The Best Way To Bridge A Paradox 'Is Not To Have More Dogma, But More Data'

Satya Nadella
CEO of Microsoft

The COVID-19 pandemic is over for most countries around the world, but the trend of remote working the pandemic inherited, continues.

Companies around the world are trying to make their employees to return to work. But the years of remote working have pampered many of their employees that many are reluctant to return to the office.

In some cases, companies are even losing their employees because workers would rather quit their jobs than to return to the office five days a week

Microsoft is the tech giant, considered among the biggest the world has ever seen. The company also deals with this kind of problem, that it had to make a survey to find that employers and employees still disagree over whether remote work boosts or kills productivity.

CEO Satya Nadella has something to share about the "paradox" of hybrid working, and said that companies should consult the data to determine workers' performance, rather than assume they're getting more work done in the office.

Satya Nadella

In an interview with Yahoo! Finance’s All Markets Summit, he said that:

"I think the best way to bridge the paradox is not to have more dogma, but more data. Instead of this being some kind of argument, let the data really help us move forward."

"There's a structural change and everyone's exercising that flexibility that they had during the pandemic now in the post-pandemic world.”

According to him, employees and their bosses/managers continue to disagree over their respective at-home productivity levels.

And because the world is already allowing remote working to happen, many employers became paranoid.

This is why many employers are doubling down on tracking their remote workers, to gather data on productivity metrics, like how long they're logged in, to the length of time needed for individual keystrokes.

Nadella is against this.

Rather than monitoring, Nadella encourages leaders to get back to basics, and that is by setting clear business goals.

"I think the way to manage that would be to really make sure that you're very clear as leaders and managers about what the goals of the company or the team are, setting the norms for how people collaborate, and communicate."

Nadella said that based on his company's Work Work Trends Study, which surveyed 20,000 people across 11 countries, and found that 87% of employees said they’re more productive remotely or with a mix of in-office and remote work. Conversely, 85% of leaders said hybrid work makes it difficult to determine if their workers are being productive.

Despite the reality that many people prefer to work from home, some businesses don't have faith in workers' productivity unless they're at their office desks.

Microsoft refers to that scenario as "productivity paranoia."

To address this discrepancy, Nadella says leaders need to set clear corporate goals.

This is why Nadella's hybrid work policy is allowing workers to work remotely up to 50% of the time. After that they need to request approval from their managers.

In the end, the argument, Nadella said, should only based on real data.