In a post pandemic world, ‘hybrid office’ is a word that you'll often hear throughout business settings. The basis of hybrid working is having staff that work both from the office and at home. This has become the norm for many companies and has shown the adaptability and resilience of businesses.
A previous survey carried about by employees with remote-capable jobs highlighted that as of February 2022, 42% of people were operating on a hybrid basis and 39% were working purely from home.
In this blog post, Gordon Christie, Managing Director at IT Hotdesk has shared the key benefits of having a ‘hybrid office’, and how Microsoft 365 is continually adapting to help businesses thrive in this new era of hybrid working…
The benefits of remote working:
“Some of the major benefits our clients across Aberdeen and Scotland have seen with remote working include cost savings for their staff, as people no longer have to commute, as well as the ability to operate with more flexibility, helping to strengthen the work-life balance. They’re also linking this to improved employee morale and higher staff retention.
“However one of the most surprising discoveries from hybrid working that many employers feared was that remote working can actually increase productivity. In order for hybrid teams to be productive, they must be able to communicate effectively, no matter what corner of the world they are working from, and this means that technology plays a critical role in the ability for hybrid teams to thrive.
“For years, the leader in the space has been Microsoft, and there are many updates coming this year that we’re really excited about at IT Hotdesk, as they’ll bring even more benefits to companies, and optimise the hybrid working experience for their teams.
“I want to share a closer look at some of the ways in which the new and upcoming Microsoft 365 features can help your company get the most out of hybrid working…
1. Microsoft Teams and Additional Features
“It may seem like Microsoft Teams is just another messaging app, however, it offers a lot more than this. The app helps combine the ideal mix of virtual video meetings and messenger channels.
“The app has grown immensely over the last couple of years with Microsoft continuing to regularly update features suitable for hybrid working. Some of their most popular feature updates include:
- The ability to register for a webinar
- Presenter mode: offering a more professional presence without having to be face-to-face
- Higher levels of security through smart links and smart attachments
- Adding in the ‘metaverse’ with a component called Mesh for Teams
- A complete business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)”
2. RSVP Outlook response options
“When employees are dotted between the office and home, it can be hard to keep track of who is working from where. To help hybrid teams better communicate with each other, Outlook will be updated to contain a feature that allows users to RSVP to meeting requests, to notify people if they will be attending meetings in person or online.”
3. Enhanced camera positioning
“Everyone can admit that they have once been guilty of being distracted by someone's background during a virtual meeting. The positioning of your camera can have a large influence on how engaging or engaged you are over video, for example, some people may be sitting too far away while others too close.
“Microsoft Teams will be introducing new Surface Hub 2S Smart camera technology which will improve face framing during online meetings or calls. The video display will be automatically adjusted as people join or exit a call, helping to make people's faces clearer and have more consistent sizing within a meeting.”
4. Optimised Powerpoint presentation capabilities
“Presenting virtually can be more challenging than in-person, with a decreased ability to keep attendees engaged due to the inability to maintain eye contact, or read facial expressions.
“The newest upcoming feature for Microsoft Teams is called Cameo, which will allow you to easily integrate powerpoint to your calls while giving you the ability to control how you want your video to appear alongside your presentation.”
5. Improve your presentation skills
“Microsoft has taken advantage of the growing popularity of AI technology, incorporating it throughout Microsoft 365 over the past few years.
“Speaker Coach is being introduced to help you hone your presentation skills through private and personalised coaching. It can help you to improve your speech by identifying key areas that may be hindering your performance such as:
- Too many filler words
- Lots of repetition
- The pace of your speech
“At IT Hotdesk, we are here to help you make the most out of your Microsoft applications, offering ongoing support and management alongside step-by-step guidance on how to set up your packages.
“If you’re a Scottish business looking to take advantage of your Microsoft applications, visit our website.”