Empowering the Latinx Workforce for Hybrid Work

| Jose Gomez Cueto, Director, Small, Medium Business Segment Leader, Microsoft

Hybrid Work

The pandemic has fueled an important discussion not just about the workplace dynamic but also workforce priorities. We’ve heard it called the Great Disruption to the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle, but the big questions remain: is this a passing trend or the new status quo? What are the key factors driving this shift and what is the best path forward? Finally, how does the Latinx community feel about the new workplace and hybrid work?

Latinx population in the U.S. reached 62.1 million in 2020, representing 18% of the total workforce, and it’s estimated that Latinx small business owners and entrepreneurs will account for 29% of the U.S. population by 2050. With Latinxs projected to maintain the highest labor force participation rates of all the racial or ethnic groups this year alone, this represents new opportunities for companies and business owners to better understand and effectively adapt and respond to this audience.

So, what do Latinx employees want in this new world of work? It boils down to employees having a new “worth it” equation. Two-thirds of Latinx polled in Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index say they are now much more conscious about prioritizing health over their work when it comes to going to the office. A whopping 60% say they are considering changing jobs in response, with almost a third of Latinx polled saying they moved to another company to address this concern, compared to only a fifth of overall U.S. workers. As we drill down further, over half (52%) of Gen Z and Millennials are likely to consider a new job in the next year. Considering that Latinxs make up 25% of all Gen Zers and 21% of all American Millennials (and growing in the next few years), these numbers aren’t to be ignored.

The time for businesses to act is now, but in a way that’s authentic, meaningful, and sustainable. Since last year’s edition of the Annual Work Trend Index, our research has found that Latinx workers prefer a hybrid or remote work arrangement, and a majority of Latinx-owned businesses are already rethinking their offices to accommodate hybrid work, per Microsoft polling. A lot of what’s driving this data is the sense of belonging that has risen considerably for underrepresented groups, especially Latinx workers.

Latinx Hybrid

Incorporating the right tools not only benefit and empower employees, but also succeed to improve waning workplace culture. Focusing on access to technology and training are critical cornerstones for businesses’ retention strategies. Technology like Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform, enables people and teams to be their best, bringing together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into the flow of work, from anywhere, anytime.  Since the start of the pandemic Microsoft Teams, has incorporated new ways for remote and hybrid teams to stay connected and collaborate such as live reactions, new ways to spotlight speakers’ videos and hybrid-focused whiteboard experiences so everyone feels part of the meeting and contributes on equal footing, no matter where they are.

Taking a “culture-first” approach to the workplace is another way businesses can effectively lead as the world transitions to hybrid work. Business leaders can reward their employees by optimizing the hybrid environment they prefer to work in. Building on the digital transformation work endured during the pandemic would boost morale for the employees and that should help businesses thrive. It’s important that leaders and their teams communicate with each other and set up agreements that allow employees to work where and how they are most productive. This will set up teams for success.

The greatest challenge for business owners from the onset of the pandemic has been how to navigate the shifts impacting how we work. Two years later, as we embrace and adapt to new norms and mindsets, the opportunity has become how we prepare our talent for more changes ahead. Success in this era of transformation will be defined and measured by our ability to embrace a hybrid model that leverages technology to emphasize and celebrate flexibility, nurture and cultivate organizational culture, and focus on individual and collective growth.

 

Jose Gomez Cueto is Senior Director for Microsoft’s US Subsidiary Small, Medium Business Segment, where he’s responsible for the sales and customer acquisition of Microsoft’s commercial cloud services (Azure, Microsoft/Office 365, Dynamics 365) and Surface first party devices. In this role, his team serves millions of customers across the United States, all made possible by a robust partner ecosystem, as well as digital sales efforts, and direct sellers. Gomez Cueto is passionate about managing and developing people and is honored to be consistently recognized for superb cross-group collaboration as well as for his strong drive for results and strategic planning capabilities. As a champion of Diversity and Inclusion, he also represents the US Latino / Hispanic efforts in the organization and is consistently advocating for Latino representation and leadership across all of Microsoft US.

 

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