With the recent and present pandemic situations, “WFH” (Work From Home) & “Hybrid Office” are terms that are becoming popular amongst businesses. What originally started as a necessity is quickly becoming a relevant requirement for some businesses to acquire the best talent.
There was a survey of employees with remote-capable jobs. The survey found that as of February of 2022, 42% of them were working a hybrid schedule. And 39% were working from home full time.
These benefits of remote teams included cost savings for both workers and employers. It also allowed the company to operate with more flexibility. Improved worker morale was another advantage.
The Hybrid Office surprised many employers, widely assumed to reduce productivity, it often increased productivity in many circumstances.
Hybrid teams need to stay connected, and the right technology tools can help them do just that.
One of the leaders in this space has been Microsoft. The company plans to add several exciting updates this year. These will provide more tools for companies to enable their hybrid teams.
Here are some new and existing ways that Microsoft 365 is helping the hybrid office
1. Microsoft Teams + New Features
The new Microsoft Teams application is more than just a team messaging app. It’s an all-inclusive platform that combines features of virtual video meetings and chat channels into one secure work hub for your company, no matter where you are or who else may be on the call!
Over the past 5 years Microsoft have channeled much focus on their Microsoft Teams product and the company continues to add more features that particularly keep you connected no matter where you are. Some new features include:
- Added Webinar Registrations
- Improved Presenter modes that create a professional virtual presence
- Improved security through features like smart links and smart attachments
- A full business VoIP phone system add-on to integrate to your countries telephone network
- The addition of “metaverse” functionality known as “Mesh for Teams”
2. Added Outlook Meeting Options for RSVP
While one of the challenges for hybrid teams is how best to coordinate, Microsoft plans on making it a bit easier with an update coming soon.
The new feature will allow users who are working remotely to mark themselves as attending virtually or in-person so that co-workers know whether they can count on you!
3. Better Framing for More Engaging Meetings
Microsoft is updating their video conferencing software to allow for better face framing, which could help virtual meetings go smoother. With features like adjusting room views and having more consistent sizing Microsoft’s new Surfaces Hub 2S Smart Camera helps make sure everyone in the meeting has an optimal screen space during conversations on Teams for Business.
4. Better Powerpoint Control
You may have experienced the challenge of trying to engage your audience when you’re presenting wirelessly via video call. You can either look at their screens or talk over them while they type in an email, which makes it difficult for people reading and responding back who are not present during a meeting session because there’s no opportunity for eye contact–and sometimes even if someone does pay attention they’ll only catch seconds before something else happens.
The new upcoming feature for Teams called Cameo will allow you to seamlessly integrate PowerPoint with MS teams. You can decide exactly how you want your video feed in relation and relative position on the presentation page, which makes it easy!
Recording Studio is a new feature for PowerPoint that allows you to record professional-looking on demand videos. You can do it right inside the app and then upload them straight away!
5. Microsoft 365 & AI?
Microsoft has invested in a lot of AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities with Microsoft 365. One AI feature that will help you deliver better virtual presentations is Speaker Coach.
This is a private and personalized AI coach. It can help you improve your presentation skills.
Some of the feedback Speaker Coach can provide include:
- Use of filler words (ah, um)
- Speaking pace
- Use of repetitive language
- Pausing for input
- Speaker overlaps