Hybrid Work: A Global Opportunity
In 2020, the unexpected and rapid onset of COVID-19 accelerated the digitization of organizations around the world, whether they were prepared for it or not. Virtually overnight, many companies were forced to implement hardware and software solutions that enable business continuity and remote working.
A few years ago it was already predicted that teleworking would be implemented naturally in most jobs, but nobody imagined that it would come so suddenly and by obligation. In Spain, 16% of companies had a formalized flexible work policy in 2019, however, in 2020 flexible work increased by 67%, reaching 83%, according to the study ‘The New Future of Work’ made by Microsoft. Without a doubt, the catalyst for the adoption of hybrid work has been the pandemic and this has caused a total paradigm shift as both personal and work interests and needs have been completely transformed.
A Before And After In The Work Models
The expectations of the workers have changed radically and this new situation has given rise to a flexible work model. One in which some employees continue to work remotely, others return to the office permanently, and others combine both options. The advantages offered by a hybrid work model are numerous, however, it also poses some challenges or obstacles in the performance of current work practices. For example, the need to ensure secure, remote connectivity to mission-critical apps and business-specific experiences has made modern device management and IT departments more important than ever.
Weekly meeting time has more than doubled for Teams users since February 2020, Microsoft’s Employment Trend Index Report notes. This platform is the new work desk, a tool optimized especially for the new hybrid models with the aim of increasing collaboration and productivity.
Digital exhaustion, team cohesion, avoiding work in silos and taking care of the links between the company and employees are other fundamental aspects to consider in this new scenario. What 30% of managers are most concerned about is maintaining the corporate culture, according to a survey conducted by Gartner.
Microsoft Viva gives us the solution for it. It is the first employee experience platform that covers all the needs of the employee and equates as much as possible the experience in a face-to-face, remote or hybrid job. Its four modules, Connections, Insights, Learning and Topics, promote a culture that allows people and teams to have the tools they need to give the best of themselves from anywhere, increasing the level of commitment to the company.
On the other hand, the digitization of the hybrid workplace means that business processes are transformed and that cybersecurity acquires a leading role. During the pandemic, threats within the workplace have multiplied, so now it is necessary to implement a cybersecurity strategy, carrying out good practices and securing the workplace both in the office and at home.
The Transition To Hybrid Models
Hybrid work has created new job opportunities, has improved work-family balance, offers more flexibility and autonomy, and even allows access to better professionals as it expands the talent market. Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased 5-fold during the pandemic, according to Microsoft’s The Work Trend Index report. People no longer have to leave their home or city to expand their careers, and this will have a profound impact on the talent landscape.
At the present time, digital acceleration is not necessary, but urgent. The transition to hybrid models is a lifesaver for those companies that intend to transform and make their business more flexible. The new operating model is based on three main variables: people, spaces and processes. In order to adapt this model to each company, investing in spaces and technology to unite the physical and digital worlds is essential. The global context of change offers a unique opportunity to create a new and better future of work that empowers both people and organizations and ensures long-term business continuity.