simplynews roundup: 23rd April

Updates, updates, updates

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Being part of such an exciting industry and having so much to share with our readers and simplycommunity means that it was time to bring all the best news together in one place.

Each week, we’ll be providing you with a round-up of internal comms in the news, so you don’t miss a thing.

  1. UK government signs new three-year Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft

    Tech giant, Microsoft, has negotiated a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Crown Commercial Service, the UK’s largest public procurement body. 

    The agreement, announced on Wednesday, means that public sector organisations can continue to benefit from cloud computing and business applications, such as Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform.



  2. Microsoft Teams is finally bringing a change to meetings that was promised a year ago

    A long-awaited update from Microsoft is finally coming to our (computer) screens this month. It was announced in summer 2020 that Teams would be getting a Dynamic View option.

    Dynamic View will allow us to personalise our experience in meetings, by placing participants side-by-side and optimising the way we share content. We’re looking forward to this one, as employee engagement is top priority.



  3. XA Network appoints tech stars to advisory board, as Southeast Asia digital economy races ahead

    The technology start-up industry in Southeast Asia is booming, with the digital economy expected to grow by a third over the next four years.

    XA Network is a tech executives investment network, which includes members from companies such as Google, Amazon, and Netflix.

    John Wood (ex-Microsoft, Room To Read), Steve Chen (YouTube cofounder), Maya Hari (Twitter, ex-Google, ex-Samsung) and David Thevenon (Balderton Capital, ex-Google) are the latest additions to the advisory board, announced on the 20th of April.



  4. BrewDog discuss employee engagement at Voices by Staffbase IC Conference

    The Staffbase IC conference on Thursday 22nd April focused on the importance of having measurable results, the impact of COVID and digital transformation through company case studies.

    One of the companies featured was BrewDog, who use Staffbase for their internal comms app, affectionally named Huddle. Their story focused on ways to reach and engage employees throughout the pandemic, including offering ‘pawternity leave’ for staff who get a dog!

    Karen Bates, People Director, spoke about the power of using Huddle to communicate with employees around the world who didn’t have access to emails. Karen manages the platform alongside Fiona Hunter, Head of People, as a two-person comms team.



  5. Microsoft Teams will now let you do a 'virtual commute' at the end of the day

    In a blog post from Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, it has been announced that a ‘virtual commute’ idea is coming to Teams.

    Jared said: "Digital overload is real and something has to change" as a wellbeing focus is introduced through reflection, praise and the virtual commute.

    Reflection is intended to provide users with insights into their behaviour over time, praise will offer the opportunity for colleagues to express gratitude for each other with the option of setting reminders and the virtual commute will give us time to wrap up after a long workday.

    The new experiences are available via the Microsoft Viva Insights desktop app now.



  6. Work from home to lift productivity by 5% in post-pandemic U.S.

    As reported by BNN Bloomberg, a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research has revealed that working from home does make us more productive. The study also found that higher-income employees are more likely to reap the benefits of remote working and compared to pre-pandemic, remote working is set to reduce spending in city centres between 5% and 10%.

    The report was co-authored by Jose Maria Barrero of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Nicholas Bloom of Stanford University and Steven J. Davis of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Hoover Institution.

    They said: “Our data on employer plans and the relative productivity of WFH imply a 5 percent productivity boost in the post-pandemic economy due to re-optimised working arrangements. Only one-fifth of this productivity gain will show up in conventional productivity measures, because they do not capture the time savings from less commuting.”

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