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Study reveals new trends workplaces must embrace

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Latest findings from the first-yearly ‘Work Trend Index’ by Microsoft Corporation have uncovered seven hybrid work trends every business leader needs to know as the new era of work unfolds.
  
The report, titled: ‘The next great disruption is hybrid work – Are we ready?’ indicates that business leaders should resist the urge to see hybrid work like business as usual. It will require the rethinking of long-held assumptions.

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The findings suggest that 2020 has fundamentally changed the nature of work including time spent in meetings has more than doubled globally and over 40 billion more emails were delivered in the month of February of this year compared to last.
 
It also revealed that work has become more human. Nearly 40 per cent say they feel more comfortable bringing their full selves to work than before the pandemic and one in six have cried with a colleague this year.
   
To help organisations through the transition, the 2021 Work Trend Index outlines findings from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and analyses trillions of aggregate productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn. It also includes perspectives from experts who have studied collaboration, social capital, and space design at work for decades.  
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Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, Jared Spataro, said the choices business leaders make today will impact their organisation for years to come. It is a moment that requires a clear vision and a growth mindset.
 
According to Spataro these decisions will impact everything from how businesses shape culture, to how they attract and retain talent, to how they can better foster collaboration and innovation. 
  
Even with collaboration trends in Microsoft Teams and Outlook suggest the networks have contracted but hybrid work will revive them.   It also shows that 73 per cent of workers surveyed want flexible remote work options to continue.
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Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times during the pandemic, with over 40 per cent of the global workforce considering leaving their employer this year and 46 per cent are planning to move now that they can work remotely.
  
In short, the report reveals that addressing flexible work will impact who stays, who goes, and who joins a company.
 
Chief Economist, LinkedIn, Karin Kimbrough, said: “During this pandemic, we have observed a swift acceleration of certain pre-COVID trends. But perhaps one of the most exciting trends is this rise in remote work.
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“As the opportunity is democratised with remote work and talent movement, we’ll see a spread of skills across the country and this is the time for business leaders to take the opportunity to access to different skills and talent not previously available to them,” Kimbrough added.

Besides, the report uncovers seven hybrid work trends every business leader needs to know as the new era of work unfolds to include the sustenance of flexible work as leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call.  
 
It also indicates that high productivity is masking an exhausted workforce while Generation Z is at risk and will need to be re-energized with shrinking networks becoming endangering innovation.

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It noted that authenticity will spur productivity and wellbeing while talent is everywhere in a hybrid work world.  
 
In addition to uncovering what is at stake with the future of work, the Work Trend Index identifies five strategies for business leaders as they begin to make the necessary shift in creating plans to empower people for extreme flexibility.
    
Investing in space and technology to bridge the physical and digital worlds while combating digital exhaustion from the top.
    
Prioritise rebuilding social capital and culture, while also rethinking employee experience to compete for the best and most diverse talent.  

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