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Commuting to the office not worth it? Top management must have neglected something.

38% of employees who work in a hybrid environment say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office.


Reconsidering the role of the office


As the world moves into hybrid working, the biggest opportunity for top management is to reconsider the role of the office and clearly communicate why, when and how often teams should meet in person.


More than one-third (38%) of employees working in a hybrid environment say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office. Yet few companies (only 28%) have set team rules that clearly define the new norms.


Radical change of concept


Making the office work for all employees will require a radical change in concept. There is no universal approach.


You can experiment with "team Tuesdays" or office hours between 12pm and 2pm, two days a week, etc. You can introduce quarterly offsites that regularly include team members working remotely.


The key is for managers to provide clear guidance to employees as they experiment and find out what works for their team.


Only 28% of companies have set new team rules


An internal regulation in an organisation, such as an organisation code, usually describes the rules that are binding on all managers and regular employees. For example, benefits and other essentials that serve to orient employees to the internal operation of the company.


With the transition to new forms of work, it is top management that should drastically change the internal regulations.


Obligation or benefit?

Has working in an office become a pleasant benefit or is it an unpleasant obligation for some?


There are companies that are trying to get most of their employees back into the office. At the same time, some of these companies have not redefined their way of working and have not changed their internal rules or organisational regulations. Then we see how the back-to-office regulation does not work and, in addition, the productivity of working from home and overall decreases.


The responsibility is in the hands of top management. If something is neglected, change stalls.


Changing forms of meetings


The forms of work are changing, including the forms of organising and conducting meetings. In addition, technology is being added for hybrid meetings. Making hybrid meetings an enjoyable experience for everyone requires investment in three areas: hardware, software and culture.

First, you can start by expanding your existing hardware by adding cameras, preferably with artificial intelligence, that are designed for people who aren't in the room in person. You might consider adding larger screens to give everyone a seat at the table and create a space for collaboration.


As a second step, you can have everyone connect to one platform to create a shared environment. You can't prioritise or marginalise anyone just because they are connected remotely.


In the third step, you can create cultural norms for hybrid meetings that make everyone feel included, drawn in, and capable of contributing.


Where to get the data for the right decisions?


The "My Organisation" service can be an essential tool for top management when planning new forms of work. It can be found within Microsoft Viva Insights and is used by top management for both planning and managing change based on data.


The "My Organisation" service monitors the actual behaviour of employees and managers and provides predictions to which top management can react in advance.



Image: An example of one of the many data outcomes of "My Organisation" for managing the change of forms of work.


Examples of recommendations include identifying the risk of burnout, how managers and regular employees use their time. It can then reveal the groups that are most affected by poor planning of team time, a drop in productivity or a decline in engagement with their work.


Source: Microsoft Work Trend Index 2022

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