The Hybrid World is Inevitable. Microsoft 365 Can Facilitate Your Transition
Before the pandemic, the business world was going through a slow transition. This was a transition to “work from anywhere” teams and the use of cloud technology for nearly all business processes.
The pandemic supercharged that transition and sped it up by years in a matter of a few months.
It’s expected that globally, the number of permanent remote employees will double this year. Which is welcome news to many Australians. A full 90% of Australian workers want to continue working from home in some capacity at least a few days per week post-pandemic.
The hybrid work world includes multiple scenarios that equate to a hybrid of in-office and out-of-office teams. Some of these scenarios include:
- Employees working both in-office and at home (i.e., x # of days each per week).
- Some employees working entirely from home and others working entirely at the office.
- Teams working mainly remotely full-time with a smaller skeleton crew working at a company office.
- Certain departments working from home (i.e., customer support), while others work in-office (i.e., maintenance or factory staff)
Both business leaders and employees are looking for the balance between the “best of both worlds.” This would be the flexibility and cost savings that come from working remotely, and the cohesiveness and central mission that’s usually fostered when everyone is in the same environment.
How Are Companies Preparing for a Future That’s Already Here?
The hybrid work world is already upon us. As people transition from total lockdown to a more open society due to vaccines and careful health and safety measures, they’re navigating what this new normal looks like.
According to a hybrid work report from Microsoft, some of the challenges and indicators of the transition include:
- 66% of businesses say they are considering redesigning office space for the hybrid work world.
- 73% of employees want to continue having the option to work remotely.
- 67% of employees also want more in-person work or collaboration with their colleagues.
Microsoft has been a pioneer in forging the virtual environment needed to facilitate the hybrid work world. One that helps give companies and their teams the support and connections they need to work fluidly, productively, and together as one unit.
How Microsoft 365 Can Provide the Tools for Successful Hybrid Teams
Microsoft 365 is more than just your main Office tools (Word, Excel, etc.) it’s designed to be a virtual office hub where employees and supervisors can connect, collaborate, report, and engage.
In just the past few months, Microsoft has added even more features to the platform designed specifically for a work paradigm where everyone is not working from the same location.
Here are some of the key ways that Microsoft 365 can facilitate a successful transition to a hybrid remote/in-office team.
Microsoft Teams: Your New (Virtual) Office
When everyone is working in the same office, you have areas where they congregate to touch base. For example, two co-workers might chat about a customer issue while in a common area. A supervisor might ask someone to stop by their office for a project update.
Those types of in-person interactions happen all the time in the office, so how do you replicate them when teams are working remotely from home?
This is what Teams is designed to do. It uses things like status indicators, @mentions, and channeled messaging to give company staff a way to continuously stay in contact with each other. This leads to less isolation and improved communications.
Teams also facilitates all types of company communications, from chats to customer webinar presentations to full VoIP phone systems.
Microsoft Viva: Engage & Empower from Anywhere
One of the challenges of working with virtual teams is that it’s not as easy to keep up with ongoing company training or health and wellbeing.
The Microsoft hybrid work report found that employees are working more, increasing productivity, but burnout is a real issue. When employees work from home, they tend to work longer hours because their desk is always there. They can also feel like they have to put in more hours to somehow justify working remotely.
Microsoft Viva is a Teams add-in that addresses those factors and others to build a two-way communication bridge between company leaders and employees. It includes the following benefits:
- Facilitate training and development within Teams
- Customisable company feeds to keep everyone up to date on news
- Health and wellbeing insights that let managers know when employees may need a break
- Automated company knowledge management to make cloud files easier to find
Work Tools That All Connect for Collaboration
Whether you’re working in Excel or creating a OneNote notebook for event planning, inviting a colleague to share your experience is as easy as clicking a “share” link.
Microsoft 365 is designed for collaboration no matter what application you may be in. Employees can easily access all their documents whether they’re at home or the office. They can also work virtually side-by-side with others in real-time.
Learn How to Unleash the Full Power of Microsoft 365
GKM2 can help your Sydney area business become well-prepared for a hybrid work world using versatile tools like Microsoft 365.
Contact us today to learn more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.