The new world of hybrid work in Australia and New Zealand

Hybrid work: A woman with a headset on smiles at her colleague on her laptop screen.

Nathalie Tousignant, director of ITSM product management, co-wrote this blog.

For decades, work was a place we went, where colleagues gathered in person for meetings, problem-solving, and chats over coffee. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the way we thought about work changed overnight.

Many tried to fit the processes of traditional in-person work into a virtual setting. The result? Overloaded manual processes failed, HR and IT support requests drastically increased, and unnecessary costs rose.

Despite those challenges, hybrid work is becoming a reality for many of us today. According to PwC Australia, 74% of employees desire a mix of in-person and virtual working. As we prepare for this new world of work, our perceptions need to change.

The platform employees use every day also needs to adapt to this changing environment to support collaboration, productivity, inclusiveness, and employee satisfaction from any location. ServiceNow workflows and Microsoft Teams make this possible.

The changing role of the office

Work is now defined by what you do rather than where you do it. In the world of hybrid work, the office still plays an important role as a hub available for collaboration and group work. However, it’s only one piece of the hybrid landscape, not the defining factor it once was.

Organizations are using what has happened over the last year as a catalyst to accelerate the transformation of how we work and the role of the office. At-home and in-office employees need to feel they’re on an equal playing field—that they have an equal voice in meetings and equal access to support and knowledge sharing.

Leaders must learn to balance two fundamentally distinct ways of working, and employees must continue to adapt as well. Collaboration and support are more important than ever before, so having the right tools is crucial to business success.

Supporting employees in the hybrid world

Amid the transition to a new way of working, we’ve seen a shift in work patterns. Employees are no longer confined to the standard 9-to-5 traditional workday—and support has had to adapt accordingly.

As working hours change and expand, support must now be available on demand for employees whenever they need it. But that doesn’t have to mean an increase in costs. ServiceNow and Microsoft provide a seamless, transformative experience for employees and support teams alike across ServiceNow workflows and Microsoft Teams. Employees are empowered to:

  • Self-serve and resolve issues quickly from home or in the office.

  • Get support and gain visibility from anywhere within the familiar and convenient Microsoft Teams environment.

  • Get answers to frequently asked questions such as, “When will my benefits kick in?” with AI-powered chat and Predictive Intelligence.

  • Initiate a video call with a live agent for more urgent issues, directly in Microsoft Teams.  

  • Collaborate seamlessly on critical issues when time is of the essence.

HR and IT teams see the benefits as well. Using AI and machine learning to fully automate whole workloads for HR and IT frees workers to focus on more strategic tasks. This type of automation saves organizations from having to hire additional support staff and from encountering disruptions in manual processes, ultimately reducing back-end costs. At the same time, employees gain a better, more consistent level of service.

Driving collaboration for hybrid work

Human-to-human interaction is imperative to our well-being. When physical distances are great, effective collaboration becomes more challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Through a conversational experience powered by natural language understanding (NLU), the Now Platform® and Microsoft Teams enable collaboration from anywhere. From day-to-day interactions with co-workers to solving technical issues, always-on Virtual Agent is available anytime.

Instead of traditional, manual processes and support desks, Virtual Agent simulates an in-person experience while increasing employee productivity. Employees and managers can take action on notifications such as approvals and update the status of a case. Agents can initiate meetings within Teams to resolve major incidents.

More than just a tool for chatting, Microsoft Teams is the hub for all employee interaction.

Learn more about how ServiceNow digital workflows and Microsoft Teams are making hybrid work, work for you in our ebook.

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