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The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are you ready?

by Spanish Point - Nov 1, 2021
The Next Great Disruption Is Hybrid Work—Are you ready?

Most organisations are not prepared as employees transition to a mode of alternating between in-person and remote work. Hybrid work is difficult. Remote attendees are finding themselves unseen and unheard. In-person attendees want to be inclusive but are not equipped to run effective hybrid meetings. One obvious example: conference rooms, which will host the majority of hybrid meetings, lack the necessary technology, software, and furniture to facilitate hybrid meetings effectively. According to Frost & Sullivan, out of the nearly 90 million meeting rooms worldwide, only 7.8 percent are video-enabled, creating a poor experience for remote attendees.

We’re all still learning, but in our experience, hybrid meetings are essential for fostering a positive work environment. When done correctly, hybrid meetings make everyone feel included while also providing the environment and resources for better connections, collaborations, and productivity. Below are three practices most organisations can do now to enable inclusive meetings and create a solid foundation for a flexible work culture:

  1. Audio: To ensure everyone can be heard when speaking, use a Microsoft Teams certified speaker puck when the room doesn’t have a centralized A/V system (see this IT guide for must-do technology).
  2. Bring your laptop: When you are in-person, bring your laptop and join the meeting with your camera on, and your microphone and audio-off. Everyone can participate via chats, live reactions, and raise hands, which has become a new meetings standard.
  3. Collaborate: Assign a meeting facilitator who is in the room for every hybrid meeting. The facilitator ensures participation and collaboration amongst all attendees by moderating the meeting chat, raise hands, and content to be directly shared through the Teams meeting. 

As we all continue to learn and share practical guidance in this new world of work, Microsoft remains committed to investing in hybrid innovation. Let’s take a look at the latest features in Microsoft Teams and Office 365 designed to support the diverse needs and work styles of employees no matter where they work.

Physical office spaces designed for all, not just for in-person attendees

In June, Microsoft announced new features designed to support inclusive hybrid meetings such as front row for Teams Rooms, a refreshed Teams experience on Surface Hub, and an enhanced Microsoft Whiteboard to enable visual collaboration whether or not you’re physically in the room together. In this blog we’ll discuss the next wave in Teams Rooms innovation with a new category of intelligent cameras. There are three unique technologies that power this new category of intelligent cameras:

  • AI-powered active speaker tracking, enabling in-room cameras to use audio, facial movements, and gestures to detect who in the room is speaking, zooming in for a closer perspective.
  • Multiple video streams that allow in-room participants to be placed in their own video pane.
  • People recognition, which will identify and display the profile name of enrolled users within their video pane.

When intelligent cameras are paired with Dynamic View in Teams, you can deliver more equitable meeting experiences where everyone feels seen and represented. As people join the meeting, Teams automatically adjusts various elements of the meeting, so remote participants see the room and content with ease.

To help individuals in meeting rooms contribute more dynamically, companion mode has been updated in Teams mobile to give in-room attendees quick access to engagement features like chat, live reactions, and Microsoft Whiteboard. In addition, it is easier to access meeting and device controls, like the ability to join a meeting, cast a PowerPoint, mute the room, turn room cameras on and off, and more.

Meeting planning and collaboration will be easier too. New features in Outlook capture details about when and where teammates are working, and how they will join meetings. The redesigned Working hours will allow you to include work schedule specifics directly in your calendar, so others can know when and where you’ll be working. The new RSVP feature lets people specify whether they will attend a meeting in-person or online so the meeting planners can best prepare by booking a room with video conferencing resources or bringing a speaker puck.

Remote meetings that are as effective as being in person

In the past, many chose to come into the office to deliver an important presentation, but Microsoft are investing to make remote presentations as effective and immersive. Hybrid presentations are not just about delivering content, but also engaging the audience with non-verbal social cues like facial reactions and gestures. Cameo is a new PowerPoint experience that seamlessly integrates your Teams camera feed into your presentation, letting you customize how and where you want to appear on your slides and offering layout recommendations for optimal viewing. When it’s time to present, use PowerPoint Live in Teams for an immersive remote presentation.


To create an inclusive hybrid work culture, where all voices can be heard, Speaker coach in Microsoft Teams uses AI to privately share guidance on your pace, notify you if you are interrupting someone, and remind you to check in with your audience.

Stay in the flow of work with Microsoft Teams

Flexibility comes from knowing that no matter where you work from, you are connected to your colleagues and work. The latest innovations in Teams bring your favourite applications and experiences together to help you remain efficient, focused, and connected in hybrid work.

With Microsoft Teams meetings and calling coming to Apple Car Play, you can now join Teams meetings and make calls hands-free on the road using Siri.

Microsoft Viva brings communication, knowledge, insights, and learning into the flow of work. With Viva Connections, you can stay informed of company news and resources directly from Teams. You can find personalized announcements, company conversations, and a dashboard of resources for actions like submitting a daily health check or expense reports.


The shift to hybrid work is exciting but will be a challenge for every leader and organisation. Organisations that embrace the change and incorporate flexibility into their operating models will create better and more inclusive work environments. At Spanish Point, we’re committed to supporting a hybrid work culture where flexibility leads the way—giving our customers and our employees the power to work from anywhere, anytime, and take control of their personal development and wellbeing. Like you, we are learning to navigate change in real-time. Together, we will create a new era of hybrid work where employees feel included and valued, and businesses perform better.

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