Michigan University: Insights On Virtual Workplaces And Innovation

virtual workplaces innovation

The Health Information Technology & Services team in Michigan Medicine embraced remote work options long before the pandemic. During the Empowering Blue, staff and faculty members shared their insights on virtual workplaces and innovation. 

Since November 2020, Empowering Blue has been a networking channel for the Michigan University staff and faculty members. The meetings aim to brainstorm and find the best practices for virtual workplaces and innovation. 

Each session brings together about 30 to 70 faculty and staff members. After the mandatory registration, virtual meetings are free and participative. Launched by a department within U-M’s Shared Services Center, Zoom sessions take place every six weeks.

During past sessions, discussions spun around topics like engagement and productivity in meetings, developing metrics, or employees’ mental health. In the last meeting, the university members talked about virtual workplaces and innovation. 

During the last session, HITS senior director of Business IT Michael Warden shared insight about remote and hybrid work. Back in 2015, remote work was an exception. However, following this experience, the HITS department was ready for the pandemic. In addition, they could share a functional model for other university departments. Now, 80% of HITS staffers work remotely. And the university will invest in a $1 million plan to renovate the HITS Service Desk call center.

Sharing insights on virtual workplaces and innovation, the Empowering Blue sessions show the importance of training employees and students to hybrid and remote models. 


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