5 Exciting Microsoft 365 Features that Enable the Hybrid Office
Did You Know?
42% of employees are hybrid workers1
39% of workers are based full-time from home1
63% of high-growth companies use a ‘productivity anywhere’ approach1
For many employees around the world hybrid working is now an everyday reality after organisations experienced the benefits during the global pandemic. Some of the advantages of a ‘productivity anywhere’ approach can include cost saving, flexibility, increased output, and improved team morale.
The key to a successful hybrid team is communication and staying connected no matter your location. Microsoft is currently the market leader for software, such as Microsoft 365 (M365), that enables successful hybrid working. Here are some of the current and ‘soon-to-be-released’ ways you can use M365 to create a productive hybrid office.
Microsoft Teams’ Expanded Features
Over the last five years Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) has evolved to become much more than just a team messaging app. It now combines the leading features of virtual video meetings and messaging platforms all within one secure online hub. The most recent features that have been added include:
- Easy webinar registration
- Presenter modes that provide a professional virtual presence
- Increased security using smart links and smart attachments
- An integrated business VoIP phone system add-on
- Mesh for Teams offers the additional component of the ‘metaverse’
Pictured: Mesh which is available in Microsoft Teams
Improved Meeting Responses for RSVPs in Outlook
One of the challenges of managing a successful hybrid workplace is making sure your colleagues know whether you are working from the office, at home or on the road. To enable better coordination Outlook now has the option to accept meeting requests with the following options: Yes, Yes in-person or Yes virtually.
This function is available to users with a commercial or education Microsoft 365 account using a supported client.
Pictured: Microsoft Outlook’s new RSVP responses
Improved Framing for More Engaging Meetings
It can be frustrating when a person’s video feed background or camera positioning distracts from the core purpose of a meeting. One attendee may be sitting too close to the camera, while another is pictured farther away.
Logitech partner with Microsoft to produce cameras that offer inclusive meeting experiences for hybrid teams. Their ‘Focus Room’ and ‘Boardroom’ setups provide a clear view of who is speaking and of others meeting virtually within Microsoft Teams.
As people join or leave your virtual Teams meeting the video display will automatically adjust to accommodate those in attendance while maintaining clarity and a consistent picture sizing.
Pictured: Microsoft Teams
PowerPoint Now Offers Better Presenting Control
Keeping everyone engaged while virtually presenting a PowerPoint presentation can be a challenge compared to meeting in-person. Often your video feed is pushed into a tiny box which makes emphasising crucial points with facial expressions difficult.
Cameo, a new feature withing MS Teams, makes this less of a problem. Cameo will allow you to integrate your PowerPoint slides within Teams, offering the ability to decide where to place your video feed within the presentation.
Another new feature within PowerPoint is Recording Studio. This allows you to record professional standard on-demand videos all within the app. Perfect for webinars or expanding on product offerings.
Pictured: Cameo within PowerPoint and MS Teams
Improve Your Presentation Skills
Many of us may feel that there is room for improvement when it comes to our virtual presentation skills. As we mentioned above, presenting on video requires a different skill set in comparison to talking to an audience in-person. To overcome this, with the help of AI capabilities, Microsoft has introduced Speaker Coach.
In the format of a private and personalised tutor, Speaker Coach will hone your presentations skills by offering feedback on:
- Use of repetitive language
- Use of filler words e.g. ‘ummm’
- Your speaking pace
- Pausing for input
- Speaker overlaps
Talk to NCI About Improving Your Hybrid Office Capabilities with Microsoft 365
As a leading Microsoft Partner serving Cornwall, Devon, and the South West, NCI Technologies can be your expert guide on optimising Microsoft 365 to improve hybrid working within your organisation.
1 5 Exciting Ways Microsoft 365 Can Enable the Hybrid Office | Tech Tribe 2022
Artwork and copy by Joanna Williams | Marketing and Design Manager