Microsoft Teams now reaches more than 150 million daily users, and the connected workforce isn’t the only movement that’s growing fast. The leading collaboration platform is constantly adding new features to drive productivity gains and make every connection over Teams count. Amidst a stunning backdrop of the “Great Resignation” with 1.5 jobs posted for every unemployed American, and more members of the workforce resigning every quarter, keeping your team connected and engaged is more important than ever.

A less than ideal corporate culture—generally hallmarked by red flags like a lack of engagement and an abundance of siloes—can lead to 10.4x more employee resignations than salary and benefits gaps. Having the right UCaaS or productivity platform in place can help by empowering more connections and making live events or meetings with teams seamless and simple. And according to the experts, now is the time to engage your workforce.

“Many people even in white-collar professions now may have very different goals about what work means to them and perhaps adopt more of a work-to-live rather than a live-to-work philosophy.”

Dori Clark, Author and Executive Professor at Yale University

Fortunately, Microsoft Teams is known for its regular updates. Rather than letting them go by unnoticed, or risking overwhelming your teams with the constant innovation, here are the top five updates coming this month that you should let your employees know about to empower more meaningful engagement and collaboration:

1. Speak freely.

With the new “Walkie Talkie” app, Microsoft Teams enables instant push-to-talk (PTT) communications for teams on the go. and is now available for users on Android and iOS. Walkie Talkie lets team members connect with each other using their regular Teams channels. Users connecting to Walkie Talkie in a channel can communicate freely with each other using push-to-talk, one at a time.

With Walkie Talkie in Teams, now colleagues can communicate on the fly, whether they’re working from home or at a nearby coffee shop. Frontline workers can also safely communicate without the need for bulky radios, the Walkie Talkie Feature in the Teams app works everywhere users can access cellular internet and WiFi connectivity.

2. Express yourself.

If you’re on Microsoft Teams calls or chats on a regular basis, then you are no stranger to the growing stable of gifs, reactions, and emojis. Now, along with Microsoft 365 and Windows, Microsoft Teams has updated both emojis and reactions to the new “fluent” emoji style for more robust and expressive emoji options with rumors of more 3D effects.

3. Sync up together.

Let’s face it, with remote work and a disparate connected workforce, it’s tough to keep track of which team members are on which time zone and subsequent schedules. Now with Microsoft Teams, users can look at their team members’ profile cards to easily access each others’ local time zones directly from the platform. Previously, Teams users would have to go hunting through other Microsoft legacy tools like Outlook for profile cards that also include details on office locale, team, and job title—giving a window into a lot of clarity right from the Microsoft Teams application.

4. Integrate away.

Microsoft Teams users can now integrate the platform more freely with other software they use to work on a daily basis. Now, VMware virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) users and Azure Virtual Desktop and Windows VDI users can employ live Teams captions to display the text version of audio on calls for greater accessibility and harder-to-miss Teams communications. In addition, Microsoft and VMware have partnered around integrations between Azure and SD-Wan and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Azure Arc.

Meanwhile, any emergency calls from Teams and Citrix VDI users at home now validate addresses communicated to first responders during a crisis. Both organizations have joint solutions involving Citrix and Azure and Citrix and Microsoft 365 to make more possible.

5. Take control.

Now the Teams Admin Center incorporates workspace management to include a deeper view of Teams devices and peripherals by location. Administrators can monitor workspace health while managing connected devices and updating settings to standards. Admins can also now export Teams lists using comma-separated values (CSV) files and using a common search box in Admin Center to quickly locate users, teams, pages, and settings. They can pin and pre-install applications for direct access right in the Teams apps bar and denote app setup policies unique to individual groups.

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