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Microsoft leaps on Google as employees reveal their work from home ploys

I previously covered Google’s plans to make legacy G Suite accounts into pay ones by May 1st.    Well, Microsoft is taking advantage of that.   

“If you’re a small business that’s relied on G Suite legacy free edition, we couldn’t help but notice you might be in the market for a new solution,” says Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365. “We’ve got news for you: today, you can get a 60 percent discount on a 12-month Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, or Business Premium subscription, along with the help you need to make the move.”

That is from Microsoft’s website and quoted from the Verge.  

While I’m talking about tools, the Daily Mail in the UK highlighted a survey in Britain that researches working from home.      Some findings:

  • Two-thirds of Britons surveyed admit setting their laptop camera at an angle to make them look more domineering in business meetings.
  • Fifty-six percent try to make themselves look busier than they are by regularly leaving Zoom calls to attend another work meeting that doesn’t actually exist.
  • One in three people have tried to appear more committed by claiming to be ill while on Zoom – even though they were perfectly fine.
  • More than two-thirds have scheduled meetings in their office online diary to make themselves appear busier.
  • Forty-five percent schedule emails to go out late at night to make it look like they are working longer. In a similar vein, 22 percent use the same ruse to schedule emails to be sent early the next day to make it seem they start work first thing

Why do we care?

More importantly, why pair these?   Google and Microsoft both know the value of the work layer for software and are courting that space.    This isn’t even Google’s first change lately, as we talked about their email-less offering last week.   

It’s the survey data that reveal the opportunity – the tech alone isn’t going to cut it.   Think about the subtle revelations going on in the use of video calling, with employees using work theater to appear more busy, productive, or engaged.      I’d offer this is probably with employers who measure productivity entirely by time.  

And thus, the pairing – fight over the commodity of the technology itself, or help companies use the technology effectively… which likely involves much advice on how to be effective.