Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index states that “over 70 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue, while over 65 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams.” These figures would seem to suggest that the workforce is indeed craving a hybrid environment.
To assist employers and team leaders to work with this new information surrounding the increased desire for more flexibility, while balancing the welfare and productivity of their colleagues and employees, Microsoft has been working on Teams Rooms, its hardware and software meeting rooms system that leverages the Teams platform to turn a regular meeting room into a hybrid-enabled space.
In partnership with other companies such as Poly (Plantronics), HP, Logitech and Lenovo, Microsoft have certified a number of hardware solutions such as high-def wide-angle webcams, speaker systems, hub devices and display hardware, to work seamlessly with their Teams Rooms system, creating an environment where an office-based team can meet together with their remote colleagues with no fuss or hassle, and share information, documents and insights as easily as they could if they were in person – with the goal being to enable participation, by allowing every member of the meeting to be seen and heard, wherever they are.
Here are a few of the features that Teams Rooms hardware and software options offer:
Flexibility – from small focus rooms to conference rooms, the range of available devices is diverse with excellent scalability.
Live Captions – Didn’t catch that? Problems with background noise? Meeting members with hearing difficulties? No problem. Live captions make it easy to catch a word or phrase you missed, or allow enhanced accessibility for the hearing-impaired, without interrupting the flow of the meeting.
Raise Hand – Something to say? Pressing the raise hand button allows you to make others aware you would like to speak, without interrupting the current speaker.
Whiteboard – Further expanding on last week’s topic, Whiteboard and all its features are available in Teams Rooms, allowing teams to collaborate, cooperate and share files and ideas in real time.
Easy to Join – Join from a central touchscreen with one-touch joining, from your own nearby device with proximity joining, or even via Cortana with Voice Assistant.
Room Remote (feature in development) – Control the functions and features of your Teams Rooms devices from a central app, with options such as end call, mute, voice only, or other options.
Screen Cast (feature in development) – Cast content and images quickly and directly from your pc or mobile device to any display connected to your Teams Rooms device.
Next week we’ll be taking a look into Fluid Components, another hybrid working feature Microsoft have been working hard to improve to allow better real-time communication and collaboration.