a group of people sitting at a desk in front of a laptop

Socially Intelligent Meetings

Making telepresence work for teams throughout the workday

The Socially Intelligent Meetings portfolio, (in the Future of Work theme), explores social and technological interventions for remote and hybrid teams to feel present and orient to their changing goals, from ambient and focused, throughout the workday. We explore how telepresence technologies can be designed to promote intentionality, flexibility, collegiality, and experimentation. The portfolio aims to establish best practices for team value of telepresence and advance the state of the art in telepresence technologies for teams.

a person standing in front of a television

Themes

  • Meeting (the) Pandemic: Collaboration and Meetings During and After COVID-19
  • Belonging There: Mixed Reality and Robotic Telepresence
  • Configuring the Meeting: Attention and engagement in remote and hybrid collaboration
  • Social Devices: Adaptable cross-device configurations to support ad-hoc meeting needs [Archival]

Learn more about these themes >

The new future of work

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at Microsoft formed a cross-company initiative to coordinate their efforts to understand the impact of remote work and identifying opportunities to support new work practices. The initiative consists of over 50 research projects, conducted by teams that span a range of disciplines (including engineering, research, marketing, human resources, and facilities) and divisions (including Microsoft Research, Office, Windows, Azure, Xbox, GitHub, and LinkedIn).

The New Future of Work site features the research that has come out of this initiative, including what we believe to be two of the world’s largest synthesis of findings related to how people’s work practices have evolved since the start of the pandemic:

Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2022: See the Team Collaboration section.
The New Future of Work: Research from Microsoft into the Pandemic’s Impact on Work Practices (2021): See the Collaboration and Meetings section.

You can think of this site as a place to learn the science behind WorkLab, which Microsoft recently launched to share compelling stories and research-based insights about the changing nature of work. Stay tuned as we add more peer-reviewed research papers and other scholarly content.

Projects

Remote work office - woman in front of a monitor in a virtual meeting with two other people
Meeting (the) Pandemic

This ‘natural experiment’ highlighted the everyday reality of the difference in “being there” as against “being remote” in work situations.

VROOM Telepresence - woman wearing a VR headset interacting with a virtual person
VROOM Telepresence (Archival)

VROOM (Virtual Robotic Overlay for Online Meetings) is a prototype telepresence system that puts belonging at the center of the experience.

Team companion experiences - cell phone screen showing Social Devices workstream
Social Devices (Archival)

The Social Devices work stream explores how to enable the devices we already have and already know how to use to act as companions in meetings.