Presented by Microsoft

4 ways to empower employees in a hybrid working environment

Business leaders see the hybrid model as a long-term way to maximize productivity while also looking out for the wellbeing of their employees.

The pandemic has forced companies to undergo rapid digital transformations, however, which has placed a burden on employees as they adapt to the dynamics of their new workplaces.

For example: Microsoft’s Work Trend Index found that 54% of people feel overworked and 39% are exhausted.

Microsoft’s Work Reworked survey found four methods that innovative businesses used to optimize productivity and reduce stress levels, which are outlined below.

1. Empower employees

Leaders who take advantage of the hybrid working environment and trust their staff to make decisions stand the best chance of fostering an innovative working atmosphere.

Microsoft’s research found that this style of leadership had a positive impact across MEA markets, with a correlation between granting employees autonomy and encouraging innovation.

Hybrid environments also encourage teamwork and are facilitated by platforms like Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Planner, which allow colleagues to meet, collaborate, and manage tasks remotely.

2. Use employee output smartly

Hybrid environments allow employees to adapt their schedule according to their needs to create a healthy work-life balance and improve their productivity levels.

Microsoft’s research found that over 75% of staff at innovative companies believe that their bosses care about this issue.

Managers should allow employees the freedom to optimise their schedule to suit their needs, and should be processing the relevant data from this to further optimise employee happiness and productivity levels.

Microsoft Viva Insights tracks the effectiveness of meetings, individuals’ schedules, and more, and processes this data to provides actionable recommendations to improve productivity and happiness levels.

3. Access data easily

Sifting through mountains of text and statistics wastes valuable time, but the knowledge we gain from this data is becoming increasingly important.

AI-powered tools such as Microsoft Viva Topics search for, and then organise, this data – empowering leaders to use it to their advantage.

However, a move towards AI needs to be managed carefully and an agile, hybrid culture is the best way of doing this – as it maintains the personal element of face-to-face meetings.

4. Train staff and managers

Sophisticated tools are only useful when employees have the knowledge to use them – and research shows that the majority of MEA employees feel underqualified to use their own technology.

Hybrid working lets managers fill this knowledge gap by sharing training material online and holding virtual meetings.

Microsoft Viva Learning is a digital resource that can facilitate this by allowing staff to pool their learning materials, including work documents and training videos.

A hybrid future

93% of MEA business leaders believe that the hybrid model of work will continue for the foreseeable future.

If leaders can use it effectively and pair it with a caring, open-minded management style, then they stand the best chance of driving innovation.

Click here to learn how Microsoft products cater to a hybrid workspace.

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4 ways to empower employees in a hybrid working environment