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Microsoft Viva is tackling key hybrid workplace sticking points. Here's How.

Microsoft are responding to the overwhelming demand for more efficient hybrid workspaces with the introduction of their first purpose built Employee Experience Platform (EXP) that promises to centralise organisational knowledge sharing, learning, insights and communication. At Konsolute, our services, assessments and workshops on Hybrid workspaces can help you adopt and harness the power of Viva.

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Viva is a product driven by the need for better holistic infrastructure and support as we transition into far more permanent virtual communities. With the pandemic restrictions still rumbling on into at least Q3 of this year, no one expects a rapid return to the office. Hybrid working is our new trusted friend that allows us to stay productive no matter what happens outside of our four walls. This being said, it was imperative for Microsoft to create truly collaborative cultures without the physical office.

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Microsoft proved it had foreseen hybrid working with the arrival of Microsoft Teams for consumers over a year ago. As we all know, teams has been the leader in providing integrated environments for meetings, calls, chat, content collaboration and business process workflows. However, it felt that more was needed to virtualise the essence of office environments. Introducing Viva, the first employee experience built in the midst of the pandemic digital era which decided to move in last March. In this blog we’re getting to grips with Viva and all of its shiny new offering, lets breakdown topics, insights, connections and learning to see how Microsoft is changing the day to day of employee experience.

Viva Topics curates your data

Microsoft have used AI to keep oversight of your organisational information. This feature is about productivity because searching through endless data can take up valuable time and energy. That’s the reasoning behind the Topics pillar that can automatically identify, process, and organize content.

So now your company can make the most of topic pages and topic “cards” featuring relevant documents and expert advice. With Viva, employees don’t need to leave their workplace hub to get the knowledge they’re looking for, so if you’re concerned about security, relax. All of this takes place within your M365 so confidential materials can stay private.

Viva Insights aim to restore balance

This is where things get holistic, with Microsoft’s push to create calm virtual communities in a somewhat chaotic world. Viva recognises that employee mental health is of paramount importance to the productivity of your workplace and thus allows you to assess the health of your ecosystem and make changes accordingly.

The core value of Microsoft’s Insights lie in self-care, with. As a user, you are encouraged to replicate your previous routine with a “virtual commute” through Viva that integrates checklists and self-reflection exercises at the end of each day. We also see a brand new collaborative effort with the Headspace mindfulness app with the intention of avoiding the dreaded burnout.

Insights, has been designed to leverage the power of Microsoft Workplace Analytics and Microsoft MyAnalytics. Now you can measure how employees are using their time in Outlook and Teams, and how often people are online outside of working hours.

Viva Connections integrates your workplace Intranet

Workplace leaders can now easily deploy a SharePoint site with Viva Connections allowing admin to establish a landing page for company news, forms, apps and requesting IT assistance. Dashboards may be customized using Power Apps and third-party solutions already in use.

This templated intranet function builds on pre-existing portal experiences and provides a complete platform for employees to access critical information in real-time – the SharePoint framework may feel familiar but the one-stop-shop feel is brand new. For those taking their first steps into the world of an organisational intranet, this beginner friendly approach to templated environments is less daunting than previous Intranet offerings.

Microsoft have highlighted with Viva that a well-developed intranet is a core part of the employee experience. No matter how reluctant you are as an organisation, the need for supportive virtual platforms is even more pronounced as we continue to work outside of the office.

Viva Learning makes professional development more accessible

Viva empowers employees to actively search for training that’s relevant to their job or interests. Leaders and heads of department have more control over organisational learning, with managers now able to assign coursework in teams with a specified tab.

This component streamlines employee training and development by bringing learning materials directly into Microsoft Teams. Instead of going to various, ungoverned sites, users may navigate to Viva Learning to pull up online learning content – this can be admin integrated with links to LinkedIn Learning, Learning Management Systems, and other third-party providers.

Highly discoverable workplace learning is at the forefront of the Viva mission, with benefits that include engaged employees and better staff retention.

Consulting Services for your Viva EXP

As more and more companies join the new hybrid workforce, Viva is a reassurance policy for two major risk factors in hybrid business models –  productivity and mental health. Microsoft have grabbed the bull by the horns and addressed these issues with a unique and thoughtfully designed EXP. As always teams, is pushing employees into unchartered territory with a move towards deeper collaboration that stretches beyond traditional ‘professionalism’. With Viva, organisations will have the opportunity to provide hubs for our personal development, knowledge and wellness.

If the successes of Microsoft Teams are anything to go by, Viva will become a foundational bedrock for all healthy corporate ecosystems in the future and we’re excited to be able to help. From assessments to workshops, our consulting services are here to manage and develop your virtual communities. If you’re keen to know more, or simply have a chat about your digital transformation, let us know and hit the button below.

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