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Microsoft: Teamwork quickly becomes a brake in daily work

Microsoft is beginning to realize that teamwork isn’t the best thing that can happen to businesses and employees. That should certainly coincide with what many people report from their daily work. Collaboration has long been considered the golden calf of work organization. That’s why Microsoft and other business software and service providers have gone to great lengths to foster employee collaboration with ever-new features.

However, data now shows very clearly that this is beneficial only to a certain extent, after which it tends to have the opposite effect on employee productivity and satisfaction. Microsoft executives Dawn Klinghoffer and Elizabeth McCune analyzed the metadata of Microsoft employees’ calendars and email accounts. A ZDNet report explained they concluded that those employees were best positioned who, compared to their peers, spent less time on collaborative activities, had more so-called focus time, and had 17 fewer employees in their internal network.

Free time instead of meeting

It wasn’t even as if employees were spending the time they were not in meetings with coworkers working alone. On the contrary, the statistical analysis showed that their total working hours were less. So instead of sitting long hours in meetings, the more productive employees went home earlier and arguably had more energy while there to focus on their core tasks. Klinghoffer and McCune explained that collaboration isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, “It’s important to understand how intense collaboration can affect work-life balance, and leaders and employees alike should be wary that this intensity culminates in 24/7 collaboration.”

Mark Goodman

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