Quantifying digital workload during the coronavirus pandemic


If you feel like remote working has increased the number of emails and meetings during the pandemic, you are right.

The big picture: A new Microsoft study of the use of its office automation tools over the past year quantifies the digital overload suffered by workers.

People all over the world Spent 148% more time in meetings and sent 45% more chats in February 2021 than in February 2020, according to an analysis of aggregate data from Microsoft Teams.

  • 40.6 billion more emails were sent through Microsoft Outlook in February 2021 than in February 2020.

Another troubling – and often overlooked – externality telecommuting has had an effect on Generation Z employees. And Microsoft’s survey data shows that this cohort is struggling.

  • For newly graduated workers, working remotely, away from peers and mentors, can be difficult and even hamper professional development.
  • “Networking as a person early in your career has become a lot more intimidating with the move to working entirely remotely,” Hannah McConnaughey, product marketing manager at Microsoft, writing. “Without hallway conversations, chance encounters, and small chats over coffee, it’s hard to feel connected even to my immediate team, let alone make meaningful connections within the company.”
  • According to the survey results, 16% of Generation Z workers said they had difficulty making their voices heard in group calls and meetings during the pandemic, compared to 12% of Millennials, 11% of workers in the Generation X and 9% of baby boomers.

Go further: The burnout epidemic in the United States

About Donnie R. Losey

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