The New Future of Work

The New Future of Work


Guides & Advice

Guides & Advice

Guides & Advice

Guides & Advice

Guides & Advice


Since the onset of the pandemic, people across the globe have experienced a rapid shift to remote work that upended their existing work practices. The current moment presents a unique opportunity to create a new and better future of work, one that empowers the people who return to work in an office, those that stay remote, and the growing group that will lean into a hybrid model of work.

At the start of the pandemic, researchers at Microsoft formed a cross-company initiative to coordinate their efforts with the goal of gaining a holistic understanding of the impact of remote work and identifying opportunities to support new work practices. The initiative consists of over 50 research projects, conducted by teams that span a range of disciplines (including engineering, research, marketing, human resources, and facilities) and divisions (including Microsoft Research, Office, Windows, Azure, Xbox, GitHub, and LinkedIn).

This site features the research that has come out of this initiative, including what we believe to be the world’s largest synthesis of findings related to how people’s work practices have evolved since the start of the pandemic. You can think of this site as a place to learn the science behind WorkLab, which Microsoft recently launched to share compelling stories and research-based insights about the changing nature of work. Stay tuned as we add more peer-reviewed research papers and other scholarly content.

Learn more

New Future of Work: photo of two desks back to back

WorkLab is a new Microsoft site that builds on the research here to deliver stories and science-based insights on how to connect more, create more, and unlock ingenuity.

New Future of Work Symposium 2020: woman working from home

Virtual symposium

The New Future of Work symposium brought together global thought leaders to discuss changing work practices. Check out papers, videos, and more.

a woman sitting at a table using a laptop

A long history of research

Remote work is not new, and Microsoft has been studying it for decades. Get an overview of Microsoft’s 30+ years of remote work research.

New Future of Work: meeting multitasking chart
Multitasking in remote meetings

Paper: You’re not the only one who tries to do too many things at once. Check out this large-scale analysis of multitasking behavior during remote meetings.

New Future of Work: AffectiveSpotlight views


Paper: Presenting into a void is hard. This research study explores how to make remote presentations easier by sharing audience member’s most notable reactions.

New Future of Work teams chat screen

Parallel chat in remote meetings

Paper: Parallel chat in meetings is on the rise. See our research on its promise and perils, ways to manage it, and some future concepts.

Software development at home

Paper: Learn more about the radical changes many software development teams have experienced in how they collaborate and communicate.–>