Microsoft today unveiled findings of its Asia Workplace 2020 Study, where it found that a large number of the Gen X and Millennial workforce in India are open to digital workspaces, value work-life integration (rather than work-life separation), and are embracing flexi workstyles that enable them to be mobile professionals with a personalized way of how they work and live. In fact, adoption of practices and advanced technology that enable flexi-work and collaboration have been ranked as the #1 and #2 reasons for joining and staying in an organization.
Interestingly, only 6% of the respondents stated that they were individual contributors. 88% worked in cross-department and/or cross-geography teams. 43% stated that using collaborative technology (i.e. messaging apps, virtual meetings, enterprise social networks, etc.) would make a positive difference in working remotely from locations outside the office, and around 30% believed that it would help provide timely resolution to internal issues and launch new initiatives. 41% felt the need for cloud-based collaboration tools to increase their productivity.
Given these blurring boundaries of work and life and the impeding influx of digital natives (born after 2000) entering the workforce for the first time, organizations need to look at new workplace practices and platforms that integrate people, data, and processes to create value in a new digital business. One such solution is Microsoft Teams, the chat-based workspace built on Office 365 that brings together people, conversations, and content along with the tools that teams need, in a secure and complaint environment, so they can easily collaborate virtually. This addresses some of the new teamwork challenges in the digital workplace such as face-to-face meetings, time spent on-boarding new members and teams taking too long to respond to internal issues.
However, the study also revealed that working professionals did not yet feel that their organizations are fully on board for this. Only 55% agreed that their leadership is committed to ensure every employee is included in bridging the digital skills gap. 54% agreed that their organization has invested in culture development; 53% agreed that their organization has invested in analytics and data tools to help make informed and immediate decisions; and 56% agreed that their organization has given them tools to simplify and standardize their workflow.
Employees today no longer need to be working at the desks or cubicles to stay productive. The Microsoft New World of Work Study conducted in 2015 found that 7 in 10 mobile professionals in Asia spend at least a day in their work week working outside of the office. The current Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study found that 74% of respondents are already spending 20% or more of their time working outside of the office.