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Satya Nadella: Don’t Spy on Employees to Ensure They’re Working

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More than two years after remote work and hybrid jobs became widespread, there's still a stark divide over how it's going: About 85% of managers worry they can't tell if employees are getting enough done, while 87% of workers say their productivity is just fine.

That was the finding of a survey on corporate attitudes by Microsoft Corp., the workplace software giant and owner of LinkedIn.

Managers' fears about idle workers are creating what Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella calls “productivity paranoia,” with undesirable results—like spying on employees. “Leaders think their employees are not productive, whereas employees think they are being productive and in many cases even feel burnt out,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “One of the most important things for us in this new world of work and hybrid work is to bridge this paradox.” Microsoft has been surveying global employees in a variety of industries a few times a year during the pandemic—the latest data polled 20,000 people in 11 countries—aiming to track trends and adjust its technology to fit the needs of customers.

The data has continually showed a disconnect between managers and the rank and file, and Microsoft has been offering tools like its Viva employee experience software to bridge the gap.

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