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Hybrid Work Is Just Work. Are We Doing It Wrong?

In choppy economic waters, new data points to three urgent pivots for leaders to help employees and organizations thrive

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Months into hybrid work, not everyone agrees on how it’s going. Employees and employers are divided. Employees have embraced flexible work and its benefits and are rejecting a return to hustle culture.

At the same time, many leaders yearn for the office life of 2019—hallways abuzz with chatter, coffee overflowing. Add to that what can only be described as one of the strangest recessions the world has ever seen: business leaders must contend with rising inflation, shrinking budgets, and, paradoxically, a talent marketplace that remains incredibly tight.

Now more than ever, it’s the job of every leader to balance employee interests with the success of the organization, aligning everyone around the most impactful work. One thing is clear: “Thriving employees are what will give organizations a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic economic environment,” according to Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, Microsoft. And, creating a culture and employee experience to meet the needs of today’s digitally connected, distributed workforce requires a new approach.

To help, we surveyed 20,000 people in 11 countries and analyzed trillions of Microsoft 365 productivity signals, along with LinkedIn labor trends and Glint People Science findings. The data points to three urgent pivots for leaders to drive alignment and empower people for the new ways we work. Because when employees thrive, organizations flourish.

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