Across the region, hybrid working (the combination of workplace and remote working) is experiencing a surge.
Vendors have taken notice. Take Microsoft for example. At its FY20 Q4 Earnings call, it reported a 6% revenue increase in Productivity and Business Processes this fiscal year.
Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft shared, “The last five months have made it clear that tech intensity is the key to business resilience. Organizations that build their own digital capability will recover faster and emerge from this crisis stronger.”
Workforce patterns are shifting fast because of hybrid working. Microsoft’s second Work Trend Index found that beyond the typical 9am-5pm work day, Microsoft Teams chats outside of the typical workday (from 8-9 a.m. and 6-8 p.m.) have increased more than any other time during the day, between 15% and 23%. Weekend work is spiking as well — Teams chats on a Saturday and Sunday have increased over 200%.
Technology helps, but it is only part of the solution. “The technology side has been relatively straightforward,” said Dr. Joseph Sweeney, IBRS advisor and future of work expert. “When COVID-19 came and everyone had to start working from home, Microsoft Teams was an obvious and natural tool to push out. It was already there, and the environment is familiar to anyone using Microsoft Office 365. It skyrocketed.”
What is more important is for HR leaders to rethink their policies around remote working, how individuals, groups, and managers interact with one another and the change management needed to adjust to the new normal of work with a strong focus on the emotional impact of the change.
“Striking the right culture, technology and measurement is essential in creating a successful remote working experience. A culture characterized by a growth mindset, trust between managers and employees, as well as within peers, can empower teams to continue to work productively and innovatively,” said Cally Chan, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau.
For example, HR leaders need policies to enable individuals to break away from the standard 9-to-5 hours, setting reasonable expectations around availability and revisiting performance indicators. Companies also need policies that enable the upkeep of robust security strategies and effective collaboration outside of the workplace.
Below are five areas that today’s HR leaders need to consider when recalibrating their policies:
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