Are Microsoft Teams Rooms the future of hybrid work? As more companies have switched to a hybrid work setup, developing solutions to bridge the gap between remote and in-office staff is more critical than ever. Thankfully, technologies have reached the point when collaboration and team communication is no longer defined by location. It is now easier than ever for teams to collaborate and initiate meetings using a virtual meeting space.
According to the Microsoft Teams Rooms website, this new technology aims to make it easier for everyone in your team to be seen and heard. How exactly do the Microsoft Teams Rooms do that? And is it the new standard for the digital adoption of conference rooms and meeting spaces? Let’s find out in this article.
An Insight into Hybrid Work
Before we explore the benefits of using Microsoft Teams Rooms to enhance your meeting experience and facilitate ease of collaboration with remote participants and employees, it’s important to understand what hybrid work is.
Before the pandemic, “hybrid” was a term that most people didn’t even know about, at least in the context of the work environment. Nowadays, it is the preferred work setup for many organisations that aim to provide flexibility to their workers. The pandemic hasn’t just initiated the switch to hybrid work; it’s been looming on the surface for organisations that want to adopt digital transformation. It is the next inevitable step, especially as the rapid globalisation in skill development means some companies must tap into remote employees to hire the talent they need.
Hybrid work is a setup where some workers report to the office while others work remotely. The hybrid work solution offers many benefits, one of which is allowing employees to work where they are most productive: in the office, at home, in a coworking space, or any place of their choice.
But the limitations of working remotely include a lack of access to technology infrastructure available in most corporate offices. Communication and collaboration are major challenges in the hybrid work setup. However, the use of Teams from Microsoft and virtual meeting rooms makes it easier for remote workers to participate in meetings in real time and easily access files as part of team collaboration.
The audio and video capabilities of Microsoft Teams Rooms make employees part of the discussion, just like they are physically within a large meeting room with other team members. The advancement in technology, in both hardware and software, also facilitates easy access to files and information remote workers need to be productive, regardless of where they choose to work.
What is a Microsoft Teams Room?
Microsoft Teams Rooms, also known as MTR, are an innovative solution designed for team communication and collaboration. This all-in-one solution allows for seamless file and content sharing among team members and offers interactive whiteboarding and video conferencing tools to enable the best (hybrid) work experience possible.
Microsoft Teams Rooms offer a streamlined meeting experience, making it easier for remote and in-office staff to join meetings and participate in business calls regardless of location.
It is an extension of the Microsoft suite of business applications within the Windows operating system. Teams Rooms from Microsoft transform traditional meeting rooms into highly collaborative virtual meeting rooms for remote participants. Many organisations employ these virtual room systems to offer an end-to-end solution for teams meeting and huddle spaces. This video conferencing and meeting room solution gives you access to the best audio and video devices at your fingertips. You can easily use it to make business calls, join meetings, record sessions, and share content in real-time across different locations.
Key Features of Microsoft Teams Rooms
Apart from video conferencing capabilities, you can take advantage of various features of Microsoft Teams Rooms to maximise productivity and collaboration in the workplace.
Inclusive and Interactive Meetings
Every member of your team, WFO or WFH, can enjoy a better hybrid meeting experience via Teams Rooms thanks to cutting-edge video conferencing equipment and their functionalities:
- High-quality audio and video: The advanced, intelligent audio and video systems create more interactive and immersive meeting rooms.
- Inclusive video layouts: It virtually delivers a more interactive meeting space by maximising the screen space to include people, content, and chats.
- File sharing: You can easily share content from your device or laptop without cables or wires.
- Intelligent speakers: It uses Microsoft’s voice recognition technology to identify who is speaking at any point in the meeting and clearly mark that on the meeting note.
- Access to personal devices: You can use any personal device to chat or engage within your meeting room and with other participants.
- Interactive whiteboarding: Foster real-time collaboration in every meeting as every participant can access a digital whiteboard or canvas.
- Intelligent cameras: The cameras use AI-powered speaker tracking to identify who is talking and highlight the speakers at the meeting, creating a more immersive experience for participants.
Multiple Options for Meeting Space
With MTRs, in-room and remote participants can easily integrate into the various meeting spaces available. The room layout, types of furniture, and tech devices in Teams rooms ensure proper configuration suited for every need.
There are three standard Teams rooms. Firstly, Focus Room is ideal for three to five people or those requiring small huddle areas. Secondly, Medium Space can accommodate up to 11 in-room participants and more guests to join online. Thirdly, Large Space is recommended for up to 18 in-room participants and is suited for formal presentations, collaborations across departments, and large team gatherings.
These meeting spaces are just examples; you can design and build your MTRs to best suit your needs with the right AV solution and technology.
Flexible Teams Rooms
You and your teams can get more flexibility with Microsoft Teams Rooms by adopting any solution to match your unique business goals and needs. Teams Rooms’ tech solutions and room configuration can be adjusted to meet your meeting room size and support a wide portfolio of certified AV devices.
Benefits of Microsoft Teams Rooms
MTRs enable a seamless and user-friendly solution that brings your team closer together, whether you’re working remotely or in the same location. Here’re some major benefits of Teams rooms.
Easy to Use
Everyone on your team can feel closer and more engaged in virtual meeting rooms with the easy-to-use Microsoft Teams Rooms. Remote participants feel like they’re in the room with other meeting participants, making each meeting more productive and less burdened.
Microsoft Teams Rooms are easy to set up and use, so you can start the meeting immediately because the room itself is the meeting. The hardware and software solution integrated into the system makes it easy for participants to join meetings whenever and wherever they are.
Even if you are not in a meeting, there are other excellent ways to utilise the features of Teams Rooms. For example, you can use it to collaborate with team members using Teams devices, such as accessing personal chats and the ability to share content.
The ease of use is important to maximise the capabilities Microsoft Teams offers.
Ease of Integration
The integration of Teams Rooms is a smooth process as it is made possible with flexible solutions designed to meet the needs of any meeting room size and using any device. You can easily integrate it with Microsoft, third-party applications, and other tools and services available within the Microsoft Office 365 suite. Thus, you can easily use Microsoft Teams without disrupting your existing workflows.
Moreover, Microsoft Teams can be easily integrated into other Microsoft Tools, such as OneDrive, SharePoint, and Outlook. You can integrate them with third-party applications like Asana and Trello. These integrations and easy access enables teams to get more functionality out of Teams Rooms.
Microsoft Teams can function as a communication, collaboration, and content-sharing platform, allowing organisations to get more done using the same tool.
As a result of a streamlined workflow, you can enjoy enhanced productivity and efficiency. Your team won’t have to switch between different applications since you can perform the tasks in one place. Aside from boosting productivity, you can reduce costs as you don’t need to invest in other tools and devices.
Access to Superior Technology
Teams Rooms is an extension of Microsoft Teams. The entire system gives your team access to various devices, such as microphones, speakers, cameras, and touch screens. These devices provide functionalities to make your meeting experience more immersive and make your team communication clearer and more reliable.
The advanced video conferencing technology ensures everyone is seen and heard with its high-quality audio and video components.
Secured and Managed
Microsoft Teams Rooms are constantly being updated to enhance the security features for operations. Therefore, you can use these tools with peace of mind knowing that your files and confidential information are safe within the system.
Microsoft Teams Rooms vs Traditional Video Call and Conferencing
What distinguishes Microsoft Teams Rooms from traditional video call and video conferencing solutions? Hybrid meetings differ from traditional meeting spaces, where all participants are in the same room and have access to the same presentations and speakers within the office or large conference rooms. Keeping everyone’s focus and attention in a hybrid setup is quite challenging.
Microsoft Teams Rooms is considered the superior solution for virtual team meetings, as you can deploy and manage software and hardware solution for your conference room needs.
You can easily integrate the Microsoft Teams Rooms device with any other tools within the Microsoft operating system. Therefore, it does not disrupt your existing workflows or introduce a deep learning curve to the team members.
A traditional video conferencing tool or technology is limited to providing a team meeting platform. But with MTRs, you can use it as a collaborative platform, eliminating the need to use other tools.
AI Features & Capabilities
Access to AI-powered tools and functionalities also boost your meeting experiences, such as noise suppression and speaker tracking. It also gives you access to analytics that help you create a more immersive and efficient meeting experience in the future. On the contrary, you don’t have access to these functionalities via traditional video conferencing technologies and tools, which could potentially cause disruptions and reduced meeting quality.
Microsoft Teams room can be managed via the Teams Admin Center. IT administrations are able to monitor, manage, and troubleshoot devices from a remote location. On the other hand, traditional video call systems still require on-site support.
What You Need to Set Up Microsoft Teams Rooms
With the right tech tools and AV equipment, you can build new Teams Rooms entirely or upgrade your existing meeting spaces to support a hybrid workforce.
High-quality video camera
A high-quality video camera ensures clear communication and an immersive experience. It captures and transmits visual images clearly, so all participants can see everyone and feel as if they’re in the same room.
Look for video camera solutions with advanced technological features like low-light sensitivity and wide-angle lenses. These high-quality cameras also provide sharp and detailed images under any lighting conditions. A superior visual experience ensures a more engaging and immersive video conferencing solution.
Microphones with high pickup sensitivity
Microphones with high pickup sensitivity are an essential Teams Rooms device. Like superior visual quality, Teams meetings require exceptional audio quality. Using a high-quality microphone enables your team to capture sound in a wide area, so your team members can clearly communicate and hear each other no matter where they are seated.
A high-quality audio device also eliminates noise and echo so that participants can focus on the speaker’s audio.
Noise-cancelling headphones are a valuable piece of equipment for your MTR systems. These headphones utilise advanced technology to reduce ambient noise to ensure participants can hear precisely what is being relayed in a meeting. The right headphones can significantly improve communication quality in any meeting. A controlled audio environment is the first step toward a more productive meeting.
Conference phone with a dedicated line
Invest in a conference phone with a dedicated line to improve your virtual conference room experience. Choose a system that can be easily integrated into Microsoft Teams with a one-touch functionality or voice commands. This solution enables quality audio transmission and sound pickup. You can also access advanced technological features, such as echo cancellation, noise reduction, and microphone beamforming, to name a few.
Let’s Set Up Your Teams Rooms
As the future of hybrid work continues to evolve, Microsoft Teams Rooms are a compelling solution for organisations seeking to enhance their meeting experiences and foster effective collaboration for each and every team member, no matter where they are.
Explore the full potential of Microsoft Teams Rooms with Mediascape. We can set up or upgrade your meeting spaces with the latest AV technology and solutions to bring your teams closer together and unlock new levels of productivity in the hybrid work landscape. Get in touch today and find out how we can improve your workspace.