Vaccination campaigns continue at full speed and many start returning to the office after working from home during the pandemic, but Microsoft believes hybrid work will be the future. And I agree.
In a LinkedIn post, the CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella he explained how the transition to hybrid work will require a new operating model that will include "people, places and processes". Nadella provided further details on what she calls "the hybrid work paradox":
Each company's approach will need to change to meet the specific needs of its employees. According to our research, the vast majority of employees want more flexible remote work options, but also say they want more in-person collaboration after the pandemic. This is the paradox of hybrid work.Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
The software giant also released a small 33-page paper to share all the data, research and best practices he has designed with other organizations to help them adapt to what he believes will be the future of work.
The future is hybrid
In addition to this “hybrid work guide” Microsoft has also released a video showing how it believes office meeting spaces will need to be transformed to support this new model. Now that workers around the world have become accustomed to using Microsoft Teams and other video conferencing software, video calling will be an essential part of hybrid work, enabling both in-person and remote employees to participate.
The company's video concept (which you can watch here) is geared towards making videoconferencing more like a face-to-face meeting. It's a trend that even platforms like Zoom they are following, but this is the first approach to a "mixed" physical-digital scenario.
What will the working environment be like?
While Microsoft's Together mode brings attendees together in a virtual space in Teams, the Redmond company has reinvented the format somewhat. In this hybrid environment, remote participants appear at the bottom of the screen with shared documents above them. That way, those seated in presence in a meeting room can make eye contact with them as well. The audio also plays its part, as it provides the feeling that remote participants are physically present in the same environment.