'Productivity paranoia' creates strain in hybrid workplace relationships

Despite employees working more in a hybrid work environment, the majority of employers question if their employees are being productive, a new Microsoft survey says. 

The survey results resulted in what Microsoft called "productivity paranoia."

"Leaders fear that lost productivity is due to employees not working, even though hours worked, number of meetings and other activity metrics have increased," Microsoft said in the report on its survey results.

The survey received responses from 20,000 respondents across 11 countries including the U.S., China, India and the U.K. The survey found that 85 percent of leaders said it is difficult to have confidence in their employees' productivity in a hybrid workplace. Only 12 percent said they had full confidence in their team's productivity. 

In addition to the poll, Microsoft analyzed data to see if there was a reason for the concern but found employees were working more than ever before, finding that the average Microsoft Teams user reported attending 153 percent more meetings than before the pandemic. 

"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,'" Microsoft said in the report. 

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