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14 May 2021

New flexible hybrid working features in Microsoft 365

With the UK government on track with its four-step roadmap, business leaders have begun planning  their transition into hybrid work. In response to the new trends, Microsoft have rolled out complementary features across 365 to keep workforces connected, and improve/maintain productive collaboration whilst workforces are across various locations.


Engaging, inclusive and productive meetings

Seamless and engaging meeting experience with polls

Access to polling has now been extended to meeting attendees from outside of organisations or for those joining from the Teams mobile app to ensure quality experience. Soon, presenters and organisers will be able to run two types of polls – open text and a multiple choice quiz. This will add more live engagement to Teams meetings.

Intelligent poll suggestions are also being introduced which will help users create polls and offer insights around engagement metrics.

Inclusive and productivity meetings with live transcription

The new live transcription feature will allow participants to review conversations in English-US, and in real time. This will particularly be useful for participants with hearing disabilities or different levels of language proficiency.

For attendees that were unable to attend the meeting or joined late, the feature will allow them to catch up quickly by reading the transcripts or searching by speaker.

Attendees also have the choice to not be identified in meeting transcriptions. To get started with this feature, tenant admins will need to switch on the ‘Allow transcription’ policy.

Stay on track with meeting recap

A highly requested feature, the ability to track changes in Excel workbooks, is now available. Users can view what changes have been made across the workbook and by whom, as well as seeing the previous blue of the cell to revert back.

Users will be able to narrow down the list to see all the changes made by simply clicking on any sheet, range or cell.


Export Word documents to PowerPoint

A new capability in Word for the web will now allow users to export a Word document into a seamless PowerPoint presentation. The latest feature is now available and uses AI to recommend imagery, icons, videos, themes and fonts.


Connect and organise easily with new updates in Outlook for the web

Outlook for the web will now be easier to navigate around and access apps. A new location will be introduced for core features such as email, calendar, and contacts. Users will also be able to easily access 365 applications like Excel PowerPoint and Yammer etc, from the left side outlook

One click on PowerPoint will also let users start a presentation after checking their email. Soon, Microsoft will be releasing this update to Outlook for Windows.


Categorise similar tasks in Planner and Task in Teams

Users are currently using labels to tag tasks with the same completion requirements, dependencies or issues. They are then filtering the plan on the labels to 0 on related tasks.

Based on feedback from users, Microsoft have introduced more label options, increasing from 6 to 25.


Secure hybrid work environments

Productivity and protection on M1 and Intel-based Macs with Remote Desktop

Many businesses are relying on virtual desktops to ensure employees can stay secure and productive from wherever they work. Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac has been updated to add native universal support for Mac OS. This will allow for an optimised remote desk experience for users using M-1 powered Macs. The update also comes with Kerberos integration and support for East Asian keyboard.

Protection for unmanaged devices with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint

The new hybrid environment has posed serious challenges in protecting increasing bring your own devices. But now Microsoft Defender for Endpoint has new capabilities which will allow businesses to identify and keep unmanaged devices secure on their business networks. Although not yet available, the capability is available in preview to now try out.

If you need more information on navigating the new updates, or want to find out more about Microsoft 365, get in touch with our cloud experts today.




By OryxAlign