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Employee and employer: Shaping the future of work

September 22, 2022  |  Corey Butler

Employee and employer: Shaping the future of work Let me share something that you’ve either heard or, more likely, have experienced: Today’s workers are not the same ones who went home in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that the obvious has been stated, what are you doing to address this fast-changing challenge, both for employees and employers?

Recently, Ankur Abrol of Microsoft, in a webinar sponsored by Dell Technologies, an MNCPA partner, talked about trends seen in our world as it applies to the future of work in the new digital age.

A key takeaway?

“Employees are choosing how to spend their time,” he said.

There will always be a debate about where the “power” lies in the relationship, with the perception being that it was an employer market for a long time, and the pandemic transitioned a lot of that power to the employee. The world opened up, remote jobs increased, and the ability to apply and get hired was never easier. Some experts believe the pendulum is swinging back in favor of employers setting the guidelines for the relationships now that the world is settling on its “new normal” and concerns over economic retraction linger.

But Abrol believes the dynamic isn’t that simple.

For starters, there’s a hybrid paradox: 73% of people want flexible remote options to stay, but 67% want more in-person work or collaboration post-pandemic, according to a Microsoft Work Trend Index survey of 30,000 people across 31 countries. It’s going to be hard to please everyone.

As for the “Great Resignation,” “Great Reshuffle” or “quiet quitting,” the cute phrase of the moment, there is change in the air. More than 40% of employees are considering leaving their current employer, and 46% of employees are planning a major career transition.

Other takeaways from Abrol’s presentation and the survey:

Employees have a new “worth it” equation.
  • 53% of employees are more likely to prioritize health/well-being over work than before the pandemic.
  • 18% of respondents left their jobs last year.
  • 52% of millennials and Gen Z employees are considering an employer change in the year ahead.
Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations.
  • 50% of leaders say their company is planning full-time in-person work in a year ahead.
  • 54% of managers feel leadership is out of touch with employee expectations.
  • 74% of leaders say they don’t have the influence or resources to drive change for employees.
Leaders must make the office worth the commute.
  • 51% of hybrid workers are considering going remote in the year ahead.
  • 38% of hybrid workers say their greatest challenge is knowing when/why to come to the office.
  • 28% of companies have created team agreements for team norms on hybrid work.
Flexibility doesn’t have to mean you’re always on.
  • 64% of Teams meetings are unscheduled or ad hoc; 60% are less than 15 minutes.
  • 44% fewer overlapping meetings for the average Teams user since March 2020.
  • 10% increase in PTO blocks on average Team users’ calendars since March 2020.
  • 252% increase in weekly meeting time for average Teams user since March 2020.
    • Abrol: “These numbers are staggering.”
  • 28% of after-hours work increased.
  • 14% of weekend work increased.
Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world.
  • 58% of hybrid workers report thriving relationships with immediate teams.
  • 50% of remote workers report thriving relationships with immediate teams.
  • 56% of newly onboarded employees likely to consider changing jobs within a year.
    • Abrol: “This is particularly challenging for all our new hires.”
Abrol said it’s incumbent for organizational leaders to address these pressing issues around work-life balance and how employees spend their time — and where and when they do it.

“It’s a rising tide,” he said of growing worker concern. “It’s not sustainable.”

Like free CPE?

If you were one of the 225 members who sat in on this free webinar, congrats on engaging with the topic, and for earning 1 free CPE credit! The MNCPA has a lot of planned free CPE options for members, with the next few months being particularly busy. Be sure to check out the free CPE page to see if there are events that interest you.

Topics: Economy, Leadership, Staffing, Workplace Trends, Work-Life Balance, Technology

Corey Butler

Corey Butler is the MNCPA communications manager, working to enhance the professional reputations of members through content, media relations and public affairs. He's been with the MNCPA since 2013. Corey keeps busy outside of the MNCPA spending time with his wife and children, serving on his local school board, volunteering in his community and catching up on long-lost hobbies. Corey enjoys the works of John Steinbeck and Rankin/Bass Productions, and Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood and Santa Claus lore. You may reach him at 952-885-5530 or

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