Microsoft CEO warns against permanent remote working

Satya Nadella says companies risk losing out on a connected workforce

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, spoke with The New York Times to share his thoughts on how the coronavirus has impacted work and social environments.

While many across the globe have been forced to spend the last 8-12 weeks at home, Nadella warned that the permanence of remote work is bound to have an impact on teams overall.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In his interview, Nadella said he foresees the world going through three phases during the pandemic. The first phase includes responsing to the impact of office closures and cutting costs, and the second addresses recovery and, according to Nadella, will be more like a dial than a switch. In the final phase, Nadella predicts businesses reimagining their processes simply out of necessity. 

Nadella warned, however, that shifting to a permanent, all-remote team in response to the pandemic may not be the best long-term choice. He noted that while productivity has risen for many of Microsoft’s workers, that’s not something worth excessive celebration.

Nadella said: “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.” 

According to Nadella, transitioning from in-office teams to an all-remote setup would mean “replacing one dogma with another dogma.” Without face-to-face interaction, companies risk losing out on a connected workforce, which could also impact things such as mentorship programs, team building activities and the like."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Nadella questioned what other impacts an all-remote workforce would have, asking: “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?”

Though the stigma around remote work has shifted in recent weeks, the impact of a long-term shift remains to be seen. As stay-at-home orders lift across nationwide and many businesses get back to work, we’ll soon see how many businesses stick to an all-remote workforce and how they fare in doing so.

Featured Resources

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Remote working 2020: Advantages and challenges

Discover how to overcome remote working challenges

Download now

Keep your data available with snapshot technology

Synology’s solution to your data protection problem

Download now

After the lockdown - reinventing the way your business works

Your guide to ensuring business continuity, no matter the crisis

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

How many call participants is too many?
video conferencing

How many call participants is too many?

7 Aug 2020
Trump’s demand for cut of TikTok sale could face legal challenge
social media

Trump’s demand for cut of TikTok sale could face legal challenge

5 Aug 2020
Microsoft tripled bug bounty payouts to $13.7m last year
vulnerability

Microsoft tripled bug bounty payouts to $13.7m last year

5 Aug 2020
Microsoft won't reopen its offices until January 2021
Business operations

Microsoft won't reopen its offices until January 2021

3 Aug 2020

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

3 Aug 2020
How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

4 Aug 2020
UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020
phishing

UN report points to a 350% rise in phishing websites at start of 2020

7 Aug 2020