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'Work from home feels like sleeping at work': Satya Nadella on downside of WFH

BusinessToday.In     October 7, 2020

If you believe that since work from home started, your work-life has continued to sneak into your personal hours, then perhaps you are not alone. Most people are experiencing the same, including Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. The Microsoft chief, having worked from home for the past few months, is realising the downside of being away from office for so long.

At the Wall Street Journal CEO Council on Tuesday, Nadella said that online meetings can make employees tired as well as make the transition from work to private life hard. "When you are working from home, it sometimes feels like you are sleeping at work," he added, as mentioned in a report in Bloomberg.

He cited brain studies and said that virtual meetings can be particularly enervating. He said that 30 minutes into a video meeting can leave one fatigued because of the concentration required.

Nadella highlighted the benefits of office that seem to not impact remote work. "Video meetings are more transactional. Work happens before meetings, after meetings," he said.

The Microsoft CEO also spoke about the learnings from the pandemic. He said it taught him to value transitions between work and personal activities. "I am learning more about transitions. So how do you transition? Do you have dinner with the family?," he said further adding that he has started paying more attention to his schedule.

He also highlighted the challenges of hiring employees amid the lockdown. He said it is important to on-board employees successfully. "Learning, re-skilling, upskilling is going to become a huge issue," he said.

The company recently launched a feature, 'virtual commute'. This solution would remind one to transition between work and personal life. It is not as much of a physical commute, as it is a mental one. "We may not miss that hour of traffic bookending our days, but studies from Microsoft Research shows that commutes can serve as meaningful transitions at the beginning and end of the workday -- and that the reflection we do during that time can increase productivity by 12-15 per cent. Available in the first half of 2021, new features in Teams will make it seamless to structure your day by scheduling a virtual commute that helps you have a productive start in the morning and mindfully disconnect in the evening," it said during the launch.

Also read: Burnt out with work from home? This software will make life easy

Also read: Coronavirus effect: Microsoft trims around 1,000 jobs as it enters new fiscal year

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