Microsoft Software

Microsoft to update Teams and Outlook with features aimed at hybrid workers

The updates will permit individuals who use Teams or Outlook to select particular choices relying on whether or not they’re working within the workplace or at house. See what enhancements are on faucet.

Teams and Outlooks enhanced for hybrid work.
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Fizkes

Microsoft has unveiled a number of enhancements to Teams and Outlook designed to make them extra hybrid work-friendly. The update for Outlook will let customers point out whether or not they’re working within the workplace or remotely. The updates for Teams will assist distant workers extra simply really feel as in the event that they’re bodily a part of a gathering.

The previous two years have modified how and the place individuals work. Because of the pandemic, organizations and staff had to shift from working within the workplace to working remotely. And now many have adopted a hybrid mannequin the place individuals can work within the workplace and/or at house. With that transition, the instruments we use have to adapt as effectively. In a Wednesday weblog submit, Microsoft described how Outlook and Teams are being up to date to catch up with this new manner of working.

SEE: How to do business from home: IT professional’s guidebook to telecommuting and distant work (TechRepublic Premium)

For Outlook, you’ll have the ability to reply to assembly initiations based mostly on how and the place you intend to be a part of the assembly. A brand new RSVP window will allow you to point out whether or not you intend to take part particular person or just about. This possibility not solely clarifies your involvement in a gathering however might help organizers higher put together their conferences based mostly on how individuals will attend. The new RSVP choices will seem in a public preview of Outlook on the net someday throughout the second quarter of 2022.

Outlook hybrid worker feature.
Image: Microsoft

For Microsoft Teams, a speaker coach characteristic will permit assembly presenters to higher gear their shows for a digital crowd. The AI-based characteristic will show you how to with your pacing, provide you with a warning in case you’re interrupting a gathering attendee, and remind you to periodically examine in with your viewers.

A language interpretation possibility will assist dwell interpreters translate a speaker’s phrases into one other language in actual time. Meeting organizers might be ready to select from amongst 16 supply and goal languages. The translated phrases will play within the foreground, whereas the unique audio will play within the background at a decrease quantity.

Microsoft can also be beefing up the whiteboard in Teams with extra collaboration cursors, 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and a manner to open present whiteboards and collaborate with exterior contributors. The speaker coach, language interpretation, and whiteboard enhancements are set to launch within the second quarter of the yr.

Teams hybrid worker features.
Image: Microsoft

Other enhancements are geared towards Teams Rooms, an possibility that makes use of video and audio, and content material sharing to attempt to make a gathering extra inclusive for in-person and digital attendees alike.

SEE: 11 methods to be a consummate skilled throughout Zoom and Microsoft Teams conferences (TechRepublic)

To extra easily embody each distant and in-person contributors, Microsoft is unveiling a brand new assembly format referred to as entrance row. Aimed particularly at hybrid conferences, entrance row shows the video gallery at eye degree so that individuals bodily at the assembly can extra simply work together face to face with these becoming a member of just about. Any shared content material is centered on the display screen and surrounded by different assembly actions and reactions. Front row is at present accessible in preview mode, with extra features to pop up later this yr.

Other modifications for Teams Rooms are in retailer. If you be a part of a gathering in Teams Rooms from a PC or cell gadget, your audio will robotically be turned off to eradicate suggestions. You’ll be prompted to flip off your laptop computer video so you’ll be able to extra simply be seen by these becoming a member of just about. Further, your video feed might be hidden from the display screen in entrance of the assembly room to keep away from distractions. All these enhancements are set to debut within the second quarter of this yr.

Finally, since Teams Rooms depends closely on the correct {hardware}, new merchandise are also set to seem. Microsoft has already launched a brand new digicam generally known as the Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera, which presents distant assembly attendees a extra dynamic view of a gathering room with computerized framing. Slated for the second quarter, touch-enabled show merchandise for Teams Rooms on Android are coming from Neat and Yealink.


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