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New Microsoft research reveals how much UK workers hate the office

The Visitor’s Center at Microsoft Headquarters campus is pictured July 17, 2014 in Redmond, Washington.
The Visitor’s Center at Microsoft Headquarters campus is pictured July 17, 2014 in Redmond, Washington. (Image credit: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images for Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft and YouGov have new workforce-related research results to share.
  • The research analyzes trends in hybrid work and employee perceptions about remote versus on-site employment.
  • The research found that if UK workers got hybrid options taken away, 51% would consider quitting their job.

Microsoft has a long, storied history of producing research spanning various degrees of value. It's used science to confirm that human beings are not machines, alongside generating more practical data regarding how companies perceive the cybersecurity landscape. Now, Redmond is back with more stats, this time analyzing how UK workers feel about the modern hybrid work landscape.

As the world awakens to the benefits of remote work (benefits many freelancers have enjoyed for decades), it seems more and more people can't live without it. According to Microsoft (opens in new tab), 51% of UK workers would consider quitting their jobs if the flexibility of a hybrid structure was taken off the table.

That's not the only finding Microsoft uncovered in its joint research operation with YouGov. It also found 36% of UK workers who found new jobs during the pandemic were onboarded entirely remotely. Over a quarter of these workers had trouble with establishing proper work relationships with colleagues and suffered from not having an ever-present source of guidance in the form of an "in the room" manager. In other words, as cool as remote work can be, it's also causing headaches for certain subsets of workers out there.

However, hybrid work structures were still found to have big advantages over in-office setups lacking remote opportunities. For example, UK HR experts shared concern that employee burnout would skyrocket without hybrid options.

All these results and more can be yours when you check out Microsoft's blog on its UK worker research, which should be easy enough to skim while you're at work if you're remote and don't have a manager looking over your shoulder.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

5 Comments
  • Not the first such study.
    But none of them list what the specific complaints are.
    Micromanaging? Jerk coworkers? Staff sizes? Lines of communication? Commutes? Accountability?
    Inquiring minds want to know.
    Lost in all these debates about the remote vs centralized workplaces is the old standby of satellite offices.
    Middle grounds can be found if the complaints are listed.
  • I'm not in the UK but I work remotely 75% of the time. It's easier and more efficient to collaborate remotely using Teams. Yes, conference rooms and shared workspaces suck. Shared workspaces make people be quiet and put headphones on. Working at home allows you to talk freely. Yes, also no commute is nice too.
  • Shared workspace is the single biggest anti-innovation of this decade (some may have experienced this for longer, such as call centers). Just as you said, the only outcome of a shared space, is the need to wear headphones during the whole workday. By the time it’s afternoon break, you want to leave your colleagues and go have coffee alone after being annoyed by the noise from them all day. With my own office room, getting a coffee and lunch would be interesting and joyful.
  • If you need alot of hand holding you should be fired anyways.
  • It's the no commute and being able to save money as well. Some people commute over two hours each way per day to get into work. I work with a few of them and I don't envy their commute. As any train delays can cause serious issues especially if ur train is once every hr for the last leg. Not to mention they have less time with their families. I was offered a job as Support staff at a Special Educational Needs School via an employment agency awhile back which had 2.5 hrs commute each way (driving there I was told I would have to go through central london so same amount of travel time due to morning and evening rush hour). The travel expenses alone would have meant I'd have to borrow money every month. As first pay day I'd have to spend half of it on the commute for the following month. half of it for the bills for the previous month just gone, which would leave next to nothing during the following month. So had to turn down the job. If remote work was offered as part of work package I'd have taken the job (I did ask lol, i was told no). As the school would have paid for teaching qualifications. So I'd have pushed for 3 days at home and 2 days at the office for the first month and then 3 days at the office and two days at home. But yeah, getting a job is half the story. Having the money to get there is another lol.