Before COVID-19, 17% of the U.S. workforce worked remotely five or more days per week. After COVID, that number shot up to 44% pretty quickly. And all projections are that remote teams are here to stay.
Both employers and employees have their reasons for liking the work-from-home (WFH) arrangement. Both save money, productivity is shown to be higher, and time-consuming commutes are eliminated.
But telecommuting also has its challenges. It requires the right business solutions to enable a team to connect efficiently to each other, work assets, and customers. Perhaps the biggest challenge is keeping a feeling of connectedness and good communication.
Employees can often feel cut off from their colleagues, and managers can feel they’re in the dark about employee productivity. Everyone can suffer as a result.
The employee experience can deteriorate for WFH team members if companies don’t make it a priority to connect with, engage, and nurture wellbeing.
Microsoft is making this easier with a new solution that is going to change the way we think about employee engagement. This solution was launched in February 2021 and is called Microsoft Viva.
Microsoft Viva: A New Way to Enrich & Engage Your Team
Microsoft Viva includes four add-ins for Microsoft Teams, a platform that many remote teams already use as a virtual work hub. Teams allows employees to connect to their entire organization and encourages communication through chat channels, voice, and video.
Things like status messages and alerts also help improve communication between colleagues and managers that are all working in different locations.
The connectivity already available in Teams makes it the perfect place for the apps that come with Microsoft Viva.
Microsoft Viva is a platform designed to bring team learning, knowledge, wellbeing, and personalized connectivity all together into one place. It includes everything from reminders for employees to take breaks regularly to AI-generated links to company knowledge assets.
The goal of Viva is to make it easier for companies to nurture and empower their remote teams and do it in a way that is:
- Fluid with the day-to-day workflow
- Doesn’t require more 3rd party apps
- Serves up information to users
- Emphasizes both productivity and employee wellbeing
- Saves everyone time and effort
Here are the four components of Microsoft Viva and what they do.
Only 26% of employees say they are well informed about company news. Viva Connections is a way to solve that problem by making it easy to push out news and other information to employees in a personalized portal.
No matter where employees are, companies can use Viva Connections to send them timely information and keep them connected to what’s happening.
Connections includes personalized views of news, communities, and conversations all in a company-branded interface. Employees feel part of their corporate culture and can always feel in the know, even if they work from a home office.
Companies often end up losing hard-won company knowledge because documents and guides end up getting buried under a flurry of new data. Viva Topics is about turning your important knowledge assets and documents into a living library that serves itself up to users as needed.
Imagine having a chat in Teams and seeing someone mention a new company initiative. You don’t really know much about it, so you spend the next 20 minutes searching around for more information.
Topics would hyperlink that mention of the initiative to an auto-generated page about it with all related company information in one place. All you have to do is click.
Viva Topics identifies your content, curates it for users into topic pages, and then makes it easily discoverable, turning content into knowledge.
Employees can hit certain issues when they begin working from home that can negatively impact their wellbeing and ability to be productive. This can include working longer hours or meeting overload because everyone is video conferencing now.
Viva Insights is all about ensuring everyone is adopting healthy work habits and leadership knows when their team is heading towards a burnout. Users get helpful reminders about taking breaks and decompressing after work and managers get important insights that help them better manage their team to ensure they’re at their best.
Employees that feel nurtured through ongoing learning and skills development stay with their companies longer. Viva Learning is about presenting ongoing training in a way that’s fluid and easily fits in with a person’s daily workflow.
The add-in can bring in multiple learning materials from different platforms, like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and many others.
Employees can access, share, comment on and manage learning activities without having to go into an entirely different interface. The app is designed to help make ongoing learning a natural part of the workday.
Empower Your Remote Team With the Right Technology
Unbound Digital can help your Johnson City, Tennessee business put the technology solutions in place to empower and enrich your remote team.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.