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Unlocking Hybrid Work with Microsoft Teams Rooms

Over the last two years Microsoft Teams has grown in leaps and bounds, both in its capabilities and its popularity with larger organisations. We explore how it can help meet the challenges of hybrid work in the enterprise

In recent times we’ve all been witness to an incredible amount of change in how people and organisations work, and more importantly in how they view work. It is clear that we’re on the cusp of dramatic changes in our work environment, and organisation are trying to quickly realign themselves to prepare for a very different work dynamic than what they’ve experienced in the past.

The video collaboration space has seen a massive shift too — with children moving online, organisations making video accessible to all teams and webinars and events moving onto the virtual plane. A major beneficiary of this shift has been Microsoft Teams, which has grown rapidly as the world has embraced video and unified communications (UC) technology. Enterprises in particular have moved towards Microsoft Teams as its features have evolved considerably, allowing the use of the Teams Platform off not just personal devices, but in Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTRs) too.

As organisations contemplate a post-pandemic transition towards a hybrid work scenario, Microsoft Teams Rooms are poised to play an important role in making the hybrid workplace of the future possible and productive.

The Future of Work is Hybrid

There is a fair amount of consensus that there has been a dramatic shift in how we view work and how we prefer to work in the last few months. While technology had been evolving quickly for some time to support newer ways of working, the pandemic introduced organisations, teams and employees worldwide to the remote work experience.

According to research by Gartner, “55% of employees and 65% of IT employees say that whether or not they can work flexibly will impact if they will stay in their jobs.” Forbes quotes Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trends Index estimates that “53% of employees would prioritise health and wellbeing over work. 47% are more likely to put family and their personal lives first.”

It’s clear that the rapid shift to remote work during the pandemic gave employees and management teams a completely new perspective on how work could be. The first advantages that most people discovered was the advantage of flexibility in where and when they work. Many of us realised that there were ways to be productive at work, even without being present in the office. Others came to realise the benefits of not having to commute to work.

Leaders and organisations are beginning the process of understanding the changes in how their teams and organisations wish to work and collaborate in the future. It’s become pretty clear that the future of work has to be flexible to support various types of work preferences and philosophies.

Organisations must invest in multiple work modes to succeed in the hybrid environment

Even though we’re still in the early stages of understanding what the future of work may look like – there are a few things that seem clear already.

Individual preferences matter – Employees have new expectations on how their work lives should be, and organisations need to be flexible and ensure that individual concerns and preferences are considered while creating the new work environment

Allow flexible work arrangements – Organisations need to move to a new kind of work model that allows individuals and teams with much more flexibility on WHERE they work from, but also in WHEN they work and collaborate. This means allowing both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration to team members

Help employees be more productive – An extended break from commuting to work has made many people (not all) realise that the long commute to work is something they don’t want to go back to. Organisations need to be understanding of this and help them become more purposeful, productive, agile, and flexible.

Diverse spaces enable various types of work – Different types of work require different types of interactions between teams. Teams should be able to move smoothly between various virtual and real-world workspaces depending on whether they need to communicate, coordinate or focus on individual work

Technology and workflows both need to evolve – The hybrid work environment will require organisation to redesign workspaces to new parameters, but will also require a redesign of organisational workflows. New hybrid processes and practices must be equitable and fair to employees regardless of their model or location of work.

When building new hybrid work infrastructure, business leaders need to keep all these insights in mind, and choose a solution that’s powerful and flexible. Catering to diverse requirements is essential if they intend to effectively bridge the gap between physical and digital workspaces.

How Microsoft Teams Rooms support Hybrid Work

While several collaboration platforms offer capable hybrid work solutions to businesses across the world, Microsoft Teams Rooms have quickly evolved to offer a lot of the capabilities that set it apart. This cloud-driven platform not only has powerful virtual work capabilities, but also offers a robust and flexible solution for physical meetings spaces which continue to be important to organisations.

Equitable and inclusive environment for all participants – Microsoft Teams Rooms are designed to deliver an easy-to-use and inclusive meeting space where everyone (remote or in-person) can fully engage and participate. Innovative layouts like front row let in-room participants see remote colleagues as if they are in the same room. They can also view people, content and chat simultaneously

Discover innovative MTR meeting layouts designed specifically for hybrid meetings

Intelligent audio and video – Advanced camera capabilities combined with AI help everyone be seen and heard, no matter where they are. Remote participants feel like they are in the same room thanks to high-quality audio and video and automatic framing that focuses on the active speaker.

Intuitive and consistent experience, always – MTRs bring a single consistent Microsoft Teams experience to any space, from a private workspace to a large training room. One-touch calls, wireless connectivity, room scheduling and calendar integration means meetings start on time, everytime.

Flexible hardware for any room size or type – Support for multiple displays, cameras and microphones and speakers means everyone can be seen, heard and can share content with equal ease. This helps everyone feel closer and more engaged so they can fully collaborate. Smooth integration between all hardware devices in the room is possible with certified Microsoft Teams Rooms hardware

Reimagining the office with Microsoft Teams Rooms

As organisations navigate the many challenges that a hybrid work environment can create, it is extremely important that they have the collaborative tools to succeed. The office continues to be an important element for organisations, but needs a rethink in terms of how it can support different types of workflows and employee preferences.

Bridging the gap in experiences while collaborating from digital and physical workspaces is therefore critical. In this context Microsoft Teams Rooms can provide a powerful, inclusive and balanced solution for physical meeting spaces, one that helps hybrid teams feel more connected and engaged.