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Microsoft 365: The News For Hybrid Work, Collaboration, And Accessibility

For Microsoft 365, several new features are available – or coming soon – in various areas. From technology that helps frontline workers communicate and serve customers to enhancements that make content more accessible. As well as functions to support collaboration, productivity, and hybrid work. Microsoft has added new integrations into the Viva Connections app for frontline worker features – with strategic partners Workday and Expressive – that allow workers to easily access essential business resources and actions, such as payroll and resources. HR, in one place.

Additionally, to help enterprises make training more accessible, Microsoft has updated the Viva Learning app to streamline the training assignment workflow from partner solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Saba Cloud. And new partnerships with training providers, such as EdCast and Open Sesame, connect workers to a vast library of content that can help them update and train – all within the workflow. To help make communication easier, Microsoft is also deepening its strategic partnership with Zebra Technologies, specializing in software and hardware for frontline workers.

Microsoft recently announced the general availability of the Walkie Talkie app in Microsoft Teams, with a dedicated push-to-talk button, on a variety of Zebra mobile devices. In addition to available availability on any iOS mobile device. Instead, it’s aimed at removing the friction from managing appointments and updating the Bookings app in Microsoft Teams. This update brings a complete view of virtual appointments in one place, including real-time updates on waiting times, queues, missed appointments, and staff delays, for a better experience.

Accessibility And Collaboration In Microsoft 365

Making content accessible – Microsoft points out – allows employees to collaborate and contribute more easily. That’s why the Redmond company is simplifying accessible authoring and bringing it into the workflow of Microsoft 365 apps. Keeping accessibility at the center of the entire creation and editing process helps make troubleshooting accessibility more manageable.

Microsoft is introducing a new option to run Accessibility Checker in the background while working in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Windows. This feature will help you report accessibility issues that need to be corrected during your workflow. Alt text makes image-rich digital documents accessible to screen reader users.

Microsoft recently introduced the ability for users to provide alt text for images shared in Microsoft Teams Chat on Windows and soon on macOS. And Excel now provides screen reader users with automatic alt text for charts and PivotChart, generated on-demand as the screen reader reaches the object to ensure it is based on the latest data. Content creation is a highly collaborative process and, in a hybrid business world, this often means communicating asynchronously with others. 

Microsoft Teams updates increase flexibility in when and how you collaborate. Now, you can catch up on what happened in unscheduled or channel meetings with Live Transcript. For those who prefer to listen to the full recording, it is now possible to adjust the variable playback speed (0.5 to 2 times) for Teams in Stream meeting recordings. As well, view recordings indexed based on slide transitions make it easier to listen at your own pace and quickly navigate to relevant content.

Functions And Tools For Hybrid Work

Microsoft Teams allows meeting attendees to let presenters know they want to speak or have a question without introducing interruptions. Teams can now show the chronological order of raised hands. This helps the speaker know who to invite to speak first so that no input from meeting attendees is lost. With the shift to hybrid work, business processes often need to be transformed, and diagrams are a great way to illustrate how work is done.

To help make diagrams more accessible, the Redmond company brings core Visio features to Microsoft 365. This will allow users to create, edit, and share diagrams with organization team members. And with access to diagram templates and popular shapes, you can easily visualize any business process. The Visio web app in Microsoft 365 is now available to all users with a commercial subscription.


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