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The promise of slowing numbers of COVID-19 cases and the development of vaccines are offering hope that workers exiled at home can get back to work again. While no one expects a rapid return to the workplace, one thing seems clear: How we work has likely changed forever.

Pre-pandemic, only 3 percent of employees worked from home. Last year, thanks to COVID-19, remote work has soared to 40 percent of the workforce.

The almost overnight overhaul of the way workplaces have operated for years is forcing companies to rethink how they manage and communicate with employees.

Microsoft claims more than 115 million users rely on its suites of software and cloud-based office productivity apps, and its officials understand their services will need to accommodate the broad sweep of change in the coming post-pandemic months and years.

With such change in mind, Microsoft on Thursday introduced Viva,