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Cally Chan, general manager of Microsoft Hong Kong and Macau, shares on the company blog her thought on how technologies can empower and connect the workforce in the time of need, where working from home has become a necessity.

Remote working: A new culture enabled by trust

A smooth and effective remote working experience requires thorough planning and the most suitable and secured collaborative tools. And this is not only for critical situations but potentially a long-term new way of working.

In Hong Kong and globally, Microsoft's employees are encouraged to leverage their technology and their collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, to choose their preferred working location and time.

This is the new culture of work. One that is more open, flexible to meet the individual needs of each employee. One that fosters a collaborative environment that inspires creative thinking and agility. One that also rewards dynamic teamwork and data-driven problem solving.

Most importantly, this new culture of work protects company and customer data and mitigates the risks posed by increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, all while minimising the total cost of ownership.

Nurturing this new culture of work inside one's organisation requires a combination of cultural change, the right technology and thoughtful workplace design. One will need to make available purpose-built tools to unlock creativity and innovation in the workforce, enable and accelerate teamwork, democratise data and analytics for constant improvement and address robust security and compliance requirements. Most importantly, it will require the company’s leadership and commitment to act as a role model for a new way of working.

Maintaining business velocity and operations digitally

While remote working is the focus of many businesses these days, other critical business operations going digital is also imperative, especially as unforeseeable, challenging events are emerging more often than ever. These critical business operations include event organisation and administrative processes such as HR leave applications, finance approvals and expense reports.

Companies should seek a platform that could support more than remote working, but also simplifying a company’s internal processes while maintaining the highest level of security and compliance. This also offers the employees a unified and modern user experience.

Today’s modern workforce expects a lot out of its technology. Not only does it expect to have access to devices that can talk to each other and update automatically, but virtual meetings that are easy to set up and provide on-demand availability of mission-critical applications.