BusinessDay

Steps to achieve hybrid work success through Microsoft 365

With around 40 percent of the global workforce considering leaving their current jobs in 2021, employers need to be incredibly thoughtful about how they approach the new world of work. Dubbed hybrid work, the new prevailing approach sees employees being given the freedom and flexibility to divide their time between working in an office and working remotely.

A report from a work trend index based on surveys from over 30000 workers in 31 countries has shown that hybrid work is hard.

Applications like Teams, Outlook and Office 365 also revealed the difficulty in hybrid work

Ibrahim Youssry, Regional General Manager, Middle East and Africa Region at Microsoft, while at the virtual Microsoft 365 summit titled Future of Hybrid Work stated that companies must approach this next phase of work quite carefully because it will fundamentally impact who stays, who goes, and who seeks to join their teams.

Youssry noted that one must not forget that the mass move to remote working has had several downsides.

“For starters, an influx of virtual meetings and digital communication is causing employees to experience digital exhaustion. And a lack of spontaneous interaction can result in very siloed thinking because there is little opportunity for people from different teams to collaborate around how to solve a problem or to share creative ideas,” He said.

He encouraged workers to think flexibility, culture, and inclusion on how to keep the business culture going forward, how to attract and retain talents, how to respond to changes in working environment and how to approach future innovation which will be a key to success in the coming years.

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However, he continued by outlining three interventions that businesses can implement to make sure they get hybrid work right which includes enabling extreme flexibility, taking a proactive approach to company culture and prioritising inclusion.

He noted that it’s important for organisations to sit down with their employees and take the time to find out what everyone needs to be as efficient and productive as possible.

According to him, company culture and team-building efforts must be proactive, not passive, and It’s critical to invest in strategies and technologies that bridge the gap between the digital and the physical worlds so that those working remotely don’t feel disconnected from those working in the office and vice versa.

He explained that teams must be presented with opportunities to brainstorm, collaborate, and share ideas no matter where they are located.

“In today’s workplace, it has never been more important to include everyone. Accessibility is the vehicle to inclusion,” he said, noting that there really are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone who uses it. He detailed that

Microsoft’s investments in Al aim to put emerging technologies in the hands of developers so that they can accelerate the development of accessible and intelligent AI solutions, designed by and in collaboration with people with disabilities.

He concluded that the period is an opportunity to grow and evolve in the workplace in order to deliver capabilities that help employees, customers and business thrive.

Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.

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