Americans appear to have adapted to remote work exceptionally well during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent national survey from Chubb found not only that productivity was up among those working from home, but nearly three-quarters of workers say they want to continue working remotely more frequently than they did before the shutdowns began.
One company — Microsoft — decided to take a deep dive into how its employees were handling the myriad of changes related to working from home, the results of which they shared with the Harvard Business Review in its seven-part series, “The New Reality of WFH.”
Natalie Singer-Velush, Kevin Sherman and Erik Anderson write about launching “an experiment to measure how the work patterns across our group were changing, using Workplace Analytics, which measures everyday work in Microsoft 365, and anonymous sentiment surveys.”
They explain: “We didn’t know what we’d find, but we felt certain that it would help us, our partners, our customers, and other organizations navigate the phases of this shift.”
So what did they find? First and foremost: The 30-minute meeting.
The authors write that the transition to shorter meetings happened organically, without a mandate from above, and the change was welcomed.
Suddenly they found themselves asking questions about the previously accepted concept of the hour-long meeting: “Does it really need to be that long? Is this a wise use of everyone’s time?”