As highlighted in the recent release of our 2022 Work Trend Index1, organizations around the world are adapting to new ways of working, which means they’re faced with a new challenge: how to bring together culture, technology, and space to make hybrid work work. The tools we use every day need to be flexible and inclusive to empower people of all different needs to be productive from anywhere, at any time.
This month, we’re adding new features across Microsoft 365 to improve accessibility, support flexible workstyles, streamline routine tasks, and offer more ways to make your voice heard. We’re also launching new capabilities in Windows 11 and Windows 365 to help make hybrid work a little easier. Let’s dive into what’s new.
A more inclusive, seamless working environment
Support neurodiversity in the hybrid workplace
Notification overload can be disruptive, especially for employees with conditions like autism and ADHD. We’ve been working to cut down the noise by providing more ways to customize which notifications Microsoft Teams shows you and when, and new ways to protect time with Microsoft Viva Insights. We’ve also added new capabilities to support and improve reading and writing like text prediction options, voice control tools, and accessible authoring features—great for everyone, but a true game changer for workers with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Learn about these features and more intelligent tools to support neurodiversity in the hybrid workplace in our what’s new in Microsoft accessibility for spring 2022 blog.
Create tasks with natural language
The To Do Windows app now supports smart recognition of due dates, reminders, and repeat information from the task title.2 Now you can simply use natural language—like submit project report on Friday or follow up with client on Tuesday at 1 PM—and To Do will automatically recognize and highlight the dates, times, and repeat information and add it to your task accordingly. Update your Windows To Do app to version 2.66 or above to get started.
Get more out of Yammer
We’ve released a series of updates to Yammer that help make it easier to find what you need, share ideas, and customize to your preferences. First, community members can now upvote a response if it’s a helpful or useful contribution to the question, making it easier for others to find answers. You can now also bookmark a conversation to see the post and its replies later. Finally, dark mode for Yammer web will be available soon.
Switch between accounts in Microsoft 365 web apps with a single click
Switching between user accounts can disrupt your flow of work when you need to sign out and sign back in again. Beginning this month, we have started adding support for multiple work and personal accounts on Microsoft 365 web apps in the same browser, enabling you to seamlessly switch between the accounts with a single click. Just add your accounts to the account manager on the top right of a Microsoft 365 web app to get started. Learn more about this new feature in the Tech Community blog Announcing account switching for Microsoft 365 web apps.
Work securely from anywhere with Windows 11 and Windows 365
Flexible work requires technology that’s built for a hybrid world. Earlier this month, we shared the latest Windows 11 and Windows 365 features that are designed to empower new ways of working. We’re bringing the power of the Microsoft Cloud and familiarity of the PC together, giving you an even more seamless Windows experience without sacrificing security.
Drive productivity and hybrid collaboration with Windows 11
With Windows 11, you can easily organize files you are working with in File Explorer by tagging them as favorites and using tabs to quickly access those you need.
New capabilities like automatic framing, voice clarity, background blur, and eye contact create more natural hybrid meeting experiences.3 Live captions provide a more inclusive hybrid work environment for the deaf or hard-of-hearing communities, as well as language learners. Finally, we added snap assist for touch to help people organize windows in predefined layouts on Windows tablets or two-in-ones.
Empower hybrid work with Windows 365, the world’s first Cloud PC
With Windows 365, employees can stream their entire Windows experience from the Microsoft Cloud, enabling them to access their personal settings, apps, and content securely on any device.
Windows 365 Boot enables users to sign in to Windows 365 at start up—no need to sign in to the local operating system first. Windows 365 Switch will enable users to move between the Windows 365 Cloud PC and the local desktop just like they do between different desktops today in the Task switcher. The Windows 365 app provides users with another way to access their Windows 365 Cloud PC from the taskbar or Start menu. And for those times you need to work offline, like on an airplane or in the field, Windows 365 Offline enables uninterrupted work, with an automatic sync as soon as you reconnect.
Empower IT with modern management
Managing devices for a dispersed workforce and keeping them up to date presents unique challenges for IT departments. To help, we’ve added Windows Autopatch, a new intelligent managed service designed to keep Windows and Office software up to date automatically, to Windows Enterprise E3 at no additional cost. Learn more about this announcement on our Tech Community blog post Get current and stay current with Windows Autopatch.
In addition, we are launching a new communications function in Microsoft Endpoint Manager that empowers IT to send targeted organizational messages directly to employees across various surfaces in Windows 11, including on the desktop or lock screen. Learn about this new cloud-managed capability and more in this Tech Community blog post The endpoint manager’s guide to what’s coming in Windows 11.
Simplify what it takes to protect your endpoints in the cloud
We announced our vision for advanced endpoint management and shared our plans to introduce a series of premium solutions over time in Endpoint Manager that will help organizations increase endpoint security, improve user experiences, and reduce the cost of ownership of your digital estate. Remote help for Windows is the first of these solutions, launched for general availability on April 5, 2022, and is featured in the new Microsoft Mechanics video about Windows cloud management.
Govern data across your entire data estate
To meet the challenges of today’s decentralized, data-rich workplace, we’re introducing Microsoft Purview—a comprehensive set of solutions that help you understand, govern, and protect your entire data estate. This new portfolio combines the capabilities of the former Azure Purview and the Microsoft 365 Compliance solutions that users already rely on, providing unified data governance and risk management. Learn more about Microsoft Purview in the video Go Beyond with Microsoft Purview.
Empowering the future of modern work
As the future of work unfolds, Microsoft 365 is continuing to help organizations and teams embrace a flexible work model. No solution is better positioned to support the needs of a hybrid workforce than Microsoft 365. Be sure to check back next month, when we’ll be sharing the news from Microsoft Build, our annual developer conference.
1 2022 Work Trend Index, Microsoft. March 16, 2022.
2 Feature currently available in English (EN-) languages only.
3 Hardware dependent.