Now that nearly half of all American workers are working from home, everyone is looking for new and better ways to stay in touch, and many offices have turned to Microsoft Teams. It's been an ideal tool in the era of remote working. But what new updates are in store for Teams? And how can they make your and your colleagues' lives easier? First, let's catch you up on what Teams has updated recently.
On July 31, Teams rolled out a new Meetings experience. Now, instead of appearing in your chat window, video calls will pop out into a new window. Hopefully, this will make it easier to refer back to the chat while you're in your meeting. There are also new gallery views for your meeting, which you can view if you click on "More Options." Try them out and see which one works for you.
On August 21, they linked your status (Available, In a Call, and so on) to other Teams features. For example, when you update your status to Out of Office, the app turns on your Automatic Replies for you.
Easily Create a Template
Power Automate is Teams' way of making workflow automation available to non-coders, and lately it's added some new features for creating templates to make your workday painless. Next time you're in Teams, try logging into Power Automate, then going to My Flows > New > Instant-from blank, and choosing the newest option under Triggers, "For a selected message." This will give you several options to create tasks that convert messages into other forms, like Items and Work Items, that will appear when you hover over the message and choose "More Options." That way, the next time your teammate messages you and suggests a new feature for your product in development, you can add that comment to your workflow without any fuss. Or, if you're talking to a client, you can convert a message from them detailing their specifications into an offer. Here are some ideas of ways you can automate your workflow with the new Power Automate options.
How to Have a Hybrid Meeting
Now that the whole world is just getting used to workspaces that are 100 percent remote, some companies are working out hybrid schedules, in which some employees come into the office and some stay home. While it's nice to see our coworkers outside an online meeting window again, hybrid schedules are bringing an all-new set of headaches to the workplace. We know how to have a meeting when everyone is in the room, and we've all just figured out how to have one when all the participants are at home, but what about when half are present and half are calling in?
Now, Teams will let you plan ahead with Coordinated Meetings. Coordinated Meetings automatically logs all devices in the room into Teams when one participant logs in, so you can synchronize the start of your meeting and simplify matters for the folks at home. It also has features that will help you coordinate your microphones, speakers, and cameras to avoid redundancies and feedback loops. Setting up your conference room ahead of time with Coordinated Meetings will be a great way to have a smooth meeting experience during the coming transition from lockdown to normality.
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