Top 5 Ways Microsoft 365 Can Help the Hybrid Office

Top 5 Ways Microsoft 365 Can Help the Hybrid Office

“Hybrid office” is the buzzword you’ll hear used in business discussions. It’s the mix of having employees both working at the office and working from home. This has become more than a buzzword and is now the reality for many companies including ours here at Morefield.

There was a survey of employees with remote-capable jobs. The survey found that as of February of 2022, 42% of them were working a hybrid schedule. And 39% were working from home full time.

The global pandemic brought on this hybrid office transition. It forced companies to operate with teams that could no longer safely come to the office. During this time, employers and employees experienced the benefits of hybrid work firsthand.

These benefits of remote teams included cost savings for both workers and employers. It also allowed the company to operate with more flexibility. Improved worker morale was another advantage.

One fact surprised many employers that feared remote work would tank productivity.  It actually increased in many circumstances.

63% of high-growth companies use a “productivity anywhere” hybrid work approach.

In order for hybrid teams to be productive they need to stay connected.  No matter where they work, the right technology tools should enable them.

One of the leaders in this space has been Microsoft. The company plans to add several exciting updates this year. These will provide more tools for companies to enable their hybrid teams.

Here are some of the ways you can use Microsoft 365 to optimize a productive hybrid office. Note, that some of these features are already out, and others should release later this year.


1. Microsoft Teams & Expanded Features

Microsoft Teams is much more than a team messaging app. The application combines the best features of virtual video meetings and messaging channels. It brings them together into a platform designed to be a secure online work hub.

MS Teams has come a long way in the last five years. And the company continues to add more features to enable hybrid offices. Some of the recent feature updates include:

  • The ability to do webinar registration
  • Presenter modes that provide a more professional virtual presence
  • Increased security through features like smart links and smart attachments
  • A full business VoIP phone system add-on
  • The addition of a “metaverse” component called Mesh for Teams


2. New Meeting Options for RSVP in Outlook

One of the challenges, when everyone isn’t working in the same place, is how to know when to “clock in” and “clock out.” As well as how to let colleagues know whether you are working at home next week or the office.

To help hybrid teams better coordinate, Outlook is getting an update. It will allow users to RSVP to meetings. This can let team members know whether they are attending virtually or in person.


3. Better Framing for More Engaging Meetings

One thing that can distract from the purpose of a meeting is someone’s background at home. Positioning of the camera can also be problematic.

One person might have their face taking up 80% of the video screen. Another may only take up 20% because they’re sitting farther away from their PC’s camera.

A new Surface Hub 2S Smart Camera will allow for better face framing. This will affect when people are meeting virtually in Microsoft Teams. Features include adjusting the room view so people’s faces will be clearer. As well as having more consistent sizing.

The video display will also automatically adjust as people join or leave a physical room.


4. Get Better Control of Your Video Using PowerPoint to Present

People often share a screen in a video call and present a PowerPoint presentation. It can be difficult to keep everyone as engaged as when you’re presenting in person.

For example, in person, you can maintain eye contact. People can clearly see your facial expressions as you emphasize various things. That’s not always the case when presenting virtually. The app may push your video feed into a tiny box.

There’s a new upcoming feature for Teams called Cameo. It will allow you to seamlessly integrate PowerPoint with MS teams. You can decide exactly how you want your video feed to appear in relation to your presentation.

Another addition is Recording Studio. This new feature for PowerPoint allows you to record professional-looking on-demand videos. You can do it right inside the app.


5. Get Help With Your Presentation Skills

Microsoft has poured a lot of AI capabilities into Microsoft 365 over the last several years. One that will soon help you deliver better virtual presentations is Speaker Coach.

This is a private and personalized coach. It can help you hone your presentation skills. This improves your switch to the differences between presenting online versus in person.

Some of the feedback it can provide include:

  • Use of repetitive language
  • Use of filler words (Ummm)
  • Speaking pace
  • Pausing for input
  • Intonation
  • Speaker overlaps
  • And more


Ask Morefield About Improving Your Hybrid Office Capabilities with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 has a ton of helpful features. But it does help to have an expert guide to help you navigate these capabilities. Contact us today to set up a chat about how Microsoft 365 can help your business grow.


Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Video: Introducing the All New Webex

Video: What’s in the all new Cisco Webex?

How Do You Transition to a Remote Workforce?

person working from home

Operating during a pandemic forces business owners, educational administrators and government employees to question how to transition to a remote workforce. Until recently, most institutions were unprepared for a global event with the power to close businesses, schools and other workplaces. That lack of resources and procedures can cause an array of issues for normal operations.

What Is a Remote Workforce?

A remote workforce is a team that works from home instead of reporting to an office, government building or classroom. Remote workforces got their start in the 1970s when IBM allowed some employees to work from home part-time. Since then, remote work has spread to a variety of industries like:

  • Accounting.
  • Teaching and tutoring.
  • Customer service.
  • Project management.
  • Writing and editing.
  • Account management.
  • Medical coding.
  • Data analysis.

Working from home looks different depending on your industry and individual role. Regardless, many of the things you use every day are not as easily available when your employees cannot come into work. Technology, communication services, strong Internet connections and IT support are all resources that can cause issues when your employees cannot access them.

Tips for Moving Your Company to Remote Work

Morefield Communications is an industry expert in remote work solutions. We have decades of experience, and we want to share our tips for moving a company remote:

  • Ensure everyone has the technology and resources they’ll need.
  • Take new security precautions to keep your data safe in and out of the office.
  • Empower your employees to create an efficient setup for remote work.
  • Evaluate whether your management style is effective for employees working from home.
  • Enjoy the freedom remote work affords you and your employees.

Getting Back to the Office With Advanced Screening Technology

When you return to the workplace, give your employees the peace of mind they deserve. We offer a no-contact automated temperature scanning system. The technology gauges body temperature within 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a second. The interface communicates whether an employee’s temperature is within the normal range. It also gives them instructions on where to go if it detects abnormal temperatures. The scanner can determine whether someone is wearing a mask and ask them to wear one if they are not.

Elevated body temperature is one of the first symptoms of a virus or other illness. Screening your employees as they enter the workplace ensures your company is doing all it can to keep its employees safe as they transition back to working on-premises.

These units are standalone units that operate without an attendee or extra equipment. Compared to invasive screening procedures with healthcare professionals and greater risk of exposure, your investment in a temperature scanning system is a cost-effective solution for promoting workplace safety. The scanner is also compatible with other workplace systems like cameras.

Why Partner With Morefield Communications?

Morefield Communications can help you in every step toward transitioning to a remote workforce and back again. We understand the complications inherent to transitioning your workforce to remote work. Besides physical security technology, Morefield Communications offers:

  • Cloud and managed services: Bringing your documents and data to the cloud is the key to encouraging efficient, organized remote work. Cloud services can also lower maintenance costs, which boosts your business’s profits.
  • IT solutions: Our managed IT and networking services help reduce overhead costs by cutting down on the time and resources it takes your IT personnel to solve technical problems. Your team will run into plenty of issues as they acclimate to remote work, and our services will help you reduce downtime.
  • Cybersecurity services: Remote employees might be outside your network. We’ll help you keep your institution’s private data safe from breaches.
  • Unified communications solutions: Correspondence between coworkers is crucial for efficient operations and customer satisfaction. We offer a variety of services that make communication between employees easy, no matter the distance between them.
  • Audio/visual solutions: Working from home involves as much collaboration as going into the office. Our video conferencing and remote work solutions help your team communicate effectively. We provide conference room design, computer networking and control system integration for increased efficiency and performance.

Connect With Morefield Communications to Ease the Transition

It’s time to prepare for the next time your workplace has to transition to a remote work model. The team at Morefield Communications is ready to connect with you and choose the best services for your company or institution. Contact us today for more information.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter