The term hybrid work has been replaced by flexible work at Microsoft. The hybrid week is no longer a simple equation of X days in office + Y days working remotely = 1 hybrid week; now, it is fluid, flexible, and tailored to individual and team productivity. In most cases, meetings combine in-person and remote attendees, as defined by the traditional definition of hybrid work.
As a result of collaboration between the Microsoft Teams product group and the company's internal IT organization, hybrid meeting experiences can be improved to better meet the needs of our flexible workforce. In response to prototypes, experiments, and a focus on real-world hybrid experiences, Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms emerged as a new way to design hybrid-optimized spaces.
Check out the video to see how Signature Teams Rooms are used today at Microsoft.
Continue reading to find out what makes them great hybrid meeting spaces:
“It’s been quite the journey over the last few years. "We live in a hybrid world," says Keshav Puttaswamy, a partner and director of product management with Microsoft Digital Employee Experience (MDEE). We place a high value on flexibility. Regardless of where employees are located, we want them to be able to perform their best."
“Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms are an excellent tool for us to embrace this hybrid model fully,” Puttaswamy says.
Finding the best of both worlds
An inclusive hybrid meeting experience was one of the motivating factors behind the evolution of Signature Teams Rooms.
Puttaswamy says we are accustomed to seeing a room with a rectangular table in the middle and a screen on one end of the room. In hybrid environments, different needs are emerging from employees, and traditional meeting rooms aren't always optimal.
Unlike a traditional space where attendees can see each other's faces and body language, remote attendees may not be able to detect subtle details. The same is true for people sitting around the table, who may find it easier to focus their attention on them rather than remote attendees displayed on the screen. It is important that hybrid spaces serve both needs.
The Signature Microsoft Teams Rooms are designed to create a workplace that employees want to be in, says Matt Hempey, principal group product manager in MDEE who supports engagement and collaboration. The majority of our work is done in meetings, so why shouldn't we rethink this space where so much time is spent?"
Microsoft Teams Rooms are equipped with a concise arrangement of displays, cameras, audio devices, and specialized tables to create an enhanced hybrid meeting experience for everyone.
The furniture is arranged so that in-person and remote attendees face each other. The Front Row display option in Teams Rooms allows remote attendees to be eye level with those in the meeting room during hybrid meetings.
With a 21:9 aspect ratio display, content can be projected, remote attendees can participate, and chat rooms can be used - we refer to this as "the meeting within the meeting". This allows in-person attendees to follow along with the chat without refocusing on their computers.
Read more: How Microsoft's Signature Teams Rooms Enhance Meeting Experiences
Read more: The Future of Digital Signage is Ultrawide
Learn more about 21:9 Ultrawide displays.