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April 20, 2022

5 ways Microsoft 365 improves hybrid work environments

The hybrid work model not only helps employees become more productive, but also promotes a better work-life balance. Microsoft plans to further enhance the experience through its Microsoft 365 suite of productivity tools. Let’s see how the service benefits hybrid work.

Metaverse for immersive meetings

The metaverse is a virtual world that mimics aspects of the physical world using technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), social media and digital currency.

To improve hybrid work environments, Microsoft is integrating its metaverse platform Mesh into its business communications platform Teams. With Mesh, Microsoft makes it possible for in-office and remote workers to be together in 2D and 3D virtual meetings. Companies will also be able to create immersive spaces that resemble physical spaces such as conference rooms, design centers and networking lounges. In addition, users can create personalized avatars to mix and mingle, collaborate on projects and have meetings that drive innovation.

Enhanced Teams meeting experience

Microsoft is also updating teams to promote more inclusive and productive hybrid meetings. When setting up a hybrid meeting, the host can use the scheduling form to assign roles to participants. For example, they may assign one employee to be the timekeeper, while another may be the facilitator. Teams now also has a feature that allows the host to see the order in which participants raised their hands during a meeting. This ensures that everyone is called and heard.

Easier collaboration between organizations

With Teams Connect, employees can share private and shared channels and files with anyone, including those outside their organization. Thanks to a recent update, you can now schedule a meeting, collaborate on apps in real time, and share channels with up to 50 teams and as many organizations as needed. In the future, users will also be able to chat with third parties who have personal Teams accounts.

Better collaboration with Microsoft Loop

Suppose you are planning a team outing, so you want employees to send photos of their suggested locations. Then you would want everyone to vote. This may require multiple apps, but with Loop, your team can do it all in one place.

The goal of Loop is to centralize all tasks to improve team collaboration in real time, even if employees are in different locations.

Loop has three elements: Components, Pages and Workspaces.

  • Components: these are small productivity units that allow you to collaborate and complete work while conducting chats, meetings, emails, documents and more. You can build your own components or use preset components, including:
    • Voting table: makes it easy for teams to reach consensus and make decisions together.
    • Status Tracker: allows you to collect information from your team, track the progress of all project aspects and always keep an updated view of a project in your team.
  • Pages: these are canvases in which you can organize your components and retrieve elements such as links, files or data relevant to your project.
  • Loop work spaces: these are shared spaces that allow your team to see and collect everything important to your project. Workspaces also make it easy for you to catch up on what everyone is working on, respond to others’ ideas, and track progress toward shared goals.

Improved digital experience for employees

Under the hybrid work setup, the employee experience is not limited to a physical location, but also extends to the Internet. In this environment, employees must also learn and stay engaged. That’s where Microsoft Viva can help.

Viva is an employee experience platform that brings together learning, insights, communications and resources into one platform. It includes four categories: connections, learning, insights and topics.

  • Connections: uses AI to provide innovative engagement experiences to keep all employees informed of company events
  • Learning: Allows team managers to assign courses or classes to specific teams or individuals, promoting a culture of development and learning in the company
  • Insights: enables companies to make data-driven improvements to their processes and policies to improve employee well-being and productivity
  • Topics: Organizes content across the organization so employees can easily find the information they are looking for

Microsoft Viva can be purchased as a suite that includes all of these modules.

Source: netwize

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