The pandemic forced businesses around the world to allow their employees to work from home (opens in new tab) and while some companies such as Twitter will allow their staff to continue to do so permanently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (opens in new tab) is well aware of the downsides of remote working.
Speaking at The Wall Street Journal's virtual CEO Council Summit (opens in new tab) this week, Nadella shared his thoughts on video conferencing software (opens in new tab), remote working and the fact that online meetings just aren't as engaging as in-person ones. In fact, the Microsoft CEO likened working from home to sleeping at work due to how much of a toll it can take on one's productivity.
Nadella also cited brain studies on the subject of video meetings to highlight how draining they can be, saying: “Thirty minutes into your first video meeting in the morning, because of the concentration one needs to have in video, you are fatigued".
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The benefits of being in the office is another thing Nadella misses as “work happens before meetings, after meetings” while video meetings are more transactional in nature with remote teams just trying to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Remote work fatigue
As employees worldwide worked at home for months, Microsoft continued to improve its video conferencing and online collaboration tool Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) to make video meetings more engaging and increase productivity. The software giant did this by adding a number of new features including tasks, lists, the ability to make phone calls, more participants, virtual backgrounds, virtual commutes (opens in new tab) and more.
With more people working from home than ever before, the line that separates work life from home life has become increasingly blurry. In his talk at the CEO Council Summit, Nadella explained how the pandemic has taught him about the value of transitions between work and personal activities, saying:
“If that is the case, how do you have the transition? Do you actually have dinner with the family, or are you booked for one more meeting? In some sense it requires even more attention personally to your schedule so that you really do book in those moments of transition.”
Another issue that Nadella sees with remote working is that the onboarding process becomes a lot more difficult when new employees are working from home.
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Via Bloomberg (opens in new tab)