HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Here are 2021's hybrid work trends you need to know

The work-from-home setup is unlikely to be going away just yet.

The flexible work setup that allowed businesses to continue operations despite restrictions is likely to remain in place this year, as 66% of workers prefer the remote work options.

In its first global Work Trend Index research, Microsoft found 53% of Hong Kong employees are looking at relocating to areas away from urban centers; whilst 65% of business leaders plan to redesign their office space for hybrid work.

“Hong Kong businesses have displayed remarkable resilience in the face of sustained and significant disruption from Covid-19, but they have not stood still as the 2021 Work Trend Index highlights the proactive mindset of leaders and workers to embrace the hybrid work evolution as an opportunity for positive change,” Cally Chan, General Manager for Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau, said.

Aside from the strong preference for the flexible work setup, the research also flagged that leaders are in “need of a wake-up call” as leaders are becoming out of touch with employees.

“Now more than ever, people are expecting their employers and leaders to empathize with their unique challenges – business leaders take note,” the survey recommended.

Meanwhile, 46% of workers have experienced decreased interactions with their co-workers, which business leaders should address to foster social capital and cross-team collaborations.

Despite this seeming distance amongst employees, the survey also found a percentage of workers who have shared personal interactions with their colleagues in the past year.

A total of 12% have cried with a colleague, whilst others virtually met their colleagues’ pets (21%) or families (23%).

“These increased interactions have led to 40% of workers in Hong Kong feeling like they can be their full authentic selves at work this year,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft also found the high productivity exhibited in the hybrid setup hides the exhaustion of the workforce.

Some 46% of the Hong Kong employees have relayed feeling overworked or exhausted as the shift to a digital venue paved way for more meetings and office-related chats.

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