, and helping your clients thrive in this new world of work . Among the main findings are that distance collaboration is more difficult, but returning to face-to-face work can be just as difficult.
In addition, in one study the research team asked 13 teams of two people performing similar tasks together: once in person and once remotely, while their changes in brain waves were monitored through a device.
Specifically, the brain wave patterns associated with stress and Excessive work was much higher in distance collaboration than in person collaboration.
However, they also discovered something unexpected: if the pair worked remotely first, their brain waves suggested that it was more difficult for them to work together later. person on the second task.
The study provided two important insights: In a world that is increasingly migrating to telecommuting, people find q e distance collaboration is mentally more difficult, but also, as they return to more frequent face-to-face work as the pandemic lessens, they may feel that such work is more difficult than before Covid-19.
A second study found that the brain wave markers associated with excessive work and stress are significantly higher in video calls than in non-meeting related work, such as writing emails.
Also, due to high levels of sustained concentration, fatigue begins to be felt 30-40 minutes after the meeting.
With days full of video calls, stress begins to be felt just two hours after the start of the day.
The study suggests several factors that cause this video call fatigue: having to continually focus on the screen to capture relevant information and stay participatory; fewer non-verbal cues, which help to perceive the atmosphere of the room or to know whose turn it is to speak and share the screen with a very reduced view of the people with whom they are interacting.
To help solve these problems Through its technology, Microsoft released a series of Teams updates designed to create a more humane connection between people and reduce fatigue from video calls: Together mode and Dynamic view.
More than half of parents who Participating in the survey (54%) state that it has been difficult to balance the demands of the home while doing remote work.
This burden was heaviest for millennials as well as for newcomers to the workforce, Generation Z.
This may be because this group is more likely to have to care for young children or to share workspaces with roommates while working full time.
Ear care for children with telework is temporary, it could change our relationship with our coworkers in the long term.
62% of the people surveyed say they feel more empathy towards their colleagues now that they have a better perspective of home life.
This sentiment was especially high in China and Mexico, where 91% and 65% of survey participants felt more empathy, respectively.
Microsoft studies indicate that work it will consist of an optimal combination of face-to-face and distance collaboration.
82% of managers surveyed expect more flexible teleworking policies after the pandemic.
Furthermore, 71% of employees and managers stated the desire to continue working from home at least part of the time.
Still, investigations revealed several discomforts related to teleworking. Almost 60% of the people surveyed feel further removed from their colleagues since they work remotely more frequently.
In China, this figure skyrocketed to 70%.
Also, only 35% of the participants they have space exclusively for remote working.
Therefore, it is not surprising that distractions, connectivity problems and the lack of ergonomic work environments have been identified as some of the main annoyances related to teleworking.  This indicates that, although the future of work will be more distant than ever, space in physical offices will continue to be a fundamental part of the future of work.