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(Note: The filming date of the film is March 2020.)

Since the first case of COVID-19 pneumonia was diagnosed in early December 2019, the topic of the epidemic has been burning up to this day. Taiwan has had the honor to have a fairly peaceful time. However, in the spring and summer of this year (2021), the local epidemic has fallen into an unprecedented major The test is not only to upgrade the three-level alert across the country, but to wear masks all the way out, cancel various gatherings, and implement a joint system. The Shuangbei area, where the epidemic is more severe, also completely bans the use of restaurants and expands the proportion of home offices.

Working from home is the “remote office” model that many companies are discussing in recent years. It is obvious that the epidemic has forced the digital transformation of Taiwanese companies to surface. Especially for companies that are used to communicating on paper, remote office is undoubtedly An inevitable challenge.

Every major epidemic has profoundly changed the world. Take Microsoft, a major technology company, as an example. As early as 2003 when SARS swept the world, Microsoft recognized the urgency and necessity of remote office; even if there is no epidemic, in the recent decades of rapid climate change, The Microsoft headquarters in Seattle is often due to heavy snowstorms, making it difficult for employees to reach the company for work. Since then, Microsoft has been committed to research and development of new technologies to help humans complete their work missions more effectively.

In order to better understand the benefits, management philosophy, promotion methods of remote office, and how companies can digitally transform and realize remote office, the key commentary website Brand Studio invited well-known technology and finance anchor Lu Yizhen (Xiaolu), and Taiwan Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Chen Huirong (Flora was the deputy general manager of the Microsoft 365 business affairs group during the filming of the 2020 video), and conducted in-depth interviews directly through the Microsoft Teams video conference.

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Photo Credit:TNL Brand Studio/
Technology anchor Xiaolu used Microsoft Teams to interview Flora as the deputy general manager of Microsoft 365 business affairs group in Taiwan (now the chief operating officer of Microsoft Taiwan)

The “remote office” experiment started more than ten years ago, and Microsoft proposed 3 major benefits

The development of science and technology has undoubtedly made the working mode more flexible. In October 2010, Microsoft’s work application, Office 365, was launched and officially launched on June 28, 2011. It reversed the work patterns of countless companies around the world, accelerated collaboration efficiency, and promoted corporate growth.

Flora said that telecommuting actually has many benefits:

In addition to being used as a contingency plan for encountering natural and man-made disasters, in addition, geographical distance will not be an obstacle to the participation of outstanding employees. For business owners, remote office is a good way to save space and cost.

Flora also admitted that Microsoft’s remote office model is not in place all at once, but the result of continuous experimentation, optimization and improvement of office tools for more than ten years.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t see employees. “Independence, Initiative, and Mutual Trust” create Microsoft’s “Management Upwards” philosophy

Under the culture of “meeting three parts”, will remote office become a barrier between team feelings? Xiaolu raised such a question. Flora believes that remote office actually makes the team cherish the time of the party more, so that every meeting has a high-quality result.

For example, through regular Team Building, the team can gather feelings and build consensus; or arrange small activities for 5-10 minutes before the meeting, so that the team can play together, get along with each other freely, and get to know each other better. When the team has the temperature, it can grow and progress with understanding and resonance.

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Photo Credit:TNL Brand Studio/
Flora said that even if working remotely, working with teams in the Asia Pacific region can still feel at home.

Remote office is also a good opportunity for employees to practice more concentration and self-discipline. In the past, the supervisor took the initiative to manage and supervise, but in the remote office situation, employees must learn to be independent and actively report progress to the supervisor. Therefore, Flora said:

“In fact, one of the most important things in remote management is: you have to manage your boss, which is “upward management”.”

Proactively inform the progress of the work, list the issues that must be discussed with the supervisor before the meeting, and discuss, find solutions, and make decisions in a short meeting efficiently. Flora believes that if you can make good use of remote office platforms/tools, data sharing, teamwork, and meetings can be completed more efficiently than before.

The key to the success or failure of remote office and digital transformation: establishing a trusting and open corporate culture

If you want to start the remote office mode, how can local companies in Taiwan start? Flora admitted that if the company relies heavily on paper and is accustomed to communicating in written materials, it is indeed difficult to achieve remote office work at one time. The first thing companies must think about is: Do they want to start digital transformation?

Of course, digital transformation is an irreversible trend. Before embracing digital transformation and making work content and models as digital and cloud-based as possible, the true test and the key to success lies in “corporate culture.”

Peter Dulac once said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This means that without a good corporate culture, no matter how good a business strategy is, it is futile.

Flora bluntly said that a good corporate culture includes: how to provide a basis for mutual trust? How to empower employees? She also mentioned that current employees are “smart workers” who can think and work independently, and if companies want to empower employees and enable them to use their talents to the best of their ability, apart from a culture of trust, they must also give Effective tool support.

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Photo Credit: TNL Brand Studio/A good corporate culture must include the foundation of mutual trust

After the company has a cultural foundation of mutual trust, the next step is to find a suitable partner to assist in the introduction of safe and effective digital tools. “Although the epidemic this time is a crisis, it may also be a turning point. It makes companies rethink: how to brew a good corporate culture, and through a good corporate culture to achieve digital transformation and achieve sustainable development.” Flora said.

Epidemic prevention forces companies to consider remote office, but they also see more possibilities for growth. Promoting remote office and digital transformation is a good opportunity to reflect and reshape the corporate culture. And this is why, Microsoft, which has always respected everyone’s own way of working and spatial autonomy, and has embraced the ideas of global talents and sparked creative sparks, has always spared no effort to assist enterprises in digital transformation and take this as its mission.

Although the epidemic is worrying, but from another perspective, isn’t this time to enter the era of more efficient remote office? Microsoft provides a one-month free trial of the Enterprise Edition, so you may wish to apply for it now.

Office 365 E5 | Microsoft

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