Hybrid is where the heart is!

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Jessica Kruger

Date: October 2021

By: Jessica Kruger, Product Marketing Manger – Modern Workplace 

Microsoft is implementing a new hybrid work plan that we will all come to love. Features like Intelligent cameras for Teams to enable you to control the experience from your phone and the flexibility of a working space where you can hot desk dial into Teams are coming soon and you can read all about it here: Prepare offices for hybrid work with new experiences on Microsoft Teams Rooms and Teams devices 

But wait… there is always more! Interaction has become a significant factor in online meetings and by that, I mean the lack of it.  

Those funny videos of how we eat snacks, take a yoga lesson, and multitask during meetings is a reality, because there is simply just too much to do, and home and work life have morphed into a mega creature that we are all battling. 

I guess some of us were hoping we would’ve run into a radioactive spider by now. 

 I’m sure we have all seen the videos of people going back to the office without pants on, pretending not to hear a colleague when they are in a face-to-face meeting, and even pulling faces because they are “off” camera. I am very confident that all these things could happen. We are only human after all.  

Let’s reminisce about the good old days when we used whiteboards, the smell of a whiteboard marker, never finding an eraser, and spending what felt like hours together in a board room strategising and brainstorming.  

And then suddenly, this pops up: Beyond sharing your screen: Interactive collaboration with apps in Microsoft Teams meetings. Flexibility and inclusivity have become the name of the game and Microsoft is leading. 

What else is happening in the Modern Workplace world? 

Microsoft recently released Windows 365 and it all took us by storm – when we understood it. The fact that you can pretty much have a computer in the cloud and work from any old one is the bee’s knees. Where was this when computer cafes were still a thing? Who needs to work off the latest laptop when all you need is a good internet line?!  

If you missed the boat slightly and would like to read up on it a bit more, you can find the latest here: Windows 365 and Windows 365: A new era of hybrid personal computing. 

Not only is Microsoft all about staying ahead of the curb, incorporating AI, and leveraging this into new industries, it’s also focusing on improvements that make lives easier. They discuss all this and more in their Podcast: Microsoft Work Lab that taps into data and research to guide you on the road ahead.  

Did you know you don’t have to be a creative pro to make high-quality videos either? Microsoft has recognised how video has become a powerful medium and how it engages with audiences a lot faster.  

They have recently acquired an in-browser video creator and editor named Clipchamp that gives everyone the confidence to create. This is just an interesting fact you can find here: Microsoft acquired Clipchamp 

More than just software 

The days of thinking of Microsoft 365 as just a basic software application are over. Integration is prominent and the apps aren’t just here as a tool but as an experience. With your To-Do List feeding into Planner, while Outlook covers mails, Teams running the show, Word recording our thoughts, Excel being smart for us, PowerPoint showing us how to present, PowerBi running the data, and Cortana knowing our every move. All while your Microsoft OneNote feed compiles thoughts you’ve stored in different apps, like Sticky Notes and Samsung Notes. 

How can we not think of this system as a lifestyle? All we need now is a meal tracker on PowerApps and our days would be sorted. Imagine a future where your PC runs like your smartwatch and notices you have been working for 3 hours straight and automatically tells you to “move” or locks all devices so you can have a break and only unlocks in 15min. That would be chaos for most but in all honesty, a blessing for some.  

Remembering where we came from 

I often wonder if technology adoption hasn’t caused a disconnect between humans and while Microsoft is working tirelessly to incorporate human intervention into software, we have all drifted into worker bees that no longer ask “how are you” or take a second to catchup in the meeting before getting to the grind. Sometimes you might feel like you have lost some humanity and understanding as the days get longer, you are under more pressure and your meetings just get down to business. Just a reminder that we are human at the end day and a kind reminder to check in with your team goes a long way.  

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