Two out of three employees in India prioritise health over work: Survey

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index findings reveal that 70 per cent of Gen Zs and Millennials in India are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing employers this year


Indian Employees | healthcare | jobs and employees

BS Reporter  | 

Two out of every three employees in India are more likely to prioritise health and well-being over work now than before the pandemic, revealed the recent edition of Microsoft’s Work Trend Index.

“One thing is clear: We are not the same people that went home to work in early 2020. The collective experience of the past two years has left a lasting imprint, fundamentally changing how we define the role of work in our lives,” said the report released on Friday.

The power dynamic is shifting, and perks are no longer what people value most. For Gen Z and millennials, there’s no going back. And with other generations not far behind, companies must meet employees where they are.

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index findings, based on a study covering 31,000 people in 31 countries, showed that 70 per cent of Gen Zs and millennials in India are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing employers this year, up 7 per cent from last year (versus 52 per cent globally in 2022).

A staggering 41 per cent of Indian employees (versus 18 per cent global average) say they left their jobs during the past year. The data shows the Great Reshuffle is here to stay.

The pandemic has reshaped our priorities, drawing a line between what’s important — health, family, time, purpose — and what’s not.

As a result, employees’ “worth it” equation — what people want from work and what they’re willing to give in return — has changed.

Sixty-five per cent (up from 62 per cent in 2021) workers in India are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing employers this year (against a 43 per cent global average in 2022).

Technology plays a key role in making hybrid work, work. There’s no erasing the lived experience and impact of the past two years. Now, flexibility and well-being are non-negotiables. “The best leaders will create a culture that embraces flexibility and prioritises employee well-being — understanding that this is a competitive advantage to build a thriving organisation,” said the report.

It also found that flexible work does not mean “always on”. Almost half (49 per cent) of all workers in India are open to using immersive digital spaces in the metaverse and representing themselves as avatars in meetings in the next year.

Productivity trends in Microsoft 365 show that meetings and chats are on the rise, frequently spilling over the traditional 9-to-5 workday. In fact, weekly time spent in meetings for the average Teams user is up 252 per cent since March 2020, and after-hours and weekend work has grown at 28 per cent and 14 percent respectively.

One of the most felt aspects of remote work is the impact it’s had on relationships. With 63 per cent workers in India considering a shift to being fully remote in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office space to recoup the social capital lost in two years.

Nearly one-third (32 per cent) of business leaders in India acknowledge that relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work remotely, while 73 per cent leaders are also concerned that new employees aren’t getting enough support to be successful during remote work.

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