93% of leaders in India say getting employees back to the office in-person is a concern, according to a survey by Microsoft.

The India findings of the 2022 Work Trend Index Pulse Report showed that people are most likely to come in for each other than any other reason. 80% of employees in India say they need a better reason to go into the office besides company expectations, but they would be motivated to go for other reasons.

91% of employees in India would be motivated by the promise of socialising with co-workers and 92% by the prospect of rebuilding team bonds, the survey shows, adding that there is a “deep human need to connect with the people we associate with, and that spending time together can help us build stronger relationships, which are key to doing our best work.”

93% of employees in India report they are productive at work, but 91% of leaders on the other hand say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence in employees being productive. This hyper focus on productivity is impacting health and wellbeing, the report says.

47% of employees and 58% of leaders in India report that they’re already burnt out at work, the survey shows. “It’s imperative that leaders need to create clarity and alignment around company goals, eliminate busywork that doesn’t support those goals and listen to their people. However, the data shows that only 44% of companies rarely, if ever, collect employee feedback. Only 56% of employees in India can confidently say that their company solicits employee feedback at least once a year. This means that just under half of the companies in India hear about their employees’ experiences at work,” it adds.

60% of employees in India say there are not enough growth opportunities in their company to stay long term, says the report. “The findings make it clear that if people can’t learn, they leave. 90% percent of employees in India (versus a global average of 76%) say that they’d stay at their company longer if they could benefit more from learning and development opportunities, revealing a powerful retention tool,” it adds.

Currently 66% of employees in India say the best way to develop their skills is to change companies. However, 84% of Gen Z and Millennial employees say they would stay longer at their company if it was easier to change jobs internally.

Thriving employees are what will give organisations a competitive advantage in today’s ever evolving economic environment, says Bhaskar Basu, country head – Modern Work, Microsoft India. To bridge this gap, a new approach is needed that recognises work is no longer just a place, but an experience that needs to keep employees engaged and connected, no matter where they are working from, Basu adds.

The data makes clear that hybrid work has created a growing disconnect between employees and leaders, the report says, adding that they’re at odds about what constitutes productivity, how to maintain autonomy while ensuring accountability, the benefits of flexibility and the role of the office.

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