BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

The world of work is changing: how to boost productivity amid the rise of hybrid work trends

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Hybrid workplace is the new reality, yet the lines between work and play are being blurred even more with digitalisation accelerating at breakneck speed. While some are thriving in this new arrangement, many are facing challenges.

The Microsoft Work Trend Index (WTI) 2021, which uncovers hybrid work trends during the pandemic, revealed that 49 per cent of the Singapore workforce is considering leaving their employer this year.

The Index also revealed contributing trends including employee needs for continued flexible remote work, leaders being out of touch with how employees are faring and high productivity masking an exhausted workforce.

Focused on helping organisations maximise hybrid working models, the Index outlined findings from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries including Singapore.

Backed by exclusive research and expert insights, it shows how employees are coping with the disruptions to their current work arrangements, and what leaders can do to best support their employees.

Post-pandemic: a new reality for most

Last year, we witnessed companies shifting from working in offices to remote working. This disruption created an early emotional boost on the potential benefits in remote working – new job opportunities for some, and more family time for most.

Flexible and hybrid work models are now defining the post-pandemic workplace and employees want the best of both worlds – more in-person time (66 per cent) and the continued options for whether, or when to commute (82 per cent).

The data findings are clear. Employees want control of where, when, and how they work, and expect business to provide options.

It is critical to acknowledge this rapid transformation in the way we work and consider shaping the environment for employees to achieve greater productivity in the new working model – including collaboration, learning and wellbeing.

microsoft surface laptop 4
Invest in the right tool to succeed in the hybrid working model / Image Credit: Microsoft

Being able to be seamlessly connected, no matter the location, is paramount to the success of the hybrid working model. The right tool – or laptop – to master flexible work will be key.

Primed for uninterrupted Teams calls and trusted security with an integrated OneDrive cloud storage, the Surface Laptop 4 boasts an all-day battery life of 19 hours to accompany you from kitchen table to office to coffee shop and beyond.

How to combat digital burnout while remote working

remote working
Remote working / Image Credit: Microsoft

With remote working being the default for the majority, it is not unusual to have after-office hours meetings, or to receive an email at 10pm. The lines between work and personal life have blurred, often resulting in longer working hours than before.

The Index also highlighted that the high productivity of employees working remotely has resulted in an exhausted workforce. 58 per cent of workers in Singapore feel that they are overworked, with 49 per cent feeling exhausted.

Compounded by the speed and urgency of virtual work, the digital static – the gap between what you try to communicate online and what the person receiving the message understands – has contributed to increased fatigue, anxiety, and burnout.  

In addition to introducing regular breaks at work to reduce burnout, it is equally important to build social capital, encourage cross-team collaborations and workplace networks to support greater productivity and innovation.

Combating digital exhaustion from the top through analytics and insights around how employees are faring can help leaders to build a better workplace.

With Workplace Analytics in Microsoft Viva Insights, managers and leaders have access to anonymised insights into team and organisational wellbeing. This helps them to keep a pulse on things like meeting overload or weekend work as they rethink employee experiences.

Be equipped with a good tech hardware

Hybrid working does not imply that offices will become obsolete.

Instead, it challenges business leaders and employers to thoughtfully consider how they can enhance the office for hybrid working, while also rethinking policies to encourage and fortify employee morale and engagement. This requires a plan that puts people at the centre and encompasses policy, physical space, and technology.

Beyond requiring to bridge the physical and digital world of the team, organisations need to ensure that people are equipped with good technological hardware to fully participate from home, in the office, on the go, and from the manufacturing floor.

microsoft surface laptop 4
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 / Image Credit: Microsoft

With a next-gen design in the Surface Laptop 4, it is easier to capture ideas on the hi-res PixelSense™ touchscreen when inspiration strikes, or to test its serious multitasking abilities backed with the (processor) power to do everything from creative apps to casual gaming.

As virtual meetings become commonplace these days, a laptop with a good webcam and microphone is as important as dressing appropriately for a client meeting.

With a high-definition front camera — even in low light — and in-built dual Studio Mics that can reduce background noises, the Surface Laptop 4 is bound to be your trusted ally.

The way forward with Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

microsoft surface laptop 4
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 / Image Credit: Microsoft

Whether you are in the camp for or against the hybrid working future, it is inevitable that hybrid working will be the default as countries and economies slowly recover from the pandemic.

While the challenges of the new phase of work such as digital exhaustion and overworking are inevitable, there is hope for future reprieve as hybrid working becomes the norm.

The future of the workplace will also see employees and employers embrace a balance of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration – offering people more flexibility to collaborate in meetings where creativity and dynamic topics take precedence, while relieving informational and technical topics to long-form document collaboration, or via Teams channels or email.

With sustainability principles embedded in Microsoft devices, the all-new Surface Laptop 4 is built to minimise impact on people and planet.

In addition to reimagining the product lifecycle, Microsoft is also helping businesses and employees accomplish tasks with style, performance, and speed while reducing carbon footprint. 

Just as we have adapted to the new realities of the workplace, our hardware must evolve too.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is now available for purchase online at the Microsoft Store Singapore or in-store at all authorised retailers.

This article was written in collaboration with Microsoft.

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft

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