The Hybrid Workplace: WorkLab Guides

To empower businesses and workers to achieve more in the new flexible world of work, Microsoft has developed the WorkLab Guides. Practical guides to getting hybrid meetings, work-life balance, and in-person and asynchronous collaboration right.

The author of this page: Roisin McLaughlin
Roisin McLaughlin, Marketing Director Oct 10, 2022

Make In-Person Time Count

While individual needs and wants may vary, most employees have embraced flexible work and its benefits, opting to remain hybrid and prioritising flexibility in their working lives. In contrast, many business leaders yearn for the more traditional pre-covid workplace. With in-person time an essential component of the hybrid working model, leaders must balance employees' need for flexibility with the business's need for in-person collaboration.

To help address this challenge, help employees understand the role of in-person collaboration by making such in-person get-togethers intentional and specific. The below guide provides some use case examples businesses could adopt along with practical tips for designing, running and following up on a hybrid on-site.

Asynchronous Collaboration

With the role of managers and leaders to help their teams get work done, hybrid working has added a new layer of complexity to their roles with the introduction of two new 'modes' of working. In the traditional office setting, work was done in two main ways, collaborating with others (synchronous) and independently (asynchronous) with both modes of work completed primarily in one place. Today, work can be done in four ways synchronous together, synchronous apart, asynchronous together and asynchronous apart representing both in-person and hybrid working styles.

Work Modes in the Hybrid Setting

While tools such as SharePoint and Teams can help employees thrive in the hybrid workplace, it is important for leaders to understand the strengths and potential pitfalls of each working style and how best to unlock the full potential of each both for your people and your organisation. The below guide helps address these questions while providing some tips for enhancing both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration in the hybrid landscape.

Striking the Work-Life Balance

Pre-pandemic hybrid work was touted as the future of work - a working model that would help employees realise work-life balance, however, the reality paints a very different picture. Data indicates that the traditional 9-5 workday is fading with many workers active later in the day, in particular between 6pm and 8pm. This shift raises the question, is this about flexibility or has the workday begun to encroach on personal hours?

To compensate for the rapid adoption of remote working, business leaders embraced regular virtual team meetings to encourage collaboration and connection, but with the Work Trend Index revealing a 252% increase in weekly time spent on virtual meetings these actions could prove counterproductive, eating into focus time and preventing employees from achieving a state of flow. Discover how to create a culture where employees can reclaim their time to focus more on the tasks that matter most with the Work Life Balance WorkLab Guide below.

Hybrid Meetings Done Right

While an overload of meetings can prove harmful, great meetings remain the cornerstone of a successful organisation. Run-well meetings can act as catalysts for innovation, foster effective collaboration and facilitate decision-making. But with the number of weekly meetings increasing by 153% how can your organisation prevent meeting fatigue and maximise their value?

To help you get the most from hybrid meetings, Microsoft's Hybrid Meeting WorkLab Guide explores the five main types of hybrid meetings and provides practical tips and tricks to get the most from each meeting type.

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