The Future of Work Post-COVID-19: A Hybrid Work Model

As COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out and restrictions are being lifted, organizations are realizing they must adopt a hybrid work model — but most are unsure about how to move forward.

According to McKinsey, employee productivity and customer satisfaction have increased during the pandemic in spite of organizations being forced to operate remotely. While many employees prefer to continue working from home, there are some who prefer to work at the office or have the flexibility to switch. Accenture reveals 83 per cent of employees think that a hybrid work model is the best solution. Nine out of 10 organizations have agreed to make the move to cater to different employee preferences but most have yet to come up with a plan detailing the services and applications they will use.

Dan Holmes, a principal product manager lead at Microsoft, said Microsoft has been partnering with organizations like LinkedIn and Harvard Business Review to better understand different employee preferences and to bring together Microsoft 365 services and applications to meet their needs while protecting their data.

“We’ve spent decades powering human productivity. And we believe that technology isn’t the solution, but rather it is the tool that allows you to amplify human ingenuity. It’s really the power of people that gets things done. But to do that at scale, and particularly to do that in a world that will be increasingly hybrid, requires technology,” said Holmes in a keynote, adding that SharePoint, Teams, and other Microsoft services and applications combined can help.

SharePoint, a cloud-based service that gives organizations a secure place to store, organize, share, and access information from any device, powers Teams, a collaboration application that allows employees to have conversations, hold meetings, share and work on files from SharePoint inside the app. For these reasons, Teams is considered a collaboration hub for work.

“Teams bring together applications that were formerly quite siloed like OneDrive files, SharePoint lists, forms, and approvals, and the list goes on,” explained Holmes. “We’ve worked very hard to sew together the capabilities and experiences of Microsoft 365 into Teams. So avoid the temptation to think it’s an either-or scenario. It’s and. You get these world-class capabilities and experiences, and you have a single pane of glass to access them from.”

Holmes added that Microsoft recently announced that Visio, a diagramming and vector graphics application, will be offered to all Microsoft 365 customers at no additional charge and can be used inside of Teams — allowing employees to diagram with their team.

 “Visio isn’t something that usually gets to the stage of a keynote at an event, but it’s a fantastic application that makes diagramming easy,” said Holmes. “You can create diagrams, share them, and even build them from data dynamically.”