I’ve seen the instrumental changes that technology has had in the workplace over my 20-year career in IT. Digital transformation has caused businesses to rethink how they work. And if you want to stay ahead of your competitors and seize the opportunities of today’s digital age, you need to empower your workforce to do more of what they love.
Employees are more engaged when managers understand them and give them the chance to do what they do best. And I believe the most effective way to achieve this is to give workers the tools and devices that encourage more productive ways of working, freeing up leisure time you can spend in other areas.
Here are my five tips for boosting morale and keeping your workforce motivated.
1. Get a better work-life balance
This idea is simple. Give people flexible devices and you’ll make them more creative, fulfilled, and productive. Look for devices that enable productivity, no matter where they are, while making it easy to stay safe and secure.
If you have devices like the Surface which work for a range of working styles, you can make it simple for employees to work how, where, and when they want. We’ve also grown our Surface family to include devices which are optimised for collaboration. By doing this, you’re encouraging employees to have a healthier work-life balance. In turn, this increases employee productivity and satisfaction.
Most empowering of all, Surface devices, Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 are built with inclusive design at heart. This means we design for all needs. By having these products in your business, you’re showing that you support a diverse workforce, and research has found a direct correlation between diversity and increased innovation
2. Collaboration made easy
With more employees working remotely, it can sometimes be difficult to feel like a ‘team’, when you’re not sharing the same office space. Thanks to devices such as the Surface Hub 2S, though, you can make collaboration easy again.
The Surface Hub 2S uses all the tools and apps found in Microsoft 365 and Windows 10 – such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Whiteboard –but with the added intelligence of the cloud. Make remote meetings less remote with Surface Onward, where everyone in the room and virtually can engage and ideas can flow. And with the Microsoft Whiteboard app, teams can collaborate on the same virtual canvas pre, during, and post-meeting. Plus, when paired with a mobile stand, the new lighter and slimmer Surface Hub 2S is easy to hold and handle, giving employees the freedom to collaborate anywhere, at any time.
3. Encourage creativity
Technology such as AI and machine learning will increasingly automate routine, day-to-day tasks, meaning employees will have more time to innovate and add value. In fact, according to the Future of Jobs 2018 report from the World Economic Forum, creativity is one of the key skills increasingly needed in order to be successful.
Elsewhere, Adobe’s State of Create survey revealed that UK businesses that invest in creativity are 81 percent more productive, 80 percent more likely to have happier employees, and 84 percent more innovative. The report also found that 78 percent of UK employees thought technology is a key factor in being more productive.
4. Improve communication
Clear and open communication lines are the lifeblood of any organisation. Not only among employees, but also between managers, the leadership team, and stakeholders, too. It’s important to not just hear, but to actively listen, and maintain a sense of team, even if you’re working miles apart.
At Microsoft, we help keep the lines of communication open via Microsoft Teams and Yammer. We host weekly Q&As with the leadership team, and everyone can openly discuss the business.
5. Stoke passion and empower growth
An empowered workforce is creative and innovative. This gives your business a competitive advantage in the race for transformation. With the right technology, you can inspire productivity and let employees spend more time doing what they love. They’ll also be more empowered to grow.
Take the time to also encourage re- and up-skilling across your teams. By doing so, not only are you future-proofing your business, but you’re also retaining and attracting top talent, who will now be motivated to work towards your shared values.
About the author:
Sally Elliott is a creative marketer and has worked within Global IT for 20 years. Specialising in productivity and helping organisations understand the future of the modern workplace, she is an evangelist for flexible working and unlocking the creativity within all of us. Sally leads the go-to-market strategy for the Microsoft Surface UK Business, which sees her helping businesses understand how to get the best out of their people by providing the spaces, technology, and culture to inspire them.