New hybrid work innovation for Microsoft Teams Rooms

22 June 2021 // 3 mins read

A front row feature will place remote participants at the bottom of the screen, Teams Rooms will gain features from the desktop, and other apps will improve integration with Office and aid focus.
Microsoft Teams Rooms hybrid working

Over the course of this year, Microsoft will roll out front row in Teams Rooms, an immersive room layout that makes interactions feel more natural and gives in-room participants a greater sense of connection to remote participants.

Moving the video gallery to the bottom of the screen has allowed remote participants to be face-to-face with those in the room. To help everyone stay engaged, meeting content is surrounded by contextual meeting information like the agenda, tasks, and notes. Meeting chat will also be clearly visible to those in the room, so they can see and respond to comments.

The Teams intelligent speakers from EPOS and Yealinkare now generally available and are built for Teams Rooms and use Microsoft’s voice recognition technology in Teams to attribute remarks to the meeting room speaker in the transcript. With speaker attributed—meeting transcription, people can focus on contributing to the conversation instead of taking notes, and those who missed the meeting can see a record of the conversation after the meeting.

Teams Rooms on Surface Hub experience

Surface Hub is purpose-built for teams to meet and co-create, wherever they work. Coming this autumn, the new Microsoft Whiteboard experience will also be available on Surface Hub, so everyone can draw and ink on the same digital canvas.  

To empower remote participants to initiate and facilitate whiteboard sessions, Microsoft has created a completely new, hybrid work-focused Whiteboard experience where all attendees can visually collaborate across the same digital canvas. Available in summer 2021, new features will enable anyone to bring existing content to Whiteboard to co-author; and new templates will help groups start ideating faster, improving their ability to follow along with contributors, and more. 

Microsoft Teams Rooms hybrid working whiteboard

Effective hybrid meetings require every participant to be able to present and experience a presentation in a way that’s engaging and inclusive. New PowerPoint Live features help to create a shared space for collaboration and contributions from everyone in the meeting. Slide translate allows attendees to see the presentation in their chosen language, for instance. And with our new inking experience, you can annotate your PowerPoint as you present—or use a laser pointer to call attention to key points.

Collaborate in the flow of work

To work effectively in hybrid and asynchronous models, people need a super-rich canvas that both creates and maintains context before, during, and after the meeting. Microsoft have announced the expansion of Fluid components for Teams meetings, OneNote, Outlook, and Whiteboard that make it easier to collaborate synchronously and asynchronously across Teams and Office apps. Also they are announcing new chat features that further support asynchronous collaboration, so you can keep the work moving forward in between meetings. 

Protect time and prioritise wellbeing

Microsoft is bringing a curated set of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises from Headspace to the Viva Insights app in Teams to help you start your day grounded, relax your mind before a big presentation, or disconnect from work in the evening.

Building upon the Viva Insights ability to schedule daily focus time to work uninterrupted with Teams notifications silenced, they are introducing a new focus mode in the Viva Insights app later this year. This will feature Focus music from Headspace and implement timers to help you make progress on important tasks in regular intervals with breaks planned in between.

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