The generational shift to hybrid work is an opportunity for organizations to place a greater emphasis on employee health and well-being. Healthier and happier workers are more productive, more likely to remain in their jobs, and more likely to recommend your organization to friends, peers and colleagues.
The pandemic has been the prime catalyst in transforming employee well-being into a business-critical priority. At first, it led organizations to embrace remote work, and many organizations were able to adjust virtually overnight, thanks in no small part to technology and innovations like cloud computing.
For many workers, the opportunity to work remotely was beneficial. It allowed them to spend more time with their families, help their children with school, work when it was more convenient and generally create a healthier work-life balance. But there was a negative side as well: fewer boundaries between work and home life, more burnout, increased stress, and pressure from managers who were not always sensitive to the challenges of working from home.
These changes had a huge impact on workers. Many could see that they were more productive working remotely, and the benefit of creating a better balance between work and life became tangible. According to the 2022 Work Trend Index Annual Report, 53% of employees are now more likely to prioritize health and well-being over work than before the pandemic.1
At the same time, however, when employers did not create environments conducive to their well-being, employee morale and job satisfaction suffered. This is one of the major factors contributing to the workplace transformation characterized as the Great Reshuffle in the 2022 Work Trend Index report. With workers willing to leave jobs if their well-being is not considered, companies have been forced to reassess their priorities.
This reassessment comes at a time when remote work is transitioning into a hybrid world, whereby employers and employees are trying to strike a balance between well-being and productivity, and between working in an office or at other company site and working remotely.
Filling the Breach: Microsoft Viva
Filling the breach between employee well-being and productivity is a new category of technology solutions designed specifically to promote a healthy, productive, growth-oriented experience for workers in the hybrid workplace. The first company to innovate with this type of technology is Microsoft with the Microsoft Viva employee experience platform.
The employee experience platform puts the employee at the center, delivering tailored solutions that reimagine what it means to be productive, successful, empowered, motivated and balanced.
Microsoft Viva takes a modular approach to enabling employee well-being, productivity and experience. It is designed outward from the employee’s perspective, focused on five key areas, as exhibited below:
The vision is to create an integrated employee experience that brings together these resources into the natural flow of everyday work, enabling hybrid work in a connected environment that leverages familiar Microsoft products and workflows. Balance, communication, culture and growth are at the heart of the platform, with an emphasis on:
- Well-being, focus and productivity, including sanctioned meditation and focus time, with easy access to learning, knowledge and experts. Organizations can foster a culture of inclusion by empowering every employee to easily contribute ideas and share feedback. Leaders and employees can use monitoring, artificial intelligence and other tools to align business outcomes with individual goals.
- Employee growth and development, including learning and upskilling content, intrinsic knowledge centers, opportunities for internal mobility and promotions, career advancement, goal fulfillment and increased team collaboration.
- Connected culture, to enable employees to send and receive praise, engage with peers and management, collaborate, organically foster community, and share sentiments and calls to action. Business leaders can unite, motivate and inspire by aligning all workers around a shared vision and mission and strategic objectives.
Taking the Next Step
HR teams, IT departments, line of business managers and other business leaders should be motivated to prioritize employee well-being, growth and productivity. It is good for your business and your employees.
The technology platform to bridge employee well-being and productivity is now available in Microsoft Viva, the industry’s first employee experience management platform. For more information on how you can affect positive change at your organization, please visit Microsoft Viva.
1 “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work,” Microsoft WorkLab, March 16, 2022