Working Smart in the Free Dimension

If 2020 was the year of remote work, and 2021 was the year of hybrid work, then 2022 is the year to really make hybrid work, work. In fact, Microsoft’s second Annual Work Trend Index “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work Work” reveals that employees are calling for a ‘Free Dimensional’ Workplace. 

The survey explores changes from the collective experience of the last two years that business decision-makers should pay attention to as we are introduced to ‘Free Dimensional’ work, and what was a temporary fix during the pandemic. These include redefining personal productivity, balancing diversity of thought and equity of experience, and re-evaluating networks and their effect on social capital. 

Truly hybrid work is new, it’s unknown, and constantly evolving. We all have a unique hybrid work/life balance that works for each of us. According to the Work Trend Index, employees’ preference for work flexibility is clear – 53% of workers in Singapore are considering switching to remote or hybrid work.

Embracing the ‘Free Dimensional World’ will challenge our fixed mindsets. Now, more than ever, it is every business leader’s responsibility to balance employee interests with organizational success to do more with less.

Shifting expectations about work

While hybrid work remains a hot topic for many organizations, we know this it is more than just changing the location of the workplace. It’s about changing fundamental routines that have become familiar and ingrained.

At the heart of this is the realization that who we are today and what we deem important are no longer the same as back in 2020. Priorities have shifted, with 52% of employees in Singapore now prioritizing health and well-being over work. Employees have a new “worth it” equation – what they want from work and what they are willing to give is not what it was before the pandemic.

Building social capital

With 43% of leaders in Asia reporting that the greatest challenge of hybrid or remote wok is relationship-building, we can no longer rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital lost, as this journey is not one about moving completely from home back to the office.

It is about combining the best of both worlds to create a new dimension of work that is truly hybrid. To rediscover and, for many, discover the joy of in-person human connections, while maintaining the flexibility and freedom of where, when, and how you work. Work is no longer two-dimensional behind screens, nor is it only three-dimensional in person; it is now free dimensional.

A truly Free Dimensional World offers a unique work/life balance that is suitable for each of us. Here’s our view on how to make the Free Dimension work for you:

1. Reimagine your work ‘space’ 

Take the best of both worlds and combine them to create a new dimension of work that is truly hybrid and flexible and introduce new devices that allow you to seamlessly switch between work and life. Today’s hybrid workspaces put remote and in-person employees on equal footing, whether at the office or at home, thanks to new features in Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Viva.

As more people and businesses recognize the value of digital capabilities in amplifying what an organization can achieve, Singapore’s digital needs have grown. Moving to the cloud is one way for organizations to do more with less today. With Microsoft Cloud, employees can thrive in a modern, productive workplace that empowers them to work with less friction and more choice, driving better business outcomes.

Sembcorp Industries, one of Singapore’s largest energy players, for example, has adopted Microsoft Cloud to help its employees improve productivity and well-being, as they work to build an energy operating system at scale for a green, sustainable future.

2. Finding the balance between work and life

Hybrid working can blur work and personal life even more, and that makes it difficult for organizations and employees alike to strike the right balance. Embrace new ways of working that empower you to be in more control over how you’re working to find the right balance to be happier, healthier, and more energized and connected than ever.

By using tools like Microsoft Viva, employees can access personalized recommendations that help improve well-being and increase productivity. Leveraging these actionable insights daily creates a healthy environment for employees to build better work habits and find the right balance between work and life.

3. Stay safe with trusted technology 

As we move toward a Free Dimensional World and embrace a hybrid way of life, it is more important than ever to protect your entire digital life, whether at home or work because threats don’t stop when you leave the office or close your work laptop for the day. We need solutions that help everyone feel safe while working, playing, and living. 

With security features of Microsoft 365 like the Microsoft Defender for Office and Cloud Apps, employees can collaborate securely anytime, anywhere. By strengthening security postures and accelerating workload protection against modern threats across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, Microsoft 365’s security features gives people and businesses peace of mind to work productively in a complex risk landscape.

Sunningdale Tech Ltd, a Singapore-based precision plastics engineering firm is accelerating digital transformation across the organization while enabling its employees to collaborate securely and seamlessly in the cloud. With the Microsoft Cloud, Sunningdale is gearing up security and threat protection capabilities in the future of hybrid work while optimizing resources and saving money.

Creating a free dimensional world that works for everyone

The term ‘hybrid work’ has gone through several evolutions over the past few years. At this point, work is no longer two-dimensional behind screens or only three-dimensional in person.

Different people have different styles and different needs. The hybrid-paradox – people wanting the flexibility to work from everywhere but simultaneously craving more in-person connection – creates the ideal opportunity for a ‘Free Dimensional’ workplace that works for everyone.

Learn how you can do more with less with Microsoft 365 here.

Microsoft 365