Microsoft previewed Places this week, an app meant to help us get back into the swing of things as we figure out the ‘new normal’ hybrid working environment. That’s if you use Microsoft of course.
Microsft says the workplace needs to be more connected. Sure, Microsoft, we’ll hear you out.
“When spaces have meaning and purpose, they become places. That comes from people gathering, bonding, and sharing an experience together. It’s what makes a house a home—and an office worth coming into,” says Microsoft.
Well, we don’t know about that. But we guess it would be nice to have the option to sing kumbaya with your co-workers if that’s what you’re into. We’re not judging. Promise. 
No Jenny, you can’t sit there 
Using Microsoft Places, which pulls info from Outlook and Teams, you’ll be able to see when your colleagues are coming into the office, so you don’t bother getting out of your pyjamas only to get to the office and find everyone’s working from home.
“You’ll understand the days with the most in-office attendance, allowing you to adjust your schedule to take advantage of valuable in-person connections,” says Microsoft.
On days you’re supposed to be in the office, Microsoft will also be able to recommend the best time for you to leave the house.

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“You’ll get recommendations for the shortest commute times—with prompts telling you when to leave based on that day’s traffic and when your meetings are scheduled,” says Microsoft.
When you get to the office, Microsoft will help you decide where to sit (or not) during your meetings. We’re not entirely sure how Microsoft will know where your office chairs are, and we don’t know if we want to. 
“Hot desk booking will allow you to see where your closest colleagues are sitting and choose your desk accordingly,” adds Microsoft.
Is it just us, or does it sound like Microsoft is doing a great HAL 9000 impression? Microsoft is asking for a lot of personal info here. Be honest, do you really want everyone in your office to know when you’re coming in? A little unpredictability is good sometimes.

Using data to save power
Microsoft Places can also assist your employers or building managers to manage workspaces better. For example, it’ll let them know when most people are at work. Then they can decide if every light needs to be on in the building if everyone’s working from home. 
Places will be integrated with Microsoft 365’s outlook, Teams and Viva. Expect Microsoft Places to be available in 2023.

“Think about the importance of the Outlook calendar for orchestrating when people meet and collaborate. Places will do the same for where.” – Chairman and CEO @satyanadella
Optimize where you work with Microsoft Places introduced at #MSIgnite. pic.twitter.com/c5sR3m9RfK
— Microsft (@Microsoft) October 12, 2022

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