Owing to the current pandemic, Microsoft recently revealed that the use of Microsoft Teams has hugely increased. 32 million of us used Teams daily with that figure jumping to 44 million users in just one week. More companies and employees are realising the benefits of virtual meetings with Microsoft reporting a new daily high of 2.7 billion meeting minutes. That is up from 900 million minutes recorded in March, a staggering 200 percent increase!

Microsoft engineers have been busy bolstering the platform to allow for the extra capacity as the demand for video streaming has grown in such a short space of time. The participant limit has been increased from 10,000 to 100,000 in line with the increased need of large enterprise meetings and virtual corporate events.

With security issues of other platforms such as Zoom being in the news recently, more users are turning to Teams. Microsoft have realised that in order to keep in line with competition and to keep their new users, they need to listen to what their users want. A good example of this is the custom backgrounds that can be used to hide your location or your messy home office! They have also confirmed that they are looking to change the number of users you can see onscreen as the current 2×2 layout is restrictive. They are also working on a ‘raise your hand’ feature to allow the meeting organiser to see when someone wants to speak.

With more of us working from home, it has been increasingly difficult to purchase laptops, webcams and headsets as suppliers are struggling to keep up with the demand. It is nigh on impossible to work efficiently from home using an iPad or tablet thus creating the return of the PC into the household.

With current global affairs and further restrictions on our movements announced last week, working from home or at least a more agile way of working is here to stay. Even in countries where lockdown has eased, there continues to be an increase in Teams users which indicates a shift in work patterns.

Looking to the future when this pandemic is over, some businesses will need to streamline in order to survive. The use of technology will be a real game changer for these businesses. By implementing the right technology and enabling agile working, the need for expensive office space will become surplus. I am sure that smaller shared office space and working from home will be the new normal. At 4s, we are already seeing signs of this. We support a legal company who wanted to expand from 10 to 100 staff. They were actively looking for office space but since the pandemic, they have realised that the need for office space is redundant and that the productivity of their staff continues when working from home. They have driven forward their recruitment plans and here at 4s Systems, we have been shipping hardware direct to their new recruit’s homes and setting them up remotely with all the security and access needed to successfully work from home.

One thing we can be sure of in these uncertain times; the way in which all businesses work will have changed forever.

If you need any help or advice using Microsoft Teams or setting up working from home, please contact 4s Systems. We would love to help you.