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Read our other Microsoft Ignite 2020 session recaps below:
For the first time ever, thousands of people from all over the world got to attend Microsoft Ignite from the comfort of their own home. Jared Spataro, one of the keynote speakers and CVP of Modern Work at Microsoft, took the time to explain how in 2020 we’ve experienced a once-in-a-generation shift.
When, where, and how we work is fundamentally changing. Due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the way we work, digital transformation has been accelerating at such a fast pace that Spataro sees this as the end of the post-industrial age; we are now entering a new era, the “digitalization of everything.”
Many companies have had to completely change the way they work this year due to the global pandemic. Suffolk Construction, for instance, was able to shift the way they do business by utilizing Microsoft Teams to communicate and solve problems in real-time by having meetings with their frontline workers on the job and actively collaborating on files with one another.
During these difficult times, Spataro states that Microsoft sees themselves as students in this new line of work. They’re still gaining the capability to see emerging, durable trends through the help of Microsoft’s telemetry and first-party research, commission research from partners like Harvard and Stanford Universities, and daily customer conversations.
Some of the trends Microsoft has observed since the world shifted towards remote work include:
- 62% of people feel more empathetic to fellow employees by seeing into each other’s lives at home.
- The social capital over water coolers in offices is eroding
- There’s been the largest increase in Teams usage outside of the regular 9-5 hours
- 1/3 of remote workers say the lack of separation between work and life is negatively impacting their well-being
- Workday length increased by 17% in Japan, 25% in the US, and 45% in Australia
- 70% of people indicate that meditation is useful to decrease work-related stress during these times
Initially with this transition, leaders feared that people wouldn’t be productive during these times. However, that fear has shifted to figuring out how people can continue to work in a sustainable way. Productivity cannot just be focused on the short term; in the past technology was focused on efficiency, but that’s no longer working during these times. Employees achieve sustainable productivity by having times of efficiency and time for recovery.
Microsoft’s mission is to balance the needs of people and to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. As they’ve researched how work is changing, Microsoft has developed seven keys to success to empower their workforce:
- Reimagine teamwork, culture, and social capital – digitally.
- Prioritize individual well-being to help people focus and be their best.
- Help people learn, reinvent, and grow with the pace of change.
- Unlock the data, knowledge, and expertise of the entire organization.
- Automate processes and workflows to increase innovation.
- Include everyone in digital transformation.
- Ensure a trusted, secure, and modern experience for every employee.
Microsoft Teams Innovations
Microsoft Teams helps individuals meet, chat, call, collaborate, and even automate processes so individuals can better collaborate and work as a team during these trying times. Microsoft is currently improving this platform by adding new video meeting experiences and reimagined workspaces such as together mode, where everyone meets with a combined background to create a stronger human connection.
Other innovations in Microsoft Teams include new workplace analytics and insights for business leaders that show data on team cohesion, stress, and disruption along with recommendations on how to strengthen human ties. Seeing where there are risks and getting insights on other factors that can affect employee engagement and productivity can help leaders take the necessary steps to improve employee well-being.
Through ample research and their unique position to understand the secular trends that are shaping the world today, Microsoft has shown that its newest innovations in Microsoft 365 and Teams are empowering remote workers to continue to strive during the global pandemic.