Microsoft Australia has put forward a challenge to all of its local employees to work from home on today, November 7, calling it a Spring Day Out.
The challenge was put forward by Microsoft Australia managing director, Pip Marlow, in an effort to recognise the evolving nature of the office. This comes ahead of National Teleworking Week, which runs from November 18 to 22.
Microsoft office division lead, Steven Miller, reiterated the importance of work outcome.
“Microsoft Australia employees are having a Spring Day Out to simply show that you don’t have to be tethered to a desk to get your job done,” Miller said. “I lead a division that is dedicated to creating a set of productivity tools that lets our customers get the job done from anywhere and I think it’s important that we walk the talk.”
In a survey conducted for Microsoft, 70 per cent of respondents felt their company didn’t have the technology, tools and culture to embrace a flexible work model.
Of the respondents who did have an option to work flexibly, half felt pressured to go into the office anyway. Two in five workers felt they were in an environment where only senior employees could work from anywhere at any time.
Almost a quarter (24 per cent) said they had their most creative and innovative ideas just before going to sleep, while 15 per cent revealed the shower as their creative hotspot. In contrast, only one in 10 of those polled felt the office was conducive to their creativity.
The survey further revealed that workers believed savings in travel time and the ability to ‘get more done’ as the top reasons for wanting to flexibly work. More than 10 per cent cited getting away from their colleagues as a reason.
Just under 70 per cent elected getting work done at a time that suited them as a top benefit of flexible working while just over 60 per cent felt that working away from the office allowed them to achieve a healthier work/life balance. Over 50 per cent cited reduced commute time and savings on their petrol bill as a top benefit of flexible working.
“Often these debates are looked at through the lens of achieving better work / life balance. Every company has different circumstances and every company needs to work out what’s right for them,” he said. “But the economy and our society is transforming and our workplaces need to be able to transform with it.”
The survey was conducted by Research Now and covered 1011 18-65 year old full-time and part-time employees across Australia.