Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella warned that employee well-being could suffer from an ever-expanding workday that often now creeps well into the night.
A recent Microsoft survey had shown that productivity is at its peak before and after lunch. However, the remote working model has brought with it a "third peak" of productivity which occurs late in the evening.
Nadella was speaking at the Wharton Future of Work Conference. He emphasised that managers need to put in place clear rules and expectations for their employees so they're not forced to answer emails late at night. Nadella added that he himself is learning every day to refrain from sending emails during the weekend, reports Bloomberg.
"We think about productivity through collaboration and output metrics, but well-being is one of the most important pieces of productivity," Nadella said at the conference. "We know what stress does to workers. We need to learn soft skills, good old-fashioned management practices, so people have their well-being taken care of. I can set that expectation, that our people can get an email from the CEO on the weekend and not feel that they have to respond," the Microsoft CEO added.
The above-mentioned study had also shown that around 30 per cent of Microsoft employees experienced "peaks" of productivity in the morning, afternoon, and, to a lesser extent, at around 10 pm.
The Microsoft story also revealed that since the beginning of the pandemic the average workday has expanded by 46 minutes, or 13 per cent. It also showed that time spent on after-hours work is growing significantly, at 28 per cent.
Nadella also revealed that Microsoft onboarded around 50,000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CEO highlighted that the firm found workers, mostly in the technology sector, have been demanding more flexibility in where and when they work. This is probably why many employees across the world don't want to return to the office model of work.