Microsoft research shows the ideal scenario for professional prosperity

Instead of measuring employee engagement, Microsoft decided to measure prosperity — and found that it can increase when there are fewer hours at work.

The results showed that, in the opinion of employees, the ideal would be to work five hours less per week and disconnect a little from others

It's common to hear that engaged and super collaborative employees are the most productive and happy. It will be? Based on data from its employee satisfaction surveys, Microsoft brings a provocation: instead of encouraging and measuring engagement, how about measuring how energized and empowered a person feels to do meaningful work?

Your People Analytics team (or data analysis about the company's employees) used to carry out an annual survey to monitor employee engagement. “Often, even though engagement scores indicated things were going well, it became clear that employees were struggling when we dug deeper into the responses,” write Dawn Klinghoffer and Elizabeth McCune of the People Analytics team in a article published in Harvard Business Review

This led those responsible for the research to change the parameters to understand which points were important to improve employees' experience at work. Microsoft then started doing a shorter survey, every six months, and raised the bar. Instead of just evaluating engagement, it started to question workers' satisfaction on five other points: pay, benefits, people, pride and purpose, a theory adapted by Chief People Officer, Kathleen Hogan

You listening systems have been recalibrated to measure people’s progress toward their purpose and ability to do meaningful work. And this became the central aspiration in people development.

Less interaction = more happiness?

In early 2022, Microsoft received the first results of this new research. The average prosperity score was 77 points, a number considered satisfactory by the company, but not ideal. The score for meaningful work (79) and training (79) was above this average, while the feeling of energization (73) was below this average.

The data also shows that prosperity and work-life balance can move in opposite directions. A person who is early in their career and feels underutilized in the office may have a great work-life balance from an hours and workload perspective, but not feel energized at work or inspired by its meaning, according to the article.

On the other hand, the authors point out that at times people can thrive and feel so fulfilled by working hard to make a big project work that they allow themselves to make a short-term trade-off in work-life balance.

By combining survey responses and data such as (anonymous) calendar and email metadata, Microsoft discovered what employees believed was the best of both worlds: working five hours less per week and disconnecting a little of the others. After all, employees felt happier with five fewer hours of collaboration per week, three more hours of focused work, and 17 fewer employees in their network. 

It's not that collaboration is bad; According to Microsoft, moments of teamwork and striving for a common goal can stimulate prosperity, but managers need to be aware that intense collaboration affects work-life balance — and they need to act to protect their teams from this scenario. .

Read too

Best of both worlds: is hybrid work the future?

5 tips for activating deep work mode for focused work

Soft skills: understand why developing interpersonal skills is essential

Changing habits: remote work becomes a national preference

Brazilian children will only develop 54% of their human capital

Was this content useful to you?

Related posts