Microsoft’s new app could help manage remote and office workers in a hybrid environment.
- Microsoft hosted its annual Ignite Conference on Wednesday, held for developers and IT technicians to discuss updates and developments on its products.
- As part of a slate of announcements, the company is developing an app to help bridge the gap between hybrid, remote, and office work.
- “Today I’m excited to introduce Microsoft Places, our new connected workplace platform that will reimagine hybrid and in-person work. This platform delivers solutions that coordinate where work happens, modernize the office with intelligent technology, and optimize the workplace for changing needs,” says Microsoft corporate vice president Jared Spataro.
- “The new Microsoft Places app will let users know when a large number of their co-workers plan to be in the office or attend a meeting in person. The app also shows when a workspace is likely to be pretty empty to help managers make decisions about electricity, heating, and cooling that can save money,” says Bloomberg.
Why it’s important
Remote work continues to be a divisive issue as companies are employees are uncertain about how to reintegrate offices in the post-COVID world.
Hybrid work may offer a compromise for many companies that want to restore office cohesion and interpersonal relationships while respecting the desires of employees to remain remote.
“Hybrid work promises us the best of all worlds. The ease and comfort of working from home, the connection and energy of engaging with our co workers in the office, and the flexibility and opportunity of working where we want. But today, there are still challenges preventing this promise from becoming a reality,” says Microsoft.
Backing up a bit
Studies have shown that having the option of remote work is preferred by a majority of employees but CEOs and employers are nervous about how it affects productivity and company culture. As we previously reported, at least 27 million employees in the United States currently work from home.
AT&T and Apple have faced backlash from their staff for attempting to mandate remote workers to return to the office. The dispersal of work due to the pandemic though has given more power to the employee to demand flexibility, changing old power dynamites, and pushing back against daily demands like commuting and office work.
“Microsoft Places hybrid scheduling will leverage common data signals from Outlook and Teams to allow you to view the week ahead and see when your co-workers and close collaborators are planning to be in the office. You’ll understand the days with the most in-office attendance, allowing you to adjust your schedule to take advantage of valuable in-person connections… With Microsoft Places, you can prioritize your time while maximizing in-person connections,” says Microsoft.