Hybrid Office: 5 Exciting Ways Microsoft 365 Can Help
“Hybrid office” is the new buzzword in business. In other words, it’s a mix of employee work at the office and remote work. For many companies, this is no longer just a buzzword, but a reality.
An employee survey was conducted among remote-capable employees. The survey found that 42% of them worked hybrid schedules in February 2022. Among the full-time workers, 39% worked from home.
This hybrid office transition was brought about by the global pandemic. It forced companies to operate with teams that could no longer come to work safely. In this time period, employers and employees experienced first-hand the advantages of hybrid work.
Remote teams have many benefits, including cost savings for workers and employers alike. Additionally, it allowed the company to operate with greater flexibility. Another benefit was improved worker morale.
There was one fact that surprised many employers who feared remote work would negatively impact productivity. In many cases, it actually increased.
A hybrid work approach is used by 63% of high-growth companies.
To be productive, hybrid teams must stay connected. Regardless of where they work, they should have access to the right technology tools.
Microsoft has been a leader in this field. There will be several exciting updates this year from the company. As a result, companies will be able to enable hybrid teams with more tools.
Here are some ways you can optimize your hybrid office with Microsoft 365. Some of these features are already available, and others will be released later this year.
1. Microsoft Teams & Expanded Features
There is much more to Microsoft Teams than just team messaging. This application combines the best features of virtual video meetings and messaging channels. The platform combines them into a secure online work hub.
In the last five years, MS Teams has come a long way. Hybrid offices continue to be enabled by the company by adding more features. Recent feature updates include:
The ability to do webinar registration
Presenter modes that provide a more professional virtual presence
Increased security through features like smart links and smart attachments
A full business VoIP phone system add-on
The addition of a “metaverse” component called Mesh for Teams
2. New Meeting Options for RSVP in Outlook
If everyone isn’t working in the same place, it can be difficult to know when to “clock in” and “clock out.” This also applies to letting colleagues know if you will be working from home or the office next week.
Outlook is getting an update to help hybrid teams coordinate better. Users will be able to RSVP for meetings. Team members can then indicate whether they will attend virtually or in person.
3. Better Framing for More Engaging Meetings
One thing that can distract from the purpose of a meeting is someone’s background at home. Positioning of the camera can also be problematic. One person might have their face taking up 80% of the video screen. Another may only take up 20% because they’re sitting farther away from their PC’s camera.
Better face framing will be possible with the Surface Hub 2S Smart Camera. Microsoft Teams virtual meetings will be affected by this. The room view can be adjusted to make people’s faces more visible. Additionally, the sizes should be more consistent.
As people enter or leave a physical room, the video display will automatically adjust.
4. Get Better Control of Your Video Using PowerPoint to Present
In a video call, people often share a screen and present PowerPoint presentations. When you present online, it can be difficult to keep everyone engaged.
In person, you can maintain eye contact. As you emphasize various points, people can clearly see your facial expressions. When presenting virtually, that’s not always the case. Video feeds may be squeezed into tiny boxes in the app.
Teams is getting a new feature called Cameo. You will be able to seamlessly integrate PowerPoint with MS Teams. As far as your video feed appears in relation to your presentation, you can decide how you want it to appear.
Recording Studio is another addition. On-demand videos can be recorded using this new feature for PowerPoint. It can be done right within the app.
5. Get Help With Your Presentation Skills
Over the last few years, Microsoft has poured a lot of AI capabilities into Microsoft 365. Speaker Coach will soon help you deliver better virtual presentations.
It is a private and personalized coaching session. It can help you improve your presentation skills. As a result, you will be able to adjust more easily to the differences between presenting online versus in person.
It can provide feedback such as:
- Use of repetitive language
- Use of filler words (Ummm)
- Speaking pace
- Pausing for input
- Speaker overlaps
- And more
Ask Us About Improving Your Hybrid Office Capabilities with Microsoft 365
There are a lot of useful features in Microsoft 365. It helps to have an expert guide to help you navigate these capabilities. Get in touch with us today to discuss how Microsoft 365 can help you grow your business.