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A sense of productivity paranoia is one byproduct of the shift to working from anywhere, a new report from workplace platform provider Envoy finds. According to the report, 94% of workers believe their managers trust them to do their work from anywhere, though only 24% trust their coworkers to get work done remotely.

There is no question workplace culture has taken a beating over the past few years, according to Larry Gadea, CEO and founder of Envoy.

“Less visibility in the office is skewing perceptions and seeding a distrust of everyone and everything, starting from leadership and trickling down,” Gadea said in a statement. “Now, managers realize that the relationships and trust employees develop in person are critical to getting work done right, especially in today’s environment,” he added.

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Age is a factor

Only 57% of Gen Z feel strongly that they have their manager’s trust compared with 71% of Millennials and 77% of Baby Boomers, the report said. Thirty-one percent of Gen Z trust their colleagues to do their work when working outside of the office. Only 23% of Millennials, 26% of Gen X and 17% of Boomers feel the same.

The report also found that 34% of hybrid employees trust colleagues to get more work done remotely compared to only 10% of those who work full-time in the office.

Teamwork matters more than individual performance

More than half of office workers (54%) said their managers value group productivity over individual performance.

Men (58%) and those in Gen Z (59%) are more apt to believe that managers prioritize group productivity over individual performance, according to the report. Only 49% of their female counterparts and 53% of their Millennial peers think likewise.

“By being physically present, teams can adapt and solve complex problems faster and more efficiently than in isolation,” Gadea said.

Tasks best accomplished in the office

Almost every employee (98%) respondent said they believe certain work activities can be better achieved at the office than remotely. Topping the list are training and onboarding (54%), problem-solving (53%) and collaboration or brainstorming sessions (50%). At the bottom of the list are conflict management (37%) and meetings with folks outside the organization (35%).

Uptick in micromanaging of in-office workers

Though most employees surveyed believe their managers have faith in them, 44% of respondents said they have experienced an uptick in micromanaging since returning to the workplace. Thirty-eight percent claim the micromanagement is the same whether in-office or remote, and 18% said the controlling behavior has lessened since their return.

Employees’ recommendations for employers

This latest Envoy report finds that, as economic pressures and layoffs continue, most workers see office visibility as a critical advantage. 92% said being seen at the office improves their job security, even if only slightly. Nearly two in five (38%) said they believe it significantly boosts their ability to keep their position.

When asked what changes would help their company succeed during a potential recession, 56% of workers point to improving operational efficiencies. Fifty-three percent said that giving people more flexibility will make a difference while 44% believe a greater focus on company culture or strengths will help their company survive. Only 40% mentioned layoffs, executive pay cuts or other cost-cutting measures.

“The employees have it right,’’ Gadea said. “The top three priorities on every workplace leader’s list are efficiency, efficiency and more efficiency. We’re seeing the use of workplace data increase exponentially. Leaders are eager to get the most ROI out of their space layouts — and aggregated data can help measure the effectiveness of a strategy or help save on rent.”

Survey methodology

Envoy partnered with Wakefield Research to survey 1,000 U.S. office workers working in a physical workplace at least one day per week. “Office workers” are defined as those employed full-time, excluding those with a seniority of director or greater. Survey responses were collected between Dec. 12-21, 2022.

Read next: Quiet quitting: Why leaders should address it as a trust problem (TechRepublic)

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