MS Teams for Hybrid Working

With last years work trend index report showing that 73% of employees want the option to work remotely and 67% wanting more in-person engagement, it can be a challenge to make the hybrid working model effective. Below we list three ways that Microsoft Teams can contribute to seamless integration between remote and in-office workers. 

The author of this page: John Tallon
John Tallon, Modern Applications and Modern Workplace Practice Director Mar 30, 2022

Most organisations are not fully prepared for managing a hybrid model. Remote attendees at meetings are not feeling heard, while in-person attendees are feeling guilty for not being inclusive enough. According to Frost & Sullivan, out of 90 million meeting rooms worldwide, only 7.8% of these are video enabled. However, Microsoft Teams can help organisations to create an effective hybrid environment, and below we look at different ways in which it can help collaboration for the hybrid model.  

Enabling Inclusive Meetings

Hybrid meetings can be awkward to co-ordinate as there is a mix of people joining from an office meeting room and other people joining remotely. To help create a solid foundation for flexible working, organisations can implement three key practices. Firstly, in a meeting room it is important to have a Microsoft Teams certified speaker puck so that all members in the meeting room are audible to those who are working remotely. Secondly, for those who are in-person, it is important to bring laptops and to have the microphone and audio off. People can still contribute via chat, live reactions and raised hands. Finally, it is good practice to assign a meeting facilitator. This facilitator can ensure collaboration through moderating the chat, raised hands and any shared content.  

Hybrid Ready

Microsoft Teams is now designed for everyone in a hybrid meeting, not just those who attend in person. With intelligent cameras, hybrid meetings are becoming more intuitive for staff. An example of this is AI powered speaker tracking. This enables cameras to detect who is speaking at any one time through the use of audio, facial movements and gestures. Each speaker in the meeting room can also have their own video stream with the aid of people recognition which can display the name of enrolled users within their video pane. Also Outlook will be redesigned to allow for people to RSVP to a meeting in-person or online so that all staff are aware of who will be in the office and who will be remote. Staff will also be able to add to their calendar whether they will be in the office or remote, and book office space with new Outlook features coming soon.  

Effective Remote Meetings

Remote presentations have now become more effective and immersive, meaning people no longer need to come to the office to deliver an important presentation. Cameo is a new feature of Microsoft PowerPoint that integrates with Teams and allows the presenter to have control over how and where they want to appear on their slides. Cameo has already began being rolled out at the start of this year. Speaker Coach is another presentation assistant that has been added this year. This is AI that can privately share guidance on your pace, notify you if you are interrupting someone and remind you to check in with your audience. This feature was also made available at the start of the year.  

The latest innovations in Teams are geared towards hybrid working. Microsoft Teams meetings have come to Apple Car Play, meaning people can now join Teams meetings while in the car through the use of Siri. Another useful tool for communication is Microsoft Viva. With Viva Connections you can stay informed of company news and resources directly from Teams. To learn more about the benefits of Microsoft Viva, read our blog “How Microsoft Viva can support hybrid working”.  

If you would like to learn more about how Microsoft Teams can make your working life easier, check out our webinar on "Accelerating Microsoft Teams as your Central Digital Workspace".

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