Microsoft 365

Defining the Modern workplace in a Hybrid World

19th May 2022 | 6 min read

The evidence of changing working environments can be seen in the varying technologies and systems currently available to employees globally. The evolving nature of work has inadvertently contributed to the creation of the modern workplace. The latter is characterised by emerging technologies to support remote and hybrid working staff.

What is the Modern workplace and how has it impacted productivity?

The modern workplace is one that supports employees by incorporating contemporary ways of working via digital tools and systems for improved productivity. The Microsoft 365 suite specifically is made up of streamlined and familiar applications such as Outlook, Teams and SharePoint to provide avenues for seamless efficiency and cross-departmental collaboration.

It is important for organisational heads and IT leaders to identify the changing needs of their workforce in the modern work environment. With manual processes migrating online and flexible working increasing, newer and improved modes of operation should be considered. By so doing, such businesses will be able to have a competitive edge in their industries.

Forward-thinking companies have adopted flexible working solutions especially with Microsoft 365 applications to empower their workforce to perform better for increased output.

A Hybrid working model explained

A hybrid work arrangement grants people the opportunity to collaborate in-person, as well as from anywhere. Pre pandemic work locations mainly comprised of traditional setups such as brick and mortar offices. Staff across various industries were required to be physically present at their workstations as a sign of productivity. The narrative has however changed post Covid, as workers are no longer bound by location and can work effectively regardless of location.

Many companies have and continue to set up functional IT systems for their workforce. According to a survey, about 76% of respondents stated that their companies were operating under hybrid working models. It went on to further state that an estimated 11% will return to the office full time, with about 9% continuing to work remotely. These statistics are indicative of the gradual increase in remote working and the extent to which businesses are willing to adjust to the aftermath of the pandemic.

IT leaders and decision makers should understand that the traditional work setup no longer exists. The need for hybrid working models has increased and therefore efficient measures need to be implemented to ensure overall success and revenue generation. In addition, hybrid working which pre-pandemic was an incentive, has now become a core benefit that staff look forward to in their respective organisations.

Adopting a hybrid working model should involve thought and consideration into what works per each respective organisation. For instance, IT setups that may work for a finance firm may not be as efficient for a legal counterpart. This means that adequate measures such as employee surveys, understanding the company culture and investing in the appropriate network infrastructure, should be taken into consideration for a seamless modern workplace.

Modern Workplace | Infinity Group

Components of the Microsoft Modern Workplace

As you may be aware, Microsoft’s ecosystem includes reliable and productive applications to harness the power of the cloud and on-premises collaboration.

It comprises of Microsoft 365 Apps, Windows 11 and an array of security/compliance solutions in Defender, Endpoint Manager and Information Protection. These applications facilitate easy ways of working suited to the evolving online workspace. In addition, they come with key security features for the prevention of online breaches and incidents. These added cyber security advantages are useful for businesses that aim to protect their remote and hybrid IT infrastructure models.

Using Microsoft 365 tools for promoting an effective Modern Workplace

The role of the Microsoft application suite in the modern workplace cannot be overemphasised enough. Forward thinking businesses around the world are incorporating Microsoft 365 software to facilitate productivity and innovation. For example, Power Automate promotes the automation of tasks in a fast-paced workspace to give employees the ability to mechanise everyday processes, to allow for higher prioritisation of other important work.

In addition, file-sharing, team collaboration, instant messaging and remote working have also been made more effective via tools including Teams, SharePoint, Viva Learning and Windows Virtual Desktop. Microsoft 365 applications are designed to cater to all businesses, regardless of function or size.

The Future of Work is Changing

The hybrid working environment is rapid and fast-moving with numerous changes taking place regularly. Companies ought to ensure they are putting in place measures to sustain efficient practices, for an effective hybrid and contemporary workplace.

According to a report, modern workplace solutions are essential in:

  • Reducing stress and enhancing the overall quality of life
  • Maintaining a work-life balance for the prevention of workforce burnout whilst remote working
  • Improving internal work relationships

Digital workplace innovations are important in supporting businesses in the modern work ecosystem to thrive, improve employee experiences and promote productivity. A 2022 study revealed that an estimated 57% of individuals preferred hybrid work, whilst 38% opted for full-time office work and 5% wanted to work remotely all the time.

Modern Workplace 2 | Infinity Group

Security in the Hybrid World

With the use of digital technologies on the rise, corresponding cyber security threats such as Shadow IT, insider threats, phishing and personal device breaches are also increasing. IT networks and setups have become saturated with various user accounts, therefore growing the risk factor online.

Preventative methods including multi-factor authentication, zero trust networks and Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) contribute to a secure and effective workplace. Microsoft 365 tools such as Azure Information Protection, Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Intune are also key in keeping your system infrastructure safe.

VPN | Infinity Group

Is the Hybrid Workplace sustainable?

As we examine the effectiveness of the modern workplace, we take a closer look at its continuity. Alarming statistics from a global study outlined that 80% of human resource executives reported employee exhaustion due to hybrid working. This is because some workers struggle with balancing their personal lives and careers. To support staff, employers and business leaders need to provide mental and wellbeing resources such as meditation apps, team leisure events and exercise classes.

On the contrary however, the same report went on to mention that 40% of workers had benefited from hybrid working and said they could be productive from any location.

Both scenarios above are confirmation that the progression and sustainability of the hybrid work setting should be a joint effort between both business leaders and their entire workforce.

In conclusion, the advancement of the digital and hybrid workplace is linked to innovative technologies that will provide your business with the requisite resources for an efficient hybrid and traditional work setup.

Do you want to expand and develop your hybrid workplace? Contact our expert IT consultants today for tips on improving your modern workplace infrastructure.

Read our other recent Modern Workplace blog.

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