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Microsoft's policy is great because it recognizes its employees as individuals. And that's empowering.

It sums its positon on remote work in 6 words 

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/microsofts-new-6-word-remote-work-policy-is-brilliant-heres-why-your-company-should-steal-it.html

 


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    Thanks for sharing this Hanadi. It's a great summary of why flexibility is key for any remote work policy. Remote work should mean working from anywhere (not restricted to office or home) and per the schedule that best suits you (not restricted to 9-to-5). More people are recognising this key difference and I am super happy to see Micorosoft take the lead here :)

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      Absolutely hrishikesh - come to think about it...flexibility is the byproduct of a culture of trust and empowerement, made possible by a leadership with people first mindset 

      Here's the MS policy 

      https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/10/09/embracing-a-flexible-workplace/

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        True, I've always liked Microsoft in that sense. I heard from a few of my friends that they have a component of 'participation outside work' in their yearly evaluation. This involves things like participation in CSR activities, sports, events etc. Having this as a mandatory component in evaluation clearly shows that you care for people.

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          I don't know if I totally agree with you @hrishikesh. I think employers providing social interaction opportunities is great, but I think "requiring" it (by measuring someone on it) could create a "not great" environment.

          Work-life balance or integration is so important for people and I'm just imagining the person who is already overworked or burnt out and desperate to have some personal time or time with their personal friends and family, but then feeling "obligated" to go to the work social activities instead.

          Ideally the organizations that have systems like this aren't overworking their employees and causing burnout. But I can imagine employees being resentful of having their social time set by their employer in addition to their work time.

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            Right Nancy, that's a valid point.

            Why I said this is great for employees is because at other places, you're expected to participate in social events or even trainings at work over and above your regular work hours.

            That's implicitly mandated  multiple times and I think it's unfair to ask people to put in extra hours because of that. It then completely relies on what your immediate manager does. I myself had both kinds of experiences - Had to stretch because my manager wouldn't consider the extra time time spent elsewhere while there was time when  another manager gave me some leeway.

            To be honest, I am not entirely sure about the specifics at Microsoft. The people who told me about this were surely happy and had no qualms about work-life balance. But you're right, even I wouldn't like to be mandated to spend social hours at work when I am already putting in my usual work hours.

            How's your experience been in this regard? Have you also seen/ heard of other employers mandating social participation at work?

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              I think we're generally on the same page here. The requirement of time above your normal working hours is not cool. 

              I've seen a couple of things related to this: 

              1. I've worked at a company that measured team members during performance reviews on "contribution to culture/values". This is good in theory, but more often than not people interpreted that to mean participation in social events. The events weren't required, but they became some sort of measurement and that left out parents who couldn't stay for a happy hour, or introverts who needed quiet time after 8+ hours in an office. I don't love when culture is conflated with socialness, and it creates opportunities for inequity. 

              2. I am also just a person who hates "forced fun". 😄 So while I appreciate the effort of companies to host fun events, not everyone thinks the same things are fun. So I hate the idea of mandatory events that might just not be interesting to me. I'd prefer some options and choice. 

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                ... events weren't required, but they became some sort of measurement and that left out parents who couldn't stay for a happy hour

                This is quite nasty. But quite natural that people will interpret things around culture in their own way. Although at some point leaders or senior management should figure this and put corrective measure. Did that happen?

                I remember our senior management at Adobe ditched objective performance evaluation totally (giving a rating out of 10) & brought in continuous subjective evaluation because they noticed that people were comparing numbers & competing for that.

                So I hate the idea of mandatory events that might just not be interesting to me. I'd prefer some options and choice.

                True, I am also against forced fun, particularly at the cost of your personal time.

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                  agree with both of you hrishikesh and Nancy - forced fun is counter productive and more often than yields the exact opposite effect