Microsoft CEO concerned about consequences of remote-work setup in the long run

indica News Bureau-

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, points out the loss of monitoring of soft skills and personal connection with employees as consequences of permanent remote-work set-up, expressing his concern with the coronavirus pandemic spreading like wild-fire.

Nadella who earlier shared some practical tips to work-from-home, is still concerned about the changes to work that the coronavirus crisis is forcing. Nadella spoke with the staff of the New York Times this week about the challenges he’s navigating as Microsoft’s leader.

NYT wrote, Nadella sees the world going through three phases during the pandemic. The first is simply responding to the immediate impact through office closures, cost cuts and the like. Then comes recovery, which is already underway in many places, and will be more like a “dial” than a “switch.” He said, “There will be lots of movement of the dial, back and forth.”

In the “reimagining” phase, innovations born of necessity during the previous two phases will emerge, like remote control of manufacturing processes, A.I. bots helping diagnose patients and more effective distance-learning technologies.

While the WFH option seems to be working for Microsoft and other major tech giants, Nadella is not necessarily a fan of the remote-work set-up.

“What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you’re able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after,” he said.

Nadella warned about the consequences of embracing telecommuting permanently. “What does burnout look like? What does mental health look like? What does that connectivity and the community building look like? One of the things I feel is, hey, maybe we are burning some of the social capital we built up in this phase where we are all working remote. What’s the measure for that?” he said.

However, not may corporate companies share the same view. Earlier this week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey notified staff that they should feel free to work from home indefinitely if they choose. Salesforce and Zillow will give employees the option to telecommute for the rest of the year.

Microsoft was one of the first companies to shift its tech workforce remotely when the coronavirus hit and will likely continue to pioneer flexible arrangements for employees. But Nadella warned the New York Times that switching to entirely remote offices would be “replacing one dogma with another dogma.”

Microsoft’s evenue jumped 15% in the first quarter of 2020, Microsoft Teams users increased by more than 70% in April, and the company’s stock price is up 14% this year, unlike other MNCs that faced major losses.