For over a decade, new tools have been introduced that enable users to work from anywhere, on any device, securely. While practical in theory, the adoption of tools has been slow and the move to hybrid work (on-site and off-site) conflicts with the work culture of many organizations.
Obviously, the pandemic accelerated the move to hybrid work, and many believe that it will be hard to roll-back the changes and return to a work environment that is 100% on-site. Last year, we published a blog that highlighted Microsoft’s approach to remote work and a philosophy of offering as much flexibility as possible. This was a huge shift and we watched many other well-respected companies follow the trend of allowing remote work and making more accommodations for workers.
Microsoft is leading the hybrid work revolution and recently posted a blog and guide for executives that explained what Microsoft was doing to promote security, flexibility, and productivity. The Microsoft approach to hybrid work is thoughtful, strategic, and has the potential to set a trend in the marketplace.
Here are some of Microsoft’s major accommodations in their efforts to support a modern workplace and hybrid work model. Consider these accommodations the best practices for a hybrid work model.
- Microsoft wants their employees to take breaks: If you have ever worked from home for any length of time, you will quickly relate to the challenge of being on back-to-back conference calls (or video conferences). Microsoft is encouraging their employees to use new features in Outlook that can automatically schedule breaks between calls.
- Microsoft is making employee wellness a priority: Remote work doesn’t allow us to pick up on the subtle cues that our co-workers often exhibit. Working remotely and not having the day-to-day contact with co-workers makes it difficult to assess the wellness of our employees. Managers at Microsoft are being instructed to think about the wellness of the people they work with as a first-class priority. Getting the most out of employees requires attention to the health and well-being of your employees.
- Security in the office and at home: Microsoft takes security seriously and they have made sure that workers are any tools that are being used to access corporate tools are doing so securely. Microsoft has deployed Microsoft Defender for Endpoint security software to manage smartphones that an employees might use to access company networks. Microsoft is also having employees test the security of their home network.
- Microsoft is hiring – and not just in Seattle: Because remote work has made it possible to hire from anywhere in the world, Microsoft is taking full advantage of hiring for more positions and not limiting their candidate search to Seattle. The company is now open to talent that can work from a non-corporate location. Kiefer Consulting has also given more consideration to the idea of hiring candidates not based in California.
- Microsoft is leveraging Microsoft Teams in sales: Microsoft Teams is a fantastic tool to meet with clients and demonstrate solutions that we have built. We can meet with more customers and the experience is more convenient for all parties. Microsoft has been using Teams as a “virtual showroom” to demonstrate products and deliver a personalized experience. According to Microsoft, the company has had a 10% increase in customer satisfaction. Using Teams, Microsoft can serve three times as many customers through virtual demos.
Be sure to check out the Hybrid Work Guide for Business Leaders. If you need a partner to help you in leveraging the tools that enable hybrid work, contact us. Our team of experts understand how to help your organization leverage Microsoft 365 to support workers wherever they may be.