New Microsoft Places Uses AI for Hybrid Work Collaboration

New Microsoft Places Uses AI for Hybrid Work Collaboration

Figuring out the best time to head into the office when you’re on a hybrid work schedule can be a challenge. Microsoft’s new Places software is a “connected workplace platform” that aims to “reimagine hybrid and in-person work,” according to Microsoft’s Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President, AI at Work.

“…it’s hard to know when colleagues are coming in, and too often, employees have commute-regret: the unique frustration of making the commute just to be alone in the office, doing work they could have done from home,” said Spataro in a statement. “And to make matters more challenging, people returning to the office often find spaces that haven’t evolved since 2019.”

Person in an in-person meeting
 An in-person meeting.Microsoft

Places, then, is set to help manage this new way of doing business, where we’re both in and out of the office while we work. One way is with hybrid scheduling, which takes a look at your team’s Outlook and Team software to help you know when your co-workers and other collaborators plan to be in the office, so you don’t end up sitting alone when you need to work together. Intelligent booking will also help you, says Microsoft, figure out the best places in-office to match your needs for meetings with a mix of in-person and remote folks. Places will even help you find the best time to commute based on the day’s traffic and your scheduled meetings.

While in the office, Places will help you with wayfinding so you don’t have to wander around looking for that specific conference room your teem booked, and Desk booking will let you see where your colleagues are sitting on a given day so you can all work near each other.

Microsoft Places is still a work in progress, but the company says that you can start with Teams Rooms, its hardware and software system for managing videoconferencing in the office. Microsoft said Places is integrated with apps across Microsoft 365, as well, so you can use it without Teams, too.

“With the right technology, we can transform offices to fit our ever-evolving needs. By creating responsive, flexible, and dynamic places to work—and offering solutions that help prioritize time and maximize in-person connection—Microsoft Places will help make the promise of hybrid work a reality,” said Spataro.


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