More than 50 percent of hybrid workers are considering going fully remote in the year ahead, according to Microsoft's data. With that demand for more flexibility and mobility, the days of a fixed desk phone in a fixed office are over.
Teams Phone will soon offer a truly mobile-first experience with Operator Connect Mobile in partnership with some of the world’s most innovative telecom operators including BT, Rogers, Swisscom, Telia, and Verizon. This gives you one phone number for your desk number and your mobile number, no matter what network or device you’re on. You also can move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions—as you’re transitioning from your cellular service while on the go to your office Wi-Fi, for example. Operator Connect Mobile for Teams Phone will enter preview next quarter with select operator partners.
Teams Connect is designed for seamless, secure, and easy-to-use collaboration across organizational boundaries, allowing everyone to work as one extended team while staying in their own Teams environment. In late 2021, Microsoft announced Teams Connect shared channels, which help enable collaboration with people inside and outside your organisation from a shared workspace. For example, a team working on a new product will be able to share a Teams channel with an external design team to create one joint workspace across organisations. Everyone can communicate, schedule a meeting, share files, and collaborate on apps without switching accounts. Shared channels for Teams Connect will enter preview starting at the end of March 2022.
To effectively create and collaborate, Microsoft need a way to bring distributed information, documents, and teams together. In January 2022, they launched Loop components in Teams chat, offering a new way to ideate, create, and make decisions together. Microsoft are now introducing Loop components in Outlook mail. Now you can brainstorm, complete action items, and get the latest status from your team without having to switch context or apps. A single component can be updated at the same time whether you are in Teams or Outlook. To get access to the latest Loop components in Outlook, sign up to become an Office Insider.
Microsoft have just announced the Inspiration library, a new feature available in preview through the Viva Insights app in Teams. The Inspiration library turns insights into action with access to curated content and best practices from top sources like Harvard Business Review and Thrive. The productivity and well-being insights delivered by Viva Insights are enhanced by premium content focused on driving better employee experiences and boosting engagement. The Inspiration library preview will begin rolling out to Microsoft 365 users with the Microsoft Viva Insights app in Teams later in March 2022 and will be available worldwide in 11 supported languages by the end of April 2022.
Finally, a common challenge of remote and hybrid work is maintaining social capital: the network of relationships that enables people and organisations to thrive. While creating friendships and relationships can be challenging in the hybrid work environment, Microsoft are investing in tools that help you express yourself and have fun while doing it.
Now you can bring even more of your personality to the conversation with the new Fluent emojis in Teams. With vibrant and fun styling, over 1800 three-dimensional emojis can infuse expression and playfulness into messages. Select a category and use the skin tone selector to pick an emoji that better represents you. Fluent emojis are now available in preview.
To read the full Microsoft blog post, click here.
For more information on how you can utilise Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 for hybrid working, contact us now to discuss your options.