Microsoft Gives Us Yet Another Reason to Choose Teams for Remote Work

We blinked, and we’re halfway through the calendar year. With nearly six months behind us, we’ve been reflecting on the rapid shifts we’re seeing in the digital workplace. During Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report, CEO Satya Nadella said, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” and quite honestly, it feels more like ten years in two months. If you’re still reeling from all this change, please know you’re not alone! As many organizations rush to set up remote work to keep the business moving forward during COVID, it’s left little time to vet solutions and adequately strategize. So what is the right solution for your remote team? We’re betting on Microsoft Teams. 

If your organization needs to get up and running right away, check out this post to learn how to get Teams activated for free today.  

Some other questions you may be asking:  

The short answer to all of these questions is yes!

But what makes Microsoft Teams so valuable in our mind is their clear investment in the user. Much of the Microsoft 365 platform is designed with the remote worker in mind. In fact, we recently presented a webinar on activating remote work with Office 365 that you may find useful. But it’s the latest announcement from the Microsoft Teams team that truly shows that Microsoft is investing in building a solution that meets the ever-demanding remote work conundrum—how do we make this feel more organic? Research shows that virtual collaboration takes a different kind of toll on employees, and Microsoft is paying attention.  

The recent announcement from Microsoft 365’s Senior Vice President, Jared Spataro begins, “to help address these challenges through our technology, today, we also released a series of updates to Teams designed to help create more human connection with people you’re working with and to reduce meeting fatigue.” Here are a few of the highlights that we can look forward to coming to Teams soon.  

Together Mode 🏢 

This feature takes meeting participants and through AI places people in a shared background and makes it feel like they are in the same room. This could be beneficial for both the presenter, making  it feel more like a live presentation, and participants making them feel more connected to others in the audience. Together mode will be launched with an auditorium view, but additional views are expected in the future. 

Dynamic View 🔍 

Dynamic view adds additional control to what’s being shared on the screen, including the number of participants shown, the type of content shared, and the ability to create break-out sessions within a larger meeting. These changes will allow for more interactive meetings and more options when holding online meetings. 

Live Reactions 😀😍😂😭 

This feature will also enhance the online meeting experience by sharing emojis during meetings. Live reactions also works within PowerPoint Live Presentations.  

Chat Bubbles 💬 

Changes to chat will make it easier to see messages during meetings without the need to manually open the chat tab.   

Interactive Meetings for 1,000+ 🙋💁🙍🙎 

This change will dramatically increase the number of participants who can interact in a meeting and also will support a view-only meeting experience for up to 20,000 people. 

Whiteboard Updates 📈 

Sticky notes, text, and drag-and-drop options are a few improvements to the Whiteboard app that make the feature more inclusive for participants who don’t have a touchscreen or Surface Hub to contribute to whiteboarding sessions. 

All of the new features announced make Teams meetings more flexible, personable, and interactive.

But the buck doesn’t stop here. These are just a few ways that Microsoft is showing that they are not only listening, but looking to solve some of the most challenging aspects that remote work poses. For a full rundown of how Microsoft uses data to drive results, check out Microsoft 365’s Senior Vice President, Jared Spataro’s, post the future of work—the good, the challenging & the unknown. 

Are you actively using Teams, but want to learn more about how to leverage it fully? Are you struggling to get started? One of our Teams experts would love to chat with you today! 

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