Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM Careers

Microsoft Analyzed Data on Its Newly Remote Workforce


View as: Print Mobile App Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
a Microsoft office building

Microsoft employees found new touchpoints ranging from group lunches to happy hours with themes such as "pajama day" and "meet my pet."

Credit: Coolcaesar

Microsoft began a study of remote work four months ago when the pandemic prompted work-from-home practices. "We wanted to study how flexible and adaptable [work] might or might not be, how collaboration and networks morph in remote settings, what agility looks like in different spaces," say members of the company's Workplace Insights, Workplace Analytics, and workplace intelligence teams.

The experiment measured how work patterns across the groups were changing, and included anonymous sentiment surveys. "We looked weekly at areas such as work-life balance and collaboration by analyzing aggregated, de-identified email, calendar, and IM metadata; comparing it with metadata from a prior time period; and inviting colleagues to share their thoughts and feelings," the researchers say.

Among their findings:

  • Workdays are lengthening. Employees said they were carving out pockets of personal time to care for children, grab some fresh air or exercise, and walk the dog. To accommodate these breaks, people were likely signing into work earlier and signing off later.
  • Meetings are getting shorter. The total time for meetings each week increased by 10% overall, and individual meetings actually shrank in duration. Workers had 22% more meetings of 30 minutes or less and 11% fewer meetings of more than one hour.

From Harvard Business Review
View Full Article


 

No entries found

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account