The great WFH divide: Staff say they work just as well at home as they do in the office… But guess what? Bosses disagree

  • Microsoft poll found 80 per cent of manages think staff get more done in office 
  • But 87 per cent of employees feel they are just as efficient at home- or more so
  • LinkedIn boss Ryan Roslansky said 15 per cent of jobs involve remote working
  • Workers went into office 1.5 days a week in June and July, according to survey 

Most workers insist they can work productively from home but their bosses overwhelmingly disagree, a survey found.

The Microsoft poll found that 80 per cent of managers think employees get more done in the office.

But 87 per cent of their staff feel they are just as efficient at home – or more so. The technology giant asked more than 20,000 workers across 11 countries their views on working from home.

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella told the BBC: ‘We have to get past what we describe as “productivity paranoia” because all of the data we have that shows that 80 per cent-plus of the individual people feel they’re very productive – except their management thinks that they’re not productive.

‘That means there is a real disconnect in terms of the expectations and what they feel.’

More than 85 per cent of workers feel they are just as efficient at home – or more so

Mr Nadella and Ryan Roslansky, boss of LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned networking site for professionals, said Covid had triggered one of the greatest shifts in work patterns in history.

Mr Roslansky said only 2 per cent of job adverts on LinkedIn involved remote working before the pandemic. That peaked at 20 per cent a few months ago and is now around 15 per cent.

Mr Nadella said the 70,000 workers who joined Microsoft since Covid viewed the company ‘through the lens of the pandemic’. He added: ‘Now when we think about the next phase, you need to re-energise them, re-recruit them, help them form social connections.’ The company typically allows staff to work from home 50 per cent of the time. 

LinkedIn boss Ryan Roslansky (pictured) said 15 per cent of job adverts on LinkedIn now involve remote working, compared to just 2 per cent of job before the pandemic

Firms both big and small are now grappling with how to get workers back into offices. Tesla boss Elon Musk controversially warned his staff: ‘If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned.’

A survey of British workers in June and July revealed that they were going into the office for fewer than 1.5 days a week on average. Attendance in offices remains low despite the Covid alert level being downgraded to two, which means the virus is in general circulation but direct ‘healthcare pressures and transmission are declining or stable’.

Some bosses have suggested that the cost of living crisis may drive people back into offices to avoid the energy costs of working from home.

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