The greatest challenge we are facing is navigating business in optimizing work productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic and now as we enter the ‘new normal’ era. This means we need to maintain a balance between operational productivity and efforts to minimize the risk of employees contracting COVID-19. The majority of workers have adapted to working from home (WFH) due to the pandemic, and are likely to continue doing so for an extended period.
Global companies have been serious about designing remote working concepts for the future. Facebook has recently announced that their employees will be able to work from home until the end of 2020. The same goes for Twitter, whose employees can work from home indefinitely. Research from Gartner indicates that 74% of corporate CFOs plan to permanently switch their work schemes to allow employees to work remotely following the COVID-19 pandemic. These same work dynamics are also occurring in Indonesia.
Not only that, the coronavirus pandemic has also brought new breakthroughs in the use of work collaboration solutions for employees, such as video conferencing and work chat applications, including Microsoft Teams. These solutions help employees collaborate on work that was previously completed independently. This has become a necessity for businesses during the social restrictions period, when most employees are not permitted to work at the office.
Data from Microsoft revealed a significant increase in the use of the Teams application. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic will be a turning point that changes the way we work and study forever. Global user demand for Microsoft Teams surged in April, rising significantly from 32 million daily active users to 44 million in just one week.
In Indonesia, the pandemic has also encouraged organizations to quickly adapt and invest more in technology to enable employees to work remotely. For companies whose employees have to work in an office or on site, investments in technology will still be made to maintain the health and safety of their employees.
During the working from home period, many employees in Indonesia need to adapt quickly to using features of technology for work, such as video meetings, virtual presentations, and collaborative document work between teams in real time. On the other hand, a number of organizations that were initially skeptical of the effectiveness of the remote work model have found many benefits, including reductions in overhead costs, operational efficiency, and increased productivity. Moreover, many employees have enjoyed the freedom of greater flexibility in their schedules and work routines. On this basis, the technological solutions enabling work collaborations will not simply disappear when offices reopen.
Along with the relaxing of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) and employees being able to return to offices, organizations need to emphasize three things that can be achieved with Microsoft 365 solutions in the new normal era work setting.
1. Empower productivity
For companies implementing a shift work arrangement, the question remains: how can those who are working remotely do so efficiently like employees working from the office? The Microsoft Teams feature integrated into Microsoft 365 can combine several functions to ensure that both employees working in the office and those working remotely can simultaneously be well-connected, both when they work side by side or virtually. This significantly helps the team to exchange ideas, have discussions, call, and collaborate in one convenient digital location.
2. Easy and unlimited collaboration
In order to remain productive, team members need to collaborate. This is more than a matter of thought processes. Therefore, team members rely heavily on auxiliary facilities to assist them in sharing files and documents quickly and safely.
Microsoft 365 features offer two technologies to support unlimited collaboration: OneDrive and SharePoint. These file storage and sharing products are designed to help team members save, find, write together, and update files from any location. Files can be shared safely both within the organization and externally for uninhibited collaboration.
Organizations can also develop Intranets on SharePoint, which allows employees to share and manage content, knowledge, and applications.
3. Work remotely without feeling distant
In a modern workplace, an office can be anywhere. How can employees
Connection depends on synchronization. This is
not only between people, but also between devices. With Microsoft 365,
employees are connected from any location using the Microsoft Office
application on a PC, tablet or cellphone. Team members separated from each
other by the pandemic can receive emails and calendar events that are
synchronized on all devices in real-time. Employees can also manage their own
work schedules with any device they use, while still joining voice and video
calls from anywhere.(*)
 Excerpt from the following source: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-04-03-gartner-cfo-surey-reveals-74-percent-of-organizations-to-shift-some-employees-to-remote-work-permanently2
 Excerpt from the following source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/9/21214314/microsoft-teams-usage- coronavirus-pandemic-work-habit-change