The Covid-19 Impact on Microsoft’s Productivity

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 2
Words: 509
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

The COVID 19 became a severe challenge for the whole world. The nature of the disease and numerous adverse effects associated with it, including the high risk of fatal outcomes, introduced the necessity to reconsider the work of organizations to protect their employees. This significant change created the basis for numerous investigations about how COVID 19 influences employees, their productivity, and results. For this reason, the proposed case revolves around software developers working at Microsoft and changes in their performance associated with the pandemic.

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Microsoft is one of the global leaders in developing software and specific applications for various purposes. Its effective work depends on the contribution of its developers and their ability to perform primary tasks. Thus, remote work was selected as the best possible option to overcome the crisis linked to the pandemic and ensure the company will survive and continue its dominance. Among the benefits of working at home, the company viewed the lower level of stress, better conditions, and the absence of stressors (Ford et al., 2021). However, analyzing the influence of this method on results and overall productivity, it is critical to consider an important factor. Remote work at usual dimes differs from the same approach employed during the pandemic because of the higher stress level (Ford et al., 2021). For this reason, additional research to outline all aspects and impacts was needed.

In general, the measurement of productivity and its alterations during the COVID 19 pandemic was performed using the data from 3,634 Microsoft employees in Washington and the USA. Previous data about developers’ productivity evidences that their own vision of how productive they are is influenced by the number of interruptions, distortions, and switches they experience (Ford et al., 2021). It means that to be effective, they have to be fully concentrated and not influenced by other factors (Ford et al., 2021). Their expectations about productivity during the pandemic were different, but the majority were sure that no significant changes would occur (Ford et al., 2021). This data was used as the background for the investigation.

Thus, surveys conducted among the participants help to acquire the following information. Most developers reported that the productivity had not worsened or even improved (68%) (Ford et al., 2021). At the same time, 32% stated that there were less effective (Ford et al., 2021). The following figure represents the statistics:

Changes in productivity 
Figure 1. Changes in productivity 

The data from self-assessment (Figure 2) also shows that that bigger part of the respondents either had not noticed changes or had better effectiveness:

Self-reported productivity 
Figure 2. Self-reported productivity 

However, both figures show that a significant percentage still suffered from negative changes, meaning that the company needs tools to address the problem (Ford et al., 2021). In such a way, the pandemic did have a critical influence on the productivity ratios of workers in Microsoft, as most of them remained at the same level. However, some individuals demonstrate a decrease because of the lack of self-discipline and other factors distracting them during remote work.


Ford, D., Storey, M., Zimmermann, T., Bird, C., Jaffe, S., Maddila, C., Butler, J., Houck, B., & Nagappan, N. (2021). A tale of two cities: Software developers working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, 31(2). Web.

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