Microsoft Announces New Research & Technology in Asia Pacific

  1. Employees have a new ‘worth it’ equation. 57 percent of employees in Asia and 48 percent of employees in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) say they’re more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic. And the Great Reshuffle isn’t over: 55 percent of Gen Z and Millennials in Asia and 56 percent of Gen Z and Millennials in ANZ are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead
  2. Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations. 58 percent of leaders in Asia and 40 percent of leaders in ANZ say their company is planning a return to full-time in-person work in the year ahead. 57 percent of managers in Asia and 61 percent of managers in ANZ say leadership at their company is out of touch with employee expectations and 78 percent of managers in Asia and 73 percent of managers in ANZ say they don’t have the influence or resources to drive change for their team.
  3. Leaders need to make the office worth the commute. 41 percent of hybrid employees in Asia and 34 percent of hybrid employees in ANZ say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office yet only 34 percent of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms.
  4. Flexible work doesn’t have to mean “always on.” 56 percent of workers in Asia and 50 percent of workers in ANZ are open to using immersive digital spaces for meetings in the next year.
  5. Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid world. With 61 percent of hybrid workers in Asia and 47 percent of hybrid workers in ANZ considering a shift to full-remote in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital we’ve lost the past two years. 43 percent of leaders in Asia and 40 percent of leaders in ANZ say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work hybrid or remote.
  • Available in public preview at the end of the month, Teams Connect shared channels enable collaboration with people inside and outside the organization from a shared workspace.
  • To bridge the gap between digital and physical workspaces, a new meeting layout for Teams Rooms, front row, is now available in preview.
  • New touch-enabled display solutions for Teams Rooms from Neat and Yealink are in the process of being certified for Teams Rooms on Android. These devices combine audio, video, touch display and compute in a single unit — allowing easy deployment and enhanced collaboration experiences. The new AI-powered Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera uses automatic framing technology to dynamically adjust your Teams video feed to provide remote team members with a dynamic view of in-room interactions.
  • The language interpretation feature in Teams enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near real time. The meeting organizer can assign interpreters and select up to 16 source and target language combinations, while attendees will hear the translation.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams offers a rich set of new capabilities that bring visual collaboration to life, including collaboration cursors, more than 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and the ability to open existing boards and collaborate with external colleagues in Teams meetings.
  • To improve hybrid brainstorming, completion of action items and making decisions together without having to switch context or apps, Microsoft is introducing Loop components in Outlook mail. RSVPing for a meeting in Outlook now allows attendees to note whether they plan to join in person or virtually.
  • Microsoft is introducing a new offering in Microsoft Teams Phone called Operator Connect Mobile, in partnership with some of the world’s largest telecom operators. This assigns a single business-provided mobile phone number for desktop and mobile devices, making it seamless to move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions.
  • With vibrant and fun styling, over 1,800 new 3D fluent emojis can infuse expression and playfulness into messages. And with the skin tone selector, users have the option to pick emojis that better represents themselves.
  • To support flexible work styles, two PowerPoint experiences, cameo and recording studio, are being brought together. This will make it possible for presenters to deliver presentations with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not they attend the meeting.
  • A new feature called the Inspiration library is coming to Microsoft Viva in public preview as part of the Viva Insights app in Teams. The library is designed to give employees, managers and leaders easy access to thought leadership and best practices from top sources such as ‘Harvard Business Review’ and ‘Thrive’.

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