Image of the Microsoft Office Viva modules working with Microsoft Teams.

The Future of Remote Office Culture with Microsoft Viva

Josh Logozar
February 11, 2021

With Viva just being announced late last week, and rolling out in the first half of 2021; let's take a look at what each module is going to do, and how it can effect our daily work life.

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With many of us working from home, and not having the luxury of water cooler talks, people in the world are feeling less and less connected to the world. Microsoft Viva is coming with a solution that will combine communications, knowledge, learning, and work insights into one place, all using Microsoft 365 integrations. Viva is going to have four modules (Connections, Insights, Learning, and Topics) that we can access all through Microsoft Teams.

This is a quick rundown of what is coming up, and the small amounts of what they can do, with the official blog posts for each module linked within their respective paragraphs.

Note: Viva will be rolling out in the first half of 2021.

Viva Connections

Viva Connections is a slick personalized feed where you can discover news, and contribute to conversations from anywhere. Connections will allow you to publish content from SharePoint, Yammer, Streams, and external news sources to a single content point within Microsoft Teams. Think of it as a professional level social media platform. You can reach specific departments, regions, or roles using audience targeting, or to every employee in your organization.

Image of Viva Connections in Microsoft Teams.

With Connections being integrated into your Microsoft 365, here are a few things that you will be able to do immediately:

  • Extend your SharePoint intranet content (including home site) into Teams
  • Target your content based on Azure Active Directory groups
  • Customize your dashboards with Power apps
  • Pin files and videos from OneDrive and Stream

This is going to be a great opportunity to drive engagement to your employees, and really get them involved in the news and interaction of the company. You will never have to leave Teams to get your news, boast about your accomplishments, and let everyone know about the incentives that may exist internally.

Viva Insights

We have discussed reviewing your work/life balance using MyAnalytics, but now Microsoft is introducing Viva Insights. As of right now, Insights does the following:

  • Help you stay on top of your collaborations through features such as AI-based task suggestions and meeting assistance.
  • Allow you to schedule focus time directly out of teams. The focus time that you book will be in two hour slots, and it will turn all of your notifications off in that time.
Image of Viva Insights in Microsoft Teams.

The goal for Insights will be to give individuals, managers, and leaders personalized insights to help us understand our personal well being, insights, and actions from Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics, all within the Teams environment.

For individuals, it will help protect our time for regular breaks, allow us to set focus time, and make sure that we are getting a chance to learn and advance our career path, all without suffering from burnout.

Managers are going to get the data-driven insights to help garner healthy successful teams. This will give suggestions to the manager to allow them to talk to their employees about managing the noise in Teams, setting boundaries in their calendar, and overall allowing you to manage your teams' productivity and avoid burnout.

This is a feature that has already been integrated into teams, and instructions on how to access it are located here.

Viva Learning

Learning is an incredibly important piece to your success, and your ability to climb the career ladder. There was a recent report from LinkedIn that stated that 94 percent of employees would stay with the company longer if they invested in learning and development. Microsoft is here to help create a natural, and consistent, transition to making learning part of your scope.

Image of Viva Learning in Microsoft Teams.

Viva Learning is a central learning hub in Teams that will allow you to discover, share, and access courses from leading content providers, such as Linkedin Learning, Microsoft Learning, Skillsoft, Coursera, and edX. You will be able to create your own custom content that can be held within the hub. This means your training materials will be more streamlined, easier to access, and will allow management to track the completion of courses, and be able to share and suggest content.

Viva Topics

Last but not least, Viva Topics. Viva topics is an internal knowledge base that uses AI to automatically organize company-wide content into categories.

We have all been there, seeing someone post about an acronym in a Team, and not understanding what it means. We also don’t want to look dumb by asking, so you go and search for it, wasting a few minutes of your time, and taking your focus off of the task at hand. All that is going to happen is with the AI learning, it will discover your internal jargon, and provide you with a contact card when you hover over said word. Just like your contact cards for other team members, it will give you the information that you will need to be successful.

Image of Viva Topics in Microsoft Teams.

An example would be if you have a project that has been given a new name recently, but you are not yet aware of the update. When the name gets mentioned in a chat, you can hover over it, and a contact card will pop up. The contact card will provide you with the essential information, the people involved and suggested resources. This is going to save you tons of time not having to look up jargon in SharePoint, and maybe not having access to it.

A Bright Future for Remote Work

Viva is going to be a game-changer for how we work. We are never going to have to leave Teams to learn, keep track of our mental health, and connect to our team on a daily basis. Microsoft has stated that this is just the start of it, and they are aiming to continue making it easier and more natural for people the be able to work remotely, and have the same feeling that they would while they are in the office.

If you want to get started now, Viva Topics is Generally Available, while Viva Insights is in public preview, and Viva Learning is in private preview. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Viva and Microsoft Teams!

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