People Powered Digital Workplace

Datin Rowena Florece, HR Director, Microsoft Malaysia

Datin Rowena Florece, HR Director, Microsoft Malaysia

As I power up my Microsoft Surface in the cozy corner of Starbucks facing the park, I am scrolling through my inbox, typing rapid responses before my next appointment in an hour. Welcome to the new digital workplace, working anytime, anywhere at your convenience. Work has been redefined— how, where and what—transcends and blurs between physical and digital, this is the new normal of work. Communication at work has had a significant shift in the last 25 years. From voluminous files to virtual – employees navigate the virtual hallways seamlessly between email, texting, Skype, and live chats. The advent of technology has taken the world by storm, and the traditional workplace has evolved to keep up with both technology and workforce that came through the digital transformation. Office in the backpack has become the norm for many young executives and in fact has become a central feature in the mobile-first global workforce.

"The workforce has become more diverse and inclusive as technology allows people with disability to be readily accepted in the mainstream workforce"

Digital workplace is built on the fundamentals of productive collaboration and strategy that organizations adapt to drive agility and impact. As the modern workplace is premised on the mobile-first and cloud-first world, the workforce has become unbound from a physical space to be available in demand around the globe.


In the process, the workforce has become more diverse and inclusive as technology allows people with disability to be readily accepted in the mainstream workforce.

Just like the digital workplace, human resources is looking at a tectonic shift in workforce management. From a lumbering record keeping department to providing innovative talent solutions, human resources department plays a central role as a business partner to deliver greater impact while employees can consume HR services on demand.

Digital workplace is pivotal to us in Microsoft as it enables us to capitalize on the diversity of our people and the inclusion of ideas and solutions to meet the needs of our increasingly global and diverse customer base.

We embrace activity based working while building an agile, engaged workforce with enterprise social with Yammer and Teams. A digital workforce strategy is not just about one organization or large enterprises, it drives on a national agenda. For Malaysia, the Government has the policy to have 1 percent of the civil service comprising of people with disability (PWD), and a digital workforce will help the Government achieve its goal, in turn bringing PWD into mainstream economy. Similarly, women who drop out of the workforce to take care of young family members or elderly parents would be able to contribute to household income with a digital workplace strategy.

I have just wrapped up my interview with a candidate, who is a young mother and is eagerly looking forward get back to work after two years, she is excited about the opportunity, but most importantly she is looking for the flexibility to be able to work from home when needed. She is ready to take on big challenges, is full of passion, strives for excellence, wants to work in an open and respectful environment yet believes being accountable is very important. I think, I just found my perfect candidate!

I look forward to connecting with you on LinkedIn and learn about your digital transformation journey as well.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is a technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services.

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