Jasco Blog

Virtual Collaboration Advances

July 14, 2020

Microsoft Teams has been able to create an environment that attempts to make virtual interactions more natural, engaging and overall human. The team have created a new framework which encapsulates these three overall categories that have been major talking points, especially when it comes to remote work. 

Feel More Connected and reduce meeting fatigue 

With many more virtual meetings it can be hard to feel connected with all your staff or clients, which can in turn lead to meeting fatigue. Together Mode is a new addition to teams which will use AI segmentation tech to place meeting participants in a shared background making it seem like everyone is in the same environment.  

Together Mode is aimed at engaging participants, its purpose is to help members better understand the body language of participants making it easier to pick up on non-verbal cues that are extremely important for human interaction. This feature will be great for brainstorms or roundtable discussions where multiple people talk due to the inclusive nature of the environment and the body language elements 

Research has shown that creating an emotionally supportive environment at work is key to keeping people happy, healthy and focusedThe overall well-being of staff will improve the productivity in the long run. A new reflect messaging extension for Teams will allow managers and leaders an easy way to check in on how their staff are feeling, either in general or about a specific topic.  The GitHub extension will provide suggested check-in questions and the ability to add custom questions that members can respond in a poll. 

Make meetings more inclusive, engaging and effective 

With virtual meetings taking over it is sometimes difficult to share sentiment without ruining the flow of meetings. Nodding and smiling or other non-verbal communication can be hard to pick up on in larger meetings so live reactions are out to change that. Live reactions will be able to be sent from anyone at any time utilising emojis that will appear to all participants to show encouragement or appreciation. 

Speaker attribution will be another addition to help make Teams more inclusive to the end user. Although Teams already has live transcripts the new update will allow labeling of whom is actually speaking to ensure everyone is heard and the right people get credit for their ideas. 

Whiteboard is another app to ensure collaboration in the virtual environment and its only getting better with a new update to ensure faster loading times, sticky notes, text and drag and drop capabilities. 

Streamline your work and save time 

The tasks app In Teams will provide unified views of tasks from across Microsoft to do, planner and outlook. Smart lists like “assigned to me” bring tasks together across different shared plans whether on desktop, web or mobile. 

Suggested replies will also help to improve efficiency and productivity with suggested AI replies to messages. Whilst Cortana will be able to provide voice assistance integrated into teams. To stay connected when you have your hands full you can ask Cortana to make a call, join a meeting, send chat messages, share files and much more.  

Touchless meetings experiences are something that the community requires right now, and Teams have delivered. The voice assistance will be empowered to do many more tasks like muting the meeting, leaving meetings, adjusting audio and more. This is to limit physical contact with commonly used items in an office like the surface hub for example.  

All these new additions are helping to shape the new world that coronavirus has created. In times where great change was needed Teams have been able to provide solutions to responses of the public and the needs of the customers. 

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