Enable the next generation of teamwork through inclusive collaboration strategies

by Matthieu de Montrion

14 June 2021

Team on video conference call

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Create a trusted, secure collaboration experience for your employees, from anywhere and for any workstyle with Microsoft Teams

The workplace has changed forever. Companies, including some with the best in-office employee experience, are finding that there’s significant resistance to returning fulltime to a physical work environment. The result is that the distributed workforce is rapidly becoming the new standard and collaboration systems are having to adapt to support this.

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index: 2021 Annual Report found that over 70% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, but, according to our 2020 Intelligent Workplace Report just 45% of employees report that they currently have what they need to work remotely.

With employees starting to return to the office, some on a part-time and others on a full-time basis, enabling the vision of the future workplace is now of critical importance. Office designs and routines are no longer the same, and organizations need to rethink the purpose and value of the office space.

As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: ‘Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work. Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work’.

Creating a new work environment is something that every company is having to tackle to a greater or lesser extent. Organizations who were already on their Teams or cloud journey were able to enable their employees to work remotely when offices closed because of COVID-19. But now, this environment needs to further evolve to enable the optimal employee experience for those continuing to work from home or returning to the office. These steps include optimizing network infrastructure, scaling VPN capabilities and accelerating onboarding for cloud PSTN connectivity to ensure they can continue with business as usual. 

Working from home office

Creating a more inclusive organization

Leveraging the power of cloud collaboration solutions like Microsoft Teams allows organizations to unlock talent opportunities and eliminate boundaries that the physical office space and location were previously creating. Not only do they allow for employees returning to the office to seamlessly collaborate with colleagues working remotely, but they can act as a driver for greater inclusivity.

The transformed workplace offers greater flexibility and accessibility for people who find it easier to work from home. Companies who would have only ever hired from their local talent pool are finding that by expanding their horizons they can bring fresh perspectives into the organization. This could include skills from across the country, the continent or even the world.

Keeping your team connected and simplifying day-to-day operations

Microsoft Teams has provided organizations with a powerful collaborative foundation, enabling rich employee experiences for both onsite and remote workers. The meeting room is now more than just a table and some chairs, it’s a critical link between team members, an essential part of organizational culture.

Through deeper integration with the wider business applications and systems, employees are able to seamlessly access data from within Teams, and the broader Microsoft 365 ecosystem, maximizing productivity, while delivering a better employee experience. A customer query might be resolved just as easily, and much faster, via a message on Teams that through a formal escalation process.

This level of integration requires that organizations start looking at issues that may not have been pertinent to collaboration systems in the past. With data being shared seamlessly between systems, there’s a critical need to address issues around data governance and compliance. This could include ensuring that no sensitive client information is shared across Teams chat or ensuring that data retention policies are adhered to.

No matter what the future workplace looks like or where your employees are working from, they’ll need to stay connected with all the information they need at their fingertips.

To help you prepare your organization for this way of working, we offer a Teams Readiness Assessment. This is designed to evaluate the needs of IT and end users in making an effective and successful transition to Microsoft Teams. Start your journey to better teamwork that drives productivity and business growth with our complimentary Microsoft Teams Meeting and Calling workshops.

Matthieu de Montrion

Matthieu de Montrion

Europe Employee Experience Go to Market lead