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Microsoft survey: 31pc of Irish hybrid workers struggle to disconnect

8 Apr 2022

In a Microsoft Ireland survey, nearly half of workers said it was harder to build trust with colleagues in a remote or hybrid environment.

Almost a third of Irish hybrid workers are struggling to disconnect from work and one-quarter feel demotivated or uninspired. That’s according to the results of Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index focusing on the Irish market.

The report also found that poor company culture and its negative impact on mental health were among the top reasons Irish workers left their roles in 2021.

Microsoft Ireland surveyed more than 600 workers across Ireland as part of its wider global 2022 Work Trend Index study. That index involved 31,000 technology and healthcare workers in 31 countries.

Among the more than 600 Ireland-based workers surveyed, respondents said they place the most value on positive work culture (59pc), followed by flexible working hours (50pc) and benefits that promote positive health and wellbeing (43pc).

But the survey revealed an ongoing challenge to disconnect from work among 31pc of Irish hybrid workers. More than a quarter (26pc) said they struggled to stay motivated and inspired, while 23pc are feeling alienated from the company culture and senior leadership.

There were other difficulties raised in relation to hybrid working, with 44pc saying they felt it was harder to build trust with colleagues in a remote or hybrid environment, 37pc saying that their team culture had deteriorated, and 36pc saying that they felt lonelier.

There was some positive news, however. One-third of workers said they felt more included in meetings held via online platforms as they had more ways of being heard.

Some Irish workers want remote and hybrid opportunities and may change jobs if their employer’s culture is not to their liking.

In the survey, 14pc of Irish workers said changed jobs over the last year compared to a global average of 18pc. More than 40pc of the Irish respondents who changed jobs cited culture and negative impacts on their mental health as the main reasons for leaving their roles.

New remote opportunities and a lack of flexible working opportunities also led to workers leaving their employers in Ireland in 2021. Almost 40pc said they are thinking of changing jobs in 2022.

Many Irish workers are focusing on their own wellbeing and mental health in the months ahead. More than 60pc of respondents said they would more than likely prioritise their personal and family life, as well as their health and wellbeing, over work.

“The next 12 months is a pivotal time for many leaders as we try to determine how to transform our workplaces and best meet the needs of our employees after such a dramatic change in ways of working,” said Anne Sheehan, general manager of Microsoft Ireland.

“It is clear from our findings that the shift to a hybrid workplace begins with culture – one that embraces a growth mindset and a willingness to reimagine nearly every aspect of the way work gets done. Every employee will need to develop new skills to adapt to this new way of working, and with the right support and tools, hybrid work can unlock the potential for a workplace that works for everyone.”

Microsoft has long been an advocate of the hybrid work model, with CEO Satya Nadella earmarking it as a key trend for the future back in September 2021.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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