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Microsoft CEO discusses the importance of work-life balance

Microsoft Logo
Microsoft Logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently spoke about the importance of setting boundaries for remote work.
  • Microsoft's Work Trend Index shows a third peak of productivity in which workers often sign back on at night.
  • Nadella emphasized that employees need to feel like they don't have to respond to communication outside of work hours.

Data from the Micrsoft Work Trend Index shows that remote workers often sign back on late at night. Historically, there have been peaks in work productivity just before lunch and just after lunch. It appears that there is now a third peak in productivity.

Determining the cause of this peak is difficult because several factors are at play. Some employees may prefer to take a break during the day to spend time on their own or with family and then return to do tasks later at night. Other members of staff may be in locations that are in a different timezone than the rest of their team, which pushes prime work hours to later in the day. There's also the chance that people working from home work more hours.

Regardless of the reasoning, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that it's important to set boundaries at work.

"We think about productivity through collaboration and output metrics, but well-being is one of the most important pieces of productivity," said the CEO at the Wharton Future of Work Conference on Thursday, April 7, 2022 (via Seattle Times). "We know what stress does to workers. We need to learn the soft skills, good old-fashioned management practices, so people have their well-being taken care of. I can set that expectation, that our people can get an email from the CEO on the weekend and not feel that they have to respond."

With many people working from home, balancing personal and professional lives has become more complicated. It seems that CEOs, managers, and employees will have to clearly communicate where boundaries are to prevent burnout.