FOMO; the fear of missing out. The lack of confidence that comes with feeling disconnected and uninformed.
Unless you are the most utterly confident of human beings you will probably have experienced FOMO at some point in your life. From a mild niggling that you may have missed a bit of gossip, to a terrible feeling that you don’t have the information you need to do your job, FOMO is a genuine issue that can get in the way of feeling completely comfortable working away from the office. And, in a hybrid working model with employees mixing remote and office-based activities, FOMO is a challenge that needs to be tackled by employers and employees alike.
The good news is that technology really can help, and M365 has a wealth of tools to stop FOMO creeping in across your workforce. With ever-evolving ways to stay connected, and communication tools that can deliver near instant messaging across multiple platforms, there is no reason for any employee to miss out on any news, information or – even – gossip.
Some things simply can’t be replicated in a virtual world. Bumping into a rarely seen ex-team mate on the way to make a coffee and stopping for a chat. Seeing a teammate’s new e-bike as they cruise into the parking lot and giving them a wolf whistle. Overhearing a colleague crying in the loos and comforting them with a hug and a listening ear. These positive social interactions at work are vital for well-being, sparking the reward centre of the brain and positively affecting the body’s physiological processes.
Those random moments are the hardest to replicate in a remote workforce, where it can sometimes feel that all your connections such as Teams calls, or collaborative working sessions need to be scheduled in advance. But, as well as planned or regular Teams calls, M365 also gives you the opportunity to kick off sessions to work together spontaneously, to share information in a personal and informal manner, or even to grab a quick chat with friends and colleagues when you fancy a gossip.
Teams gives your employees all the tools they need to work seamlessly with colleagues and collaborators whatever their location. Best known for online video meetings, Teams also provides many sophisticated ways to work together in channels cooperating on projects or activities. From working simultaneously on a shared Word document or PowerPoint presentation to the vast number of opportunities Teams gives you to chat with teammates both formally and informally.
The chance to break out into conversation – mid morning, mid meeting, or even at midnight – and be open and honest, creating personal connections, or grabbing those random moments, is what keeps people feeling connected, even in a virtual world.
Basic chat can take place in most Teams apps between teams, groups, and individuals. And those famous video meetings aren’t just limited to line manager one-to-ones or project team planning sessions, as Teams can facilitate up to 10,000 users and can include anyone inside or outside a business. Teams can be used to chat to a colleague, to video call with your team, or workshop a project issue – sharing screens and using virtual whiteboards to sketch out ideas – as well as pulling an entire department together for seminars and information sharing sessions.
Yammer is a social networking tool that opens communication in hybrid working businesses of all sizes. Regardless of location, employees can use Yammer to stay on top of what matters to them with the Home feed. Yammer allows them to discuss ideas and share updates with colleagues in a relaxed and informal manner, and even gives them the tools to recognise individual achievements or crowdsource ideas.
Yammer is the tool where employees can open up, share stories, and attach files, gifs, photos or videos to bring their personality and character into the conversation.
Yammer enables users to create communities, and employees can stay connected whether at their desk or on the move with the Yammer mobile app – keeping that FOMO in check wherever they are.
Sometimes feeling connected is simply about getting the big news at the same time as everyone else. Stream brings the richness of video comms into daily work, giving you the power to deliver information in an impactful and personal way. With Stream you can deliver live and on-demand events – such as town hall style meetings and company announcements – managing rich media communications for up to 10,000 employees simultaneously and, whether people are at home, at work, or on the go, they will get the same seamless experience.
As Greg Vise, Vice President of Technology, Epsilon says, “Stream makes it easy to securely share video content, so everyone can access the information that’s important to them.”
The ultimate tool to combat FOMO is relatively new to the M365 suite. With its development completed in the context of the pandemic, Viva is an experience platform that is specifically created to empower people and teams to be their best from anywhere. Viva delivers Topics to organise and find content, Connections to keep people connected to the information and people that they need every day, Learning to make access to learning universal across your business, and Insights to give individuals the data and recommendations to understand how they can thrive at work.
Viva brings together all the tools that your employees need to resist FOMO, with a focus on wellbeing that will help them build confidence and knowledge in a hybrid working context.
Beyond ensuring that your employees have the very best technology you also need to make sure that the culture of your business helps to ensure any employee FOMO is unfounded.
Individual’s confidence will come from widespread and consistent use of collaboration and communication tools across your organisation, and employees’ assurance that they have access to the information they need wherever they are based on any given day. You need to make sure you drive the behaviour from the top down, with leaders demonstrating values of openness and sharing with consistent, relevant communications day-to-day. With the right tools and an established culture of keeping employees in the loop, you will be able to dispel any feelings of FOMO and disconnection in your workforce, however and wherever they choose to work.