The hybrid nature of how we work today has redefined what it means to be working as 'teams'. As a result, companies find themselves in uncertain waters as the tether of a physical office space that binds employees together loosens. This has forced business leaders to reimagine the role of teams and communities in uniting employees together with a sense of purpose.
The recently released Microsoft's Work Trend Index 2022 (WTI) noted that in addition to a rise in the demand for flexible work, better focus on well-being, and a greater purpose for work, companies also face the challenge of a growing disconnect between employees and companies. Globally, the report noted, only half of the remote workers say they have a thriving relationship with their direct team, and even fewer have a strong relationship with those outside their team.
With businesses still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, addressing such concerns will prove vital for future growth.
And by the looks of it, many in India have begun facing the challenges of evolving employee preferences and market disruptions. According to the WTI, over 32% of leaders in India stated that relationship-building remained their most significant challenge in a world dominated by remote and hybrid work. Additionally, 73% of business leaders are concerned that new employees aren't getting enough support to succeed during hybrid or remote work.
For leaders tasked with finding newer ways to make their company productive and profitable in times of fierce business competition, this makes the journey even more challenging. One that requires the right tools and planning to ensure teams are connected and aligned to propel business growth.
Talent solutions like Microsoft Viva's workplace tools provide companies with an all-encompassing digital solution. It enables leaders to be intentional about reconnecting both hybrid and remote employees into the organisation's fabric and ensuring engagement and retention efforts are rooted in robust employee experience. This is highly relevant, given how the WTI notes that over 71% of pandemic hires in India are considering changing employers in the next year.
However, to successfully leverage such workplace solutions effectively, companies require a deeper understanding of creating bonds in the new world of work.
Recreating organisational bonds
The advent of remote and hybrid work has severed connections, caused social isolation, and done away with established norms of how employees engage with their companies. According to the WTI, over 63% of hybrid employees in India say they're likely to go remote in the year ahead. With remote and hybrid work here to stay, companies require the right workplace tools to leverage the power of digital communities and recreate organisational bonds.
This can be done significantly by restructuring how teams and communities are reformed in the digital world, enabling companies to lay the foundation of an engaged and connected workforce.
It also helps to remember that while hybrid work challenges older models of engagement, it also brings new opportunities to connect and collaborate. Much of this is accessible with Microsoft Viva's latest workplace solutions. They help leaders and managers overcome structural barriers to engagement and provide them with an impactful way of creating meaningful relationships.
While Viva Insights provides managers with actionable insights on employee productivity and well-being, Connections remains a powerful tool in building a workplace where everyone's ideas and voices matter and employees have the flexibility to engage and participate from anywhere. Other tools like Viva learning make building new skills an interactive and engaging activity, helping root employee engagement in shared experiences in a world of digital platforms and computer screens.
Today, employees everywhere are rethinking their "worth it" equation and voting with their feet. In such times, leveraging the potential of hybrid work will mean designing impactful digital experiences for employees and ensuring they remain connected to their teams and aligned to the company's purpose. And as more people experience the upsides of flexible work, the more heavily it will factor into the equation, posing a threat to older ways of engaging talent. While the shift to a hybrid world of work has accentuated the need to create a better employee experience for a hybrid world of work, the right tools and working conditions can ensure robust employee experience drives engagement and retention of key talent.