Microsoft is making its mark on the hybrid work trend.
The software giant has launched ‘Places’, a forthcoming add-on to Microsoft 365 that provides insights on when workers go into the office, enabling workers to identify the best collaboration times for in-person versus remote setups.
In the company’s words, it’s designed to “optimize the use of physical space.”
As workers continue to split their time between their home and a centralized office, Places provides clearer opportunities for workers to connect in-person with their colleagues.
Lars Johnson, senior director on Microsoft’s connected workplace and Teams group, told TechCrunch in an email interview:
“As we were discussing [our calling and videoconferencing solution] Teams Rooms with customers, they were continuing to point us to a larger challenge they were grappling with: What is the purpose of the office?
“We were [also] seeing early signs from our own research about hybrid working that while people still wanted flexibility, they were missing some in-person connection.”
With Places, Microsoft hopes to bring hybrid teams together more effectively. It shows the real-time working status of employees, so workers can see which days are hybrid, in-office or remote, and the percentage of the workforce that’s in a given office building.
We’ve known for some time that remote and hybrid work is a major part of the future of work. Now, with a little help from Microsoft, the transition to a hybrid work setup is set to become a lot easier for businesses all over the globe.