While some organizations are still adapting to the largest shift to remote work the world has ever seen, it’s already clear that many formally office-bound employees will remain working from their homes even in the future.
To prevent remote employees from stagnating, every organization will have to figure out how to support employee learning and development, their wellbeing, and the corporate culture as a whole. That’s not an easy task, but Microsoft believes that its new employee experience platform, Viva, is the solution.
Why Employee Experience Matters?
All successful business owners know that people are the key to business success. But what happens when remote work arrangements physically remove people from their employers and coworkers? That’s one of the questions Microsoft wanted to answer by interviewing over 30,000 people across 31 countries for Microsoft’s Work Trend Index.
The tech giant found out that the benefits of remote work, such as better work-life balance, less commute stress, location independence, and more autonomy, are enough to keep the interest in remote work strong, with almost three-quarters of employees wanting their option of flexible remote work to continue.
“The flexibility and agility is something that people appreciate, and it’s here to stay,” said Kamal Janardhan, general manager of Microsoft 365 Insights.
Still, remote work isn’t without its issues. According to Microsoft’s survey, 54 percent of remote employees feel overworked, and 39 percent are downright exhausted, which may be explained by the urgent feeling of virtual meetings and the lack of social cues. They are also creating more documents than they had before. Why? Probably because they can’t turn around and have a quick discussion with their coworkers.
While improved work-life balance is one of the most frequently cited benefits of remote work, some remote employees miss the natural transition between work and home provided by their commute to work.
These and other remote work issues can affect employee productivity, job satisfaction, and even health, so addressing them should be every organization’s top priority. Microsoft believes that technology, data, and insights can improve the employee experience of remote workers, and it now offers a solution that makes it easy to leverage them: Microsoft Viva.
Meet Microsoft Viva
Microsoft describes Viva as an integrated employee experience platform designed to empower people and teams to be their best.
“Our vision is to deliver a platform for the employee experience that helps organizations create a thriving culture with engaged employees and inspiring leaders,” explained Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Microsoft 365.
The foundation for Viva is provided by Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Graph Extensibility Framework, so new users can feel right at home without having to first complete a lengthy training. To meet the complex needs of remote employees, Viva offers four main modules:
- Viva Connections: This is the gateway into the Viva employee experience platform. The Connections module helps employees stay engaged and informed regardless of their physical location by providing a feed with relevant news and announcement, a dashboard with access to important resources, and straightforward access to conversations. Viva automatically customizes the Connections module for every employee, from executives to entry-level workers.
- Viva Topics: The purpose of Viva Topics is to connect employees to knowledge and topic experts by automatically organizing content and expertise across your entire organization. With Viva Topics, employees can simply highlight an unfamiliar word, phrase, or acronym and instantly see all relevant information about it—no need to message someone about it. When no relevant information is already available, Viva tells employees which topic experts they should contact.
- Viva Learning: The modern world evolves at a rapid pace, and employees must evolve with it to their jobs well. With this module, Microsoft Viva brings all learning resources together, making it easy for employees to find learning content that has been assigned to them, as well as top content from learning and development services like LinkedIn Learning and Microsoft Learning. What’s more, managers can use the Learning module to improve onboarding and track the completion of learning material.
- Viva Insights: Modern organizations generate a lot of data, and Viva Insights is designed to help them turn it into insights and recommendations to improve productivity and wellbeing of their employees. Employees who open the Insights module will see reminders to take regular breaks, be able to end their day with a virtual commute session that includes reflection and headspace guided meditation, and more.
As part of Microsoft 365, the entire Microsoft Viva employee experience platform is designed to respect privacy and protect company data, so you can trust it to respect your established security boundaries.
Microsoft Viva Demo
“Viva Learning helps make learning a natural part of both every employee’s daily work and company culture.”
Start Using Microsoft Viva to Help Remote Employees Thrive
Remote work arrangements are here to stay, and organizations of all sizes must learn to make the most of them. Microsoft makes this easier with its Viva enterprise experience platform, and we at OSIbeyond can help you seamlessly integrate it with your existing systems to bring communications, insights, learning, and knowledge together. Contact us today and let us help you make your remote employees thrive.