Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of millions around the world are in lockdown measures. Consequently, we are in the stay-at-home era, or more accurately they work-at-home era. Through the crisis, Microsoft has taken the stance if a employee can work from home, they should.
However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says he is concerned working from home could have its own issues. Certainly, it seems the idea that COVID-19 has created a new work culture that will extend beyond the pandemic is not one Nadella shares.
“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,” Nadella in an interview with the New York Times.
In the uncertain times of COVID-19, one suggestion has been old norms will not be necessary. Why go to the cinema if new movies can stream directly to homes? Why go to work if the outbreak has shown your work can be just as effective remotely? Nadella believes the human connection is vital in the workplace.
“What does burnout look like? What does mental health look like? What does that connectivity and the community building look like?” Nadella said. “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?”
Some companies have said their employees can stay remote as long as they want, Twitter among them. Nadella says Microsoft is taking a different approach because staying remote would just be “replacing one dogma with another dogma.”
Earlier this month, Microsoft extended its remote work allowances until October for its United States employees. According to Business Insider, the company has informed employees already working at home that they will continue to do so until October.