Work-Life Integration approach brings together professional and personal lives in harmony
Bangkok, February 26, 2016 – The global transition to the mobile and cloud era is setting the stage for a new knowledge- and services-based economy. Several businesses have adapted to the changing circumstances by emphasizing remote work through technologies that enhance collaboration and productivity.
A recent Microsoft online survey covering 5,000 working professionals, including 400 Thai professionals, across 13 countries in Asia found that 47 out of 100 Thai professionals felt their employers are enabling them to be productive, collaborative and innovative, whilst ensuring personal wellbeing in the changing world of work.
“Microsoft believes if an organization that takes care of its employees, where it has policies in place that ensure employee welfare as well as supporting the varied work lifestyles of its employees, it will allow employees to be able to better integrate work and life. Thus, the new workstyle will no longer focus on Work-Life Balance, but strongly underline Work–Life Integration by enabling mobility and instant connectivity with the help of technology,” said Siriwan Thongluang, Senior HR Business Partner, Microsoft Thailand.
According to the survey, 3 in 10 of Asian working professionals can seamlessly integrate professional and personal lives together. However, 69% of respondents in the survey needed to be in office to get work done, because they needed access to equipment and tools that are available in the office only; and 25% said that they were doing so just to be close to their colleagues and managers. This clearly highlights a mind-set and operational gap that needs to be addressed in order for companies to reap productivity gains.
As a result, Microsoft has invented innovative workplace practices for the New World of Work to empower its employees to enable remote work and to improve productivity within its organization. Here are three ways to go about rethinking workplace policies for the New World of Work:
1.Manage performance, not presence
72% of respondents in the survey are already spending at least a day in their five-day work week outside of the office. With work becoming increasingly on-demand and on-the-go, it is also important for managers to learn to lead dispersed teams effectively, and this can be done when clear key performance indicators (KPIs) for teams are set from the get-go. It is also important to focus evaluations on performance and outcomes. This way, employees are aware of expectations and their performance can be tracked against deliverables rather than attendance.
2. Empower collaboration across teams
The study showed that 54% of all respondents feel that the ability to collaborate instantly with colleagues would most benefit the company that they work for today. Empowering collaboration builds a team-oriented workforce where employees feel vested in the growth and performance of the company. One way is to look at creating or remodeling workspaces that foster collaboration and creativity as well as to leverage collaboration tools which break down the siloes between teams.
3. Democratize access to technology
From the study, a majority of professionals felt the need to be in office as they required access to equipment and tools that are available in the workplace only. In addition, respondents who held managerial positions within their organization seemed to be very well equipped to respond to internal and external stakeholders. With mobile and cloud technologies being pervasive today, it is important to champion for such tools to be made widely available for every employee to work flexibly and remotely. At the same time, it is important to also ensure that your company’s data is secure and protected.
“Microsoft has efficient tools to enable Work-Life Integration for its employees. We focus on work performance rather than presence at the workplace. This is standard for every Microsoft employee and does not create any conflict between colleagues. In this mobile and cloud world, Microsoft recognizes the value of flexibility in every employee’s work style. Many of us are constantly working offsite or even, in some special cases, unable to work in the office at all due to an illness in the family or pregnancy. This is also the situation I myself am facing as I am now expecting twins. For me, commuting to work can sometimes present challenges or even risks. However, I also feel uncomfortable about not being able to work as I still wish to feel vested in myself and company. Microsoft is empowering employees in a way that contributes to productivity without being restrictive and prescriptive in employee management while also continuing to uphold a high standard of performance,” added Siriwan Thongluang, Senior HR Business Partner, Microsoft Thailand.
“As part of a new generation that grew up in the digital world, I see several advantages in the New World of Work for myself and company. Working at Microsoft allows me to explore innovations and gain a lot of experience. I can proudly say that all of my friends feel very envious of me for being a part of Microsoft Academy for College Hires (MACH) program. This program not only gives me exciting experiences but also training and development opportunities across Thailand and abroad. I am only 22 and one of the youngest employees of Microsoft Thailand, but since joining the company, I have learned a lot and met more people who share my ideals and lifestyles. To me, working here is fun and always adventurous. My colleagues always offer advice and support in every way, and my wish is to give Microsoft the same kind of quality and performance. It is fun to be here, simply because there is always something new for me to learn,” said Methus Detchusananart, Technical Account Manager, Premier, Enterprise Services, Microsoft Thailand.
“Since I am required to work offsite and regularly meet with clients, Microsoft technologies like Skype for Business can facilitate remote work and provide secure access to internal tools and data from anywhere. This ultimately enables a new workstyle known as Work–Life Integration. Microsoft expects high performance and values outcomes more than employee attendance. People here are very kind and open. Although I do not have much experience, my team leader always listens to my feedback and I can see tangible changes afterwards. This makes me feel that I am truly a part of Microsoft’s performance and successes,” Methus added.
About Siriwan Thongluang
Siriwan Thongluang, Senior HR Business Partner, Microsoft Thailand, graduated from Monash University. Before joining Microsoft in 2013, Siriwan had worked in FMCG industry for many years. For her passion and positive attitude, Siriwan received many career awards such as ‘One Microsoft Award’ and ‘Excellent in Collaboration Award’. In her current role, she is responsible for creating good work environment, and also oversees personal development of employees to ensure everyone works productively in Mobile-first, Cloud-first world.
About Methus Detchusananart
Methus Detchusananart, a technical account manager at Microsoft Thailand, graduated from Chulalongkorn University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Engineering with GPA: 3.90/4.00. He attended several activities at university, such as Head of Quality Assurance of Engineering Student Committee, Vice President of Intergames 2013 organizer committee and Master of Ceremony of Intergames opening and closing ceremony. He is also fond of Golf, Tennis, Badminton, Gym, and won Gold medal for team badminton in Freshmen game. He likes reading books and is passionate about IT. He loves spends his free times visiting IT retailors stores to observe costumer behaviors while traveling aboard
About Microsoft Academy for College Hires (MACH)
The Microsoft Academy for College Hires (MACH) program is a customized learning experience designed for our newest university hires in various job families including Marketing, Sales, Services, IT and Operations. This two-year program complements your role by ensuring that you receive professional development to enable you to start strong, accelerate your impact, build your network and drive a long-term career at Microsoft. We do this by offering you world-class training, coaching from some of the brightest minds in the industry and a global community of MACHs from more than 60 countries. MACH offers two opportunities as follows:
- MACH Bachelor’s Degrees
- MACH MBA Degrees
Additionally, Microsoft also offers an opportunity to be in Intern to MACH, an internship program for 3rd-year students to learn, gain insight, have fun and, most importantly, get hands-on experience solving real problems on real projects
“Intern to MACH” and MACH will host roadshow at universities across country to attract many local students who wish to be part of the program. To apply for “Intern to MACH” and MACH programs, please send resumes to Microsoft for consideration before passing to assessment session.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Established in 1993, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited aims to Make 70 Million Lives Better by enabling Thai people and businesses to realize their full potential through technology that transforms the way people work, play, and communicate. We offer software, services, and devices that deliver new opportunities, greater convenience, and enhanced value to people’s lives. Working with communities and the Thai government, Microsoft and its partners are committed to working closely with organizations and people across Thailand to fully harness the power of technology and innovation.
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