While leaders may have misgivings about in-person versus remote work productivity, employees do not. Microsoft's study found that 87% of employees report being productive at work. The rate of double-booked meetings increased by 46% per person in the past year, and 42% of participants multitask during meetings. Yet when managers are unable to walk down the hall and see their employees carrying out these activities, they struggle to believe that their staff are actually engaged and productive.
Compared with in-person managers, hybrid managers are more likely to say that they have difficulty trusting that their employees will do their best work (49% vs. 36%), and these managers report that they have less visibility into the work their employees do (54% vs. 38%). When they lack effective strategies for managing remote employees, many managers resort to installing tracking software on their employees' devices to monitor their remote work productivity.
As Harvard Business Review points out, this approach pits employees and managers against one another and undermines the trust necessary for robust workplace collaboration. It's also an ineffective way to measure or manage remote work productivity.
"Research shows that business leaders are considering a number of solutions, including: “Increased investments in best-of-breed solutions (73%), remote-working hardware (71%), and best-of-suite solutions (68%) are top of mind; however, these investments need to cater to a diverse range of work styles regardless of location,” according to a white paper by Omdia.