Microsoft CEO doesn’t want employees spied on when working from home

angry woman on video conferencing call
(Image credit: / Antonio Guillem)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has urged companies not to spy on their staff who are working from home, despite a recent report that claims bosses are less trusting of their employees who do so.

The company's report indicates that 85% of leaders find it “challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive”, despite a huge 153% increase in Microsoft Teams meetings since before the pandemic. 

Almost the same amount of workers (87%) believe they are more productive when working from home, and even report cases of feeling burnt out. Virtual meeting declines have increased by 84% over the past two or so years, while tentative RSVP reponses have increased a considerable 216%, as bosses are turning to regular check-ins to monitor their teams’ performance.

Monitoring staff with Microsoft Viva

"We have to get past what we describe as 'productivity paranoia', because all of the data we have that shows that 80% plus of the individual people feel they're very productive - except their management thinks that they're not productive," Nadella told the BBC.

Microsoft VP Jared Spataro added to Bloomberg, “there’s a growing debate about employee surveillance, and [the company has] a really strong stance - we just think that’s wrong."

“We don’t think that employers should be surveilling and taking note of the activity of keystrokes and mouse clicks and those types of things because, in so many ways, we feel like that’s measuring heat rather than outcome.”

There’s plenty of staff monitoring software out there, but Microsoft thinks it can offer something different that encourages workers to prioritize their goals.

Its Viva platform, which is accessed by 10 million active monthly users, has just had a major upgrade, offering even more valuable tools, including the introduction of Viva Pulse which is designed to facilitate feedback between company staff.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!