Microsoft, like many others, says that the future will be mixed, so we can expect very new innovations in the tools listed very soon. Microsoft’s main goal, of course, is to adapt to the new reality at work.
Microsoft was one of the first companies to remain wary that the pandemic would change people’s work habits forever. Two years later, Microsoft embraced remote working in its products and in practice in terms of how and where employees perform their work. It recently announced changes to Microsoft Teams, Outlook, PowerPoint, and even Surface devices to improve preparedness for mixed reality for remote work and office work.
As more companies (at least partially) return to offices and consider a combination of remote work and office work, Microsoft is updating Outlook to make it easier to determine whether employees plan to attend meetings in person. In the second quarter of this year, the new Outlook RSVP feature will be presented in public preview in the online version of Outlook, allowing you to choose whether to attend in person or in person.
“This is just one part of the novelty that, in my opinion, will really help employees, as they will immediately have information about who will be in the office and how to improve meetings.She explained in an interview with The Verge Nicole HerscovitsVice President, Microsoft Teams. Shiraz KupalaCEO of Microsoft Teams, told The Verge that the company is thinking about “how to show a user’s day or week at a glance.”
Big focus on Microsoft Teams
When people attend a Microsoft Teams meeting, a number of improvements are available to better accommodate remote participants. Among other things, Teams introduced a new “front row” layout that moves the video gallery to the bottom of the screen so that people who are physically in meeting rooms can see remote coworkers face to face. Microsoft has been promising this new design for about a year and it’s an important part of the company’s vision for the future of meetings.
Microsoft is also updating the device experience for Team Room so that attendees can join live meetings using their devices and have them enable the camera to make it easier for colleagues to see remotely in the meeting room. “There are more than 90 million meeting rooms in the world, and less than 8 percent are video enabledThis is a major change for most businesses,” says Herskovitz.
Speaking of video meetings, Microsoft is also introducing a new Surface Hub smartphone. You can read more about this here.
Loop components are also a huge part of Microsoft’s vision for the future of work. Microsoft Loop components are stand-alone blocks of collaborative Office content that you can broadcast, copy, paste, and share. Imagine taking notes in a Teams meeting and then copying them to email, but the notes keep updating as others edit them in the email and Teams group.
It’s a powerful concept known as Fluid, which Microsoft has been promising for several years. Loop components that appeared in Teams in January have also found their way into Outlook mail and link key Microsoft communication tools.
Microsoft’s approach to hybrid work wouldn’t be complete without PowerPoint improvements. PowerPoint now combines new camera and recording studio features. With Cameo, you can turn your Microsoft Teams camera into a presentation, and with Recording Studio, you can record your speech on any slide. Both innovations are designed to enhance the meeting experience for remote affiliates, and the new suite will be available in the second quarter.
What kind of hybrid future does Microsoft anticipate?
All of these product changes are influenced by Microsoft research data from more than 30,000 companies worldwide. Microsoft’s latest Work Trends Index data provides insights into employee perspectives on mixed work.
“Our data shows that more than 50 percent of people prefer health and well-being over work rather than the pandemic.says Herskovitz. Microsoft data also reveals that 18 percent of people left their jobs last year, with many saying work-life balance, flexibility and well-being is more important than the issue of pay.
Companies are now faced with the problem of how to make sure offices are worth using and how to further enhance business flexibility. “Managers need to make sure the office is worth the rideMany will have to decide whether to visit the office when it makes sense or work from home, so Microsoft’s changes to Teams would be a welcome improvement to make employees who travel long distances feel important to those who attend meetings in person.
Microsoft is now preparing to show us how to design Windows for hybrid work. The software maker will host an event on April 5 to focus on new productivity and security improvements in Windows 11 that reflect the new realities of office and remote work that many are now facing.