During the pandemic and in the recent months following, the workspace environment changed completely for many people globally.
A new “work from home” standard was created, resulting in joy for some employees and despair for others.
As businesses reopen their doors for their employees, there are now hybrid and fully virtual options for workers in order to accommodate various concerns and hesitations.
What most can agree on is the fact that working remotely is a more isolating experience, and that team building can suffer greatly as a result.
A recent article by SHRM details how technology can be used to rectify this shift and work to rebuild team connections within businesses.
“Dan Holme, product lead for Viva Engage, said Microsoft’s research pointed to a strong need for such a product. A recent study by the technology giant found that 43 percent of leaders believe that relationship building is the greatest challenge of hybrid and remote work.
“As we talked to our clients, they told us that connections across different groups and functions in their companies—the social fabric of the organization—had taken a hit during the pandemic,” Holme said. “Our own data also showed that relationships across business siloes had frayed. While people had been connecting virtually for work meetings, all of the other types of relationships typically formed in the office were disappearing.”
Viva Engage is designed in part to be the “digital twin” of public spaces and the venerable water cooler found in physical offices, Holme said. “It’s where people meet, form or strengthen social bonds, and exchange ideas and knowledge on the fly,” he explained. Engage is designed to be used in the flow of employees’ daily work, meaning it’s integrated with frequently used productivity and communication platforms and users don’t have to log in to a different app to get the benefit of the tool.
Holme said there are four areas where Microsoft believes Engage can help companies:
- Community building, or creating a broad social fabric of employees coming together and building a sense of belonging and inclusion.
- Sparking more effective engagement and relationships between leaders and employees by humanizing leaders and shaping culture.
- Helping employees build stronger personal networks across the entire organization, which can aid in their career advancement.
- Facilitating the sharing and distribution of knowledge in companies.”
Read the rest of this article here.
Technology has been instrumental in business throughout the pandemic, and it proves to be a reliance moving forward in most industries as well.
Software now exists to streamline most production processes within a given business, but the one area where it falls short is fostering human connection.
Microsoft’s new product is completely unique and brings about an interesting concept that human relationship building and connectivity can be automated to a certain extent.
While this idea can be a bit unnerving, we should focus on how this product speaks to a bigger concept in the scope of business: how technology has the potential to completely transform processes and workflows in a business environment.
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