A new study from Berkeley scientists looked deep into remote working arrangements and how it impacted over 61,000 Microsoft employees.
Microsoft’s quick shift to remote working offered more insight for researchers about how this model actually alters the work process, and sheds light on what workers value in the workplace.
The study builds upon previous research that has been conducted about remote working, such as the desire for personal connection in these arrangements.
For instance, being in tune to various parts of the company can help workers create stronger connections to their colleagues, and allow them a deeper understanding of the workflow of other team members.
Additionally, the study revealed that remote workers spend 25% less time collaborating with colleagues, solidifying the assumption that collaboration can be more difficult when operating remotely. Even more, the amount of time spent in meetings decreased by around 5% due to remote working.
“Measuring the causal effects of remote work has historically been difficult because only certain types of workers were allowed to work away from the office,” said Professor David Holtz, who co-wrote the paper with Microsoft colleagues Longqi Yang, Sonia Jaffe, Siddharth Suri, and others. “That changed during the pandemic, when almost everyone who could work from home was required to do so. The work-from-home mandate created a unique opportunity to identify the effects of company-wide remote work on how information workers communicate and collaborate.”