Posted by Onyx IT ● Oct 18, 2022 11:43:11 AM

"Hybrid office" is the new buzzword you hear over and over again in business discussions. This refers to a mix of office and home-based work. This is now more than a buzzword and a reality for many companies.

There was a survey of remote workers. The survey found that in February 2022, 42% of them were working in a blended job. And 39% were working full-time from home.

The global pandemic started this transition to the hybrid office. It forced companies to work with teams that could no longer safely come into the office. During this time, employers and employees experienced the benefits of hybrid working firsthand.

 

 

These benefits of remote teams included cost savings for both employees and employers. It also allowed the company to work more flexibly. Another benefit was improved employee morale.

One fact surprised many employers, who feared that remote work would hurt productivity. In many cases, it actually increased.

 

63% of high-growth companies use a “productivity anywhere” hybrid work approach.

In order for hybrid teams to be productive, they need to stay connected. Regardless of where they work, the right technology tools should enable them to do so.

One of the leaders in this space is Microsoft. The company is planning several exciting updates this year. These will provide businesses with more tools to support their hybrid teams.

Here are some of the ways you can use Microsoft 365 to streamline a productive hybrid office. Note that some of these features are already available, while others are scheduled for release later this year.

 

Microsoft Teams & Advanced Features

Microsoft Teams is much more than just a team messaging app. The application combines the best features of virtual video meetings and messaging channels. It combines them into one platform designed to be a secure online work hub.

MS Teams has come a long way in the last five years. And the company keeps adding more features to enable hybrid offices. Some of the recent feature updates include:

  • The ability to conduct webinar registrations
  • Presenter modes that allow for a more professional virtual presence
  • Increased security through features such as smart links and smart attachments
  • A full enterprise VoIP phone system as an add-on
  • The addition of a "metaverse" component called Mesh for Teams

Picture aMesh for Microsoft Teams

 

New Meeting Options for RSVP in Outlook

One of the challenges of not having everyone working in the same place is how to know when to clock in and out. And how to let colleagues know if you'll be working at home or in the office next week.

To help hybrid teams better coordinate, Outlook is getting an update. It will allow users to send RSVP to meetings. That way, team members can know whether they are attending virtually or in person.

 

Better Framing for More Engaging Meetings

One thing that can distract from the purpose of a meeting is a person's background at home. Camera positioning can also be problematic. With one person, the face may take up 80% of the video screen. For another person, it may only be 20% because they are sitting further away from the camera on PC.

The new Surface Hub 2S Smart Camera allows for better face alignment. This will impact virtual meetings in Microsoft Teams. Features include adjusting the room view so participants' faces are more clearly visible. It also achieves a more consistent size.

The video display will also automatically adjust when people enter or leave a room.

Picture bImages are from Microsoft

 

Get Better Control of Your Video by Using PowerPoint to Present

A video call often involves sharing a screen and showing a PowerPoint presentation. It can be difficult to keep everyone involved as you would if you were presenting in person.

With an in-person presentation, for example, you can maintain eye contact. People can clearly see your facial expressions as you emphasize different things. That's not always the case with virtual presentations. The app can push your video feed into a little box.

There's a new feature for teams called Cameo. It will allow you to seamlessly integrate PowerPoint with MS Teams. You can specify exactly how you want your video feed to appear in relation to your presentation.

Another addition is Recording Studio. This new feature for PowerPoint lets you record professional-looking on-demand videos. You can do this directly in the app.

Picture cCameo in PowerPoint & MS Teams

 

Get Help With Your Presentation Skills

Microsoft has integrated a variety of AI features into Microsoft 365 over the past few years. One of them that will soon help you give better virtual presentations is Speaker Coach.

This is a private and personalized coach. It can help you improve your presentation skills. This will help you better address the differences between online and in-person presentations.

Some of the feedback it can provide include:

  • Use of repetitive language
  • Use of filler words (Ummm)
  • Speaking pace
  • Pausing for input
  • Intonation
  • Speaker overlaps
  • And more

  

Ask ONYX IT How Can We Improve Your Hybrid Office Capabilities with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 has a lott of helpful features. But it does help to have an expert guide to help you navigate these capabilities. Contact Onyx today to set up a chat about how Microsoft 365 can help your business grow.

cta-lets-talk

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.