As the global response to Covid-19 takes root, a move away from “remote everything” towards hybrid, or blended, workspaces seems to be taking root. The future of work, education, and even leisure is being laid out right before our very eyes, and Microsoft has put forth a compelling vision for the future of online collaboration meetings. In recent months, Microsoft has teased new Microsoft Teams ideas. It’s now beginning to bring a new interface for the communications app to life, which will help combine physical conference rooms with in-person jobs. Microsoft’s plans are detailed in the latest video, which includes more expansive displays to enable face-to-face meetings.
Microsoft is planning for a future in which workers will work from home or in the workplace. Intelligent Speakers for Teams are now available, with the ability to record meetings. It’s also publishing a playbook for companies interested in implementing a hybrid work model. Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, campus has been steadily opening up in recent months. The transition is part of a more significant effort to prepare for what it sees as a hybrid work environment.
Microsoft is removing its employees from corporate networks and taking an internet-first approach. The move away from corporate domains and intranets will open up security challenges for organizations. Microsoft also happens to own the cloud platform it uses, making it easier to switch to the cloud. Microsoft is also asking its employees who work from home to “run a test of their home networks” to ensure they are secure. The company intercepted and thwarted a record 30 billion email threats last year and tracked 40-plus active nation-state actors.
Ultimately, the goal of any software is to smoothen human interaction, and by making software ‘softer’, human, more inclusive and engaging, companies like Microsoft are taking a big step forward in shaping the workforce of tomorrow, with people at the heart of the experience.