An update to Microsoft Teams Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making your videoconferencing more professional. It ensures that you remain the center of attention – and not the cluttered background. The customized backgrounds let you slip virtually out of your actual environment, without moving a centimeter. So how does the feature work?
The Problem: A Distractive Background
You need to take center stage when you are video chatting with a business associate. Attention should not be distracted by your cluttered office, the view out the window or your wife straying into the picture, like in this viral clip from a home office.
What do you usually do to stop the background becoming a distraction?
Spend hours tidying the room for a two-minute conversation?
Fiddle with the laptop for ages until you have found the right angle?
Lock the door and draw the blinds?
There’s a better option – that doesn’t waste time or take a lot of effort.
Source: Microsoft – Introducing background blur in Microsoft Teams
Artificial Intelligence that Places You Center Stage
Microsoft 365 AI & Teams keep the spotlight on you. That’s because it automatically creates a suitable background.
Microsoft has Done it for Ages
The AI feature has provided background blur in Microsoft Teams for some time now. It ensures that other videoconference participants are not distracted by details or people in the background.
In other words: You no longer need to rack your brains beforehand, worrying whether the videoconference background will look right when the moment arrives. The feature also ensures a degree of privacy – for instance in a home office, where you will no longer have to waste time tidying up before your call.
The Microsoft Teams background blur feature is therefore an initial solution for the challenges outlined above.
In 2019 Microsoft has introduced a new feature to counter this effect in Teams – the Microsoft Teams customized background.
The New Feature – Teams Customized Background
Today you have customized options for your personal background that go beyond just making it fuzzy. Doing so looks more professional and comes with added opportunities: The choice of a perfect background will therefore become strategic. For instance, you can pick a company logo, a neutral office setting or something entirely different.
Here’s Where Microsoft Teams Customized Background Can Help You
The solution provides entirely new opportunities for companies and employees, for instance in regard to:
Business travel & outside appointments: Employees in the field or on business travel often take part in videoconferences while out and about. Sometimes they are unable to find a suitable background on the fly:
Standardized backgrounds solve the problem. The C-suite or sales staff can remain comfortably ensconced in their hotel rooms and let Microsoft Teams AI beam them into a virtual office setting.
Home office: Companies will be able to offer staff groups home office arrangements that would previously have been unthinkable. After all, now they will be able to maintain the company’s professional look, even in their own four walls. This will pave the way for happy home office employees and delighted employers!
External service providers: External service providers attending a videoconference can sometimes neglect the aspect of professional etiquette. Their logos may appear in the background as distracting features. A prefabricated template in Microsoft Teams prevents precisely this faux pas.
Corporate Identity: Sydney, Shanghai, Berlin – Employees dispersed around the world can broadcast from a standardized conference room with the big company’s logo emblazoned in the background. But only you can’t. And that’s distracting. Now you can create uniformity and keep minds completely focused thanks to a standard background for all participants.
My Summary on Customized Backgrounds by Microsoft Teams AI
Customized backgrounds in Microsoft Teams help the videoconference participants to concentrate only on each other – and not on the environments in which the individual people might be. This makes remote meetings more efficient and prevent any misunderstandings from occurring.
Employees working in home offices or on business travel will benefit especially. And employers will be delighted by the standardized representation as well!
In a nutshell: AI is making a small but valuable contribution to improving our working lives.
Microsoft 365 AI can play an important role in boosting productivity, but only if you use it correctly.
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