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Microsoft Industry Blogs

Advances in technology and shifting workforce demographics are creating a more fluid work environment, redefining what productivity looks like, and empowering individuals to work smarter. With an influx of new talent that values experiences, continued learning, and collaboration over financial compensation, leadership will have to take a forward-looking approach to restructuring the workplace landscape.

Innovative technologies can help all organizations respond to workplace trends and create dynamic environments that incentivize and empower the next generation of employees.

Encouraging and accommodating remote workers

In the modern workforce, out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind. Modern businesses are evolving to better accommodate a wider range of business scenarios and work styles. For example, 43% of Americans reported spending at least some time working remotely – whether from their home offices or the local coffee shop.[1]

As teams become more widespread, keeping everyone engaged and informed is critical to the success of your organization. To promote teamwork and enhance efficiency, leadership must enable communication and support reliable connection between off and on-site employees.

While the modern workforce wants flexibility, they don’t want to give up the benefits of working as part of a team. For organizations looking to restructure their respective work environments, the collaborative features of modern cloud technology are especially advantageous. These technologies allow disparate team members to collaborate in real-time across multiple projects and platforms. Communication tools like Skype for Business and Teams provide intuitive channels for employees to stay up to date on projects and streamline processes. Additionally, the file storage and sharing capabilities of cloud technologies ensure every employee can access and contribute to the correct documents. Ultimately, organizations can easily implement modern technologies to create the workplace experience that’s vital for both employee retention and acquisition.

Enabling intelligent time management and effective collaboration

Imagine getting an unprompted alert when it’s time for you to leave the office for your 3 p.m. presentation across town; or being able to decipher an acronym by pulling up references in other business materials without leaving the document you’re currently working in.[2] Today’s most competitive organizations are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to improve efficiency, increase daily productivity, and empower their employees to do their best work. Whether it’s quickly extracting actionable insights from your customer data, easily locating that important email conversation in your overflowing inbox, or simply arriving on time and prepared to a meeting or event, each day is filled with moments that can have a significant business impact. Organizations across all industries are leveraging AI to help their workers recover lost moments and do more meaningful work.

While AI technologies are creating more efficiency in the workplace, the revolutionary technology also enables your employees to be more creative in general. Features like real-time data analyzing and reporting allow your team to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time on creative ways to solve your business’ complex challenges. Ultimately, by leveraging the time-saving benefits of AI, organizations can create the versatile and challenging work environment valued by today’s workforce.

Building trust by maintaining security and compliance

The new workplace landscape involves new technologies, new devices, and introduces a new set of security challenges. With global cybercrime damage expected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021, maintaining enterprise-grade security of corporate assets is mission-critical.[1]

Modern cloud technologies enable your employees to securely store, edit, and share data. Built-in data loss prevention and rights management capabilities help establish permission criteria to ensure information is never compromised. With the cutting-edge business intelligence, productivity analytics, and powerful visualization capabilities of cloud technology, employees can confidently handle sensitive company data.

As technological advancements continue to redefine business and transform the professional landscape, so too do the expectations and priorities of employees. Competitive organizations must proactively integrate the innovative technologies, like Microsoft Office 365, that connect a blended workforce.

Office 365 combines familiar programs like Word, Excel, and Power Point with the benefits of the cloud and efficiencies of AI technology, making it easy for your team to collaborate and remain connected. In Word, a new feature called Acronyms allows employees to spend less time decoding company shorthand by searching existing emails and documents for previously defined definitions.[2]  Additionally, organizations can improve time-management with AI-enabled Time to Go, which analyzes real-time traffic and event information.   

In 2018, Microsoft plans to expand its integration of AI across more Office 365 applications and optimize its tools for the modern, mobile workforce. Still, from actively creating ways to help your employees develop new skills, to building trust within your team, Microsoft’s Office 365 can help your organization develop the flexible workplace that empowers and excites the new generation of employees. Learn more about how Office 365 can help your on-site and remote workers today at https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/15/us/remote-workers-work-from-home.html

[2] https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/13/microsoft-adds-more-ai-smarts-office-365/ 

[3] https://www.csoonline.com/article/3153707/security/top-5-cybersecurity-facts-figures-and-statistics.html

[4] https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/12/13/new-to-office-365-in-december-extending-human-ingenuity-with-everyday-ai/