5 Ways Microsoft 365 enhances hybrid work environments

The hybrid work model not only helps employees become more productive, but it also promotes better work-life balance. Microsoft aims to further improve the experience through the Microsoft 365 suite of productivity tools. Let’s take a look at 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 enhance hybrid work environments, Microsoft is integrating its metaverse platform Mesh into its business communication platform Teams. With Mesh, Microsoft is making it possible for in-office and remote employees to be together in 2D and 3D virtual meetings. Companies will also be able to create immersive spaces that resemble physical spaces like conference rooms, design centers, and networking lounges. What’s more, users can create personalized avatars to mix and mingle, collaborate on projects, and have encounters that spark innovation.

Improved Teams meeting experience

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

Related article: How to protect your Microsoft 365 environment

Easier cross-organizational collaboration

Teams Connect allows employees to 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 in real time on apps, 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

Let’s say you’re planning a team outing, so you want employees to send pictures of their suggested venues. Then you’d want everyone to vote. Doing this may require multiple apps, but Loop allows your team to do it all in one place.

The purpose of Loop is to centralize all tasks to improve the collaboration of a team 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 help you collaborate and complete work while you’re in chats, meetings, emails, documents, and more. You can build your own components or leverage preset ones, including:
    • Voting table: Makes it easy for teams to reach a consensus and finalize decisions together.
    • Status tracker: Helps you gather information from your team, track progress on all project aspects, and always maintain an updated view of a project across your team.
  • Pages: These are canvases where you can organize your components and obtain elements like links, files, or data that are relevant to your project.
  • Loop workspaces: These are shared spaces that allow your team to see and collate everything important to your project. Workspaces also make it easy for you to catch up on what everyone is working on, react to others’ ideas, and track progress toward shared goals.

Enhanced employee digital experience

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

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

  • Connections: Uses AI to offer innovative engagement experiences to keep all employees informed of company happenings
  • Learning: Allows team managers to assign courses or lessons to certain teams or individuals, fostering a culture of development and learning in the company
  • Insights: Allows companies to make data-driven improvements in their processes and policies to enhance employee well-being and productivity
  • Topics: Organizes content in the organization, allowing employees to easily find the information they’re looking for

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

If you need assistance deploying Microsoft 365 for a better hybrid work experience, NetWize is here to help. We will analyze all of your needs, deploy the right solutions, and ensure that you are getting the most out of your investment. Talk to us today to learn more.

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