Exploring solutions for our future of hybrid work

Man videoconferencing from his office with three other people.

Last year’s global shift to remote work has now begun to crystallize as widespread hybrid work environments. This fundamental shift in the way we do business impacts people, places, and processes across organizations. Earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella came together with Ryan Roslansky, CEO of LinkedIn, to share the latest data and insights for hybrid work. As employers embrace these dynamic hybrid work environments, there is a plethora of new opportunities for Microsoft partners to better support the unique needs of customers and realize new innovations. Microsoft has developed a comprehensive Hybrid Work guide to share our learnings with business leaders and provide a framework for the future of work. 

Building a full-scale hybrid work structure involves thinking about who does the work, where it is done, and how to do it—then developing new solutions for each consideration. New work systems should be reflective of the company’s culture and provide engagement opportunities for employees of all roles and tenures. Additionally, decentralizing workers from a physical location creates communication and cybersecurity challenges that must be addressed. Ensuring equal access and protection requires companies to be agile in ways that they never had to be previously. This brings opportunity for partners to integrate new capabilities through the Microsoft Cloud and provide new cloud-to-edge solutions for remote workers.

Keeping teams informed 

Empowering people to thrive in a flexible work environment depends on transparency. Only with the most up-to-date information can people make the choices to be safe, healthy, and productive. However, without sharing physical space, some teams have been looking for a solution to ensure everyone has the same access to company information. While this is top of mind due to the ongoing pandemic, communication structures are also vital to maintain in case of future natural disasters, sociopolitical unrest, or other large-scale crises. 

This is where partners like Systems Limited have been able to offer value to leaders. Systems Limited provides a range of cloud and digital services around the world and has created a Crisis Management App that functions as a single digital tool for communication, employee tracking, and information sharing during times of crisis. By building on the Microsoft Power Platform, Systems Limited was able to quickly go to market with a solution that integrates with companies’ other data sources and immediately addresses emerging work-from-home challenges. 

Fostering company culture 

In a hybrid work environment, coworkers and teammates no longer share a physical place. Now, the digital employee experience is the truest reflection of overall company culture, rather than something ancillary to it. Attracting and retaining the best talent at all levels depends on having a functioning digital experience. That is why Microsoft is supporting collaborative apps focusing on the employee experience such as the Microsoft Viva Connections mobile app, which became available for public preview this month. Programs like Microsoft Teams have become the front end of the workplace and there is a rich market for developing new applications that support workforces. 

Onboarding new staff can be one of the most challenging management tasks in a remote workspace. Konsolute, a London-based partner, saw a chance to streamline the virtual process by developing a platform integrated with Microsoft technology. Their “Onboard” platform incorporates relevant Microsoft 365 services, such as SharePoint, Yammer, and Teams, to refine the onboarding experience and help new hires feel more engaged in their new role. 

Securing a hybrid workforce

The current state of technology has enabled many processes to seamlessly shift to hybrid work faster than would have been possible even a year earlier. Reimagined meetings, more flexible teams, and faster communication are all benefits of a more digitized workforce and are also opportunities for continued partner innovation. Nevertheless, maintaining this unprecedented scale of remote workers still poses challenges for IT professionals. Employees who are not working on-site are no longer protected by on-location cybersecurity infrastructure, leading cybersecurity teams to explore migration to scalable cloud solutions. 

Longstanding Microsoft partner BUI provides Microsoft Azure security solutions to customers across Africa. Their fully managed service helps organizations stay protected with the latest Microsoft technologies and 24/7 monitoring. In a time when many security teams are finding themselves stretched thin assessing new threats, partners like BUI can offer additional capacity and expertise.  

The global workforce now can reimagine almost every aspect of the remote work experience. By acting on employee feedback and lessons learned over the past year, we can look forward to a new future that has potential beyond merely returning to the office. Microsoft 365, Teams and Viva create a platform for our partners to build differentiated solutions and services to customers that enable more flexible ways of working. By partnering together to share knowledge, expertise, and integrated solutions, we can continue to empower people however they choose to work.