Microsoft Corp. has recently released its second annual Work Trend Index report titled “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work”.
According to the research we are not the same people who went home to work in early 2020.
The past two years have changed how people define the role of work in their lives. Now every organisation has to meet employees’ new expectations while balancing business outcomes in an unpredictable economy.
The 2022 Work Trend Index outlines five trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, including Malaysia, along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and labour trends on LinkedIn:
- Employees have a new “worth it” equation.
- 58% of employees in Malaysia say they’re prioritising their health and wellbeing over work.
- 50% of Gen Z and Millennials in Malaysia are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead.
- Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations.
- 58% of leaders in Malaysia say their company is planning a return to full-time in-person work in the year ahead.
- 53% of managers in Malaysia say leadership at their company is out of touch with employee expectations.
- 81% of managers in Malaysia say they don’t have the influence or resources to drive change for their team.
- Leaders need to make the office worth the commute.
- 42% of hybrid employees in Malaysia say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office.
- 36% of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms.
- Flexible work doesn’t have to mean “always on”.
- 59% of workers in Malaysia are open to using immersive digital spaces for meetings in the next year.
- Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world.
- 58% of hybrid workers in Malaysia are considering a shift to full-remote in the year ahead.
- 42% of leaders in Malaysia say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work hybrid or remote.
Changes in the workplace have been accelerated due to the pandemic, leading to an equally rapid shift in trends within the workforce. With hybrid work environments becoming increasingly prominent, new priorities and expectations can be seen among employees. It is crucial for leaders and organizations to take heed of these new priorities and adapt to the expectations of the workforce to achieve a balance between employee happiness and productivityMicrosoft Malaysia managing director K Raman.
The New Products
Meanwhile Microsoft also announced new features across Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Surface Hub, and Microsoft Viva.
In the five years since the launch of Teams, more than 270 million people rely on Teams for hybrid work. Now the company is introducing new products designed for the hybrid work experience.
- Available in public preview at the end of the month, Teams Connect shared channels enable collaboration with people inside and outside the organisation from a shared workspace.
- A new meeting layout for Teams Rooms, front row, is now available in preview.
- New touch-enabled display solutions for Teams Rooms from Neat and Yealink are in the process of being certified for Teams Rooms on Android. These devices combine audio, video, touch display and compute in a single unit — allowing easy deployment and enhanced collaboration experiences. The new AI-powered Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera uses automatic framing technology to dynamically adjust your Teams video feed to provide remote team members with a dynamic view of in-room interactions.
- The language interpretation feature in Teams enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near real time. The meeting organiser can assign interpreters and select up to 16 source and target language combinations, while attendees will hear the translation.
- Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams offers a rich set of new capabilities that bring visual collaboration to life, including collaboration cursors, more than 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and the ability to open existing boards and collaborate with external colleagues in Teams meetings.
- To improve hybrid brainstorming, completion of action items and making decisions together without having to switch context or apps, Microsoft is introducing Loop components in Outlook mail. RSVPing for a meeting in Outlook now allows attendees to note whether they plan to join in person or virtually.
- Microsoft is introducing a new offering in Microsoft Teams Phone called Operator Connect Mobile, in partnership with some of the world’s largest telecom operators. This assigns a single business-provided mobile phone number for desktop and mobile devices, making it seamless to move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions.
- With vibrant and fun styling, over 1,800 new 3D fluent emojis can infuse expression and playfulness into messages. And with the skin tone selector, users have the option to pick emojis that better represent themselves.
- To support flexible work styles, two PowerPoint experiences, cameo and recording studio, are being brought together. This will make it possible for presenters to deliver presentations with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not they attend the meeting.
- A new feature called the Inspiration library is coming to Microsoft Viva in public preview as part of the Viva Insights app in Teams. The library is designed to give employees, managers, and leaders easy access to thought leadership and best practices from top sources such as “Harvard Business Review” and “Thrive.”