Microsoft Outlook update will address one of the most common office frustrations

Microsoft Outlook logo on blue background
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is readying an update for email service Outlook that will help ensure users don’t get caught without a space ahead of an important meeting.

As per two new entries in the Microsoft 365 product roadmap, users of Outlook for iOS and Android will soon benefit from the ability to browse and reserve meeting rooms on their work phones.

“Need to book a space? Outlook Mobile is here to make your transition to hybrid work easier. Search and book conference rooms when you need to collaborate with colleagues or book a workspace when you need some time to focus,” wrote Microsoft.

The new room finder feature is currently in development across both major mobile platforms, but should roll out to all users by the end of March.

Microsoft Outlook update

As many workers begin to return to the office, at least part-time, there are bound to be a range of issues that businesses will need to iron out.

A number of collaboration software vendors are talking about challenges to do with ensuring meetings remain equitable when participants are split between the home and office. Others are concerned about equipping workers with the tools they need to remain secure and productive, no matter their working environment.

With its latest update for Outlook, Microsoft is honing in on a more practical issue: room bookings. To date, Outlook users have been required to search for available meeting rooms using the desktop app or another alternative system implemented by their company.

Once the latest update takes effect, however, users will be given the freedom to manage room bookings on the go. This could be useful, say, if someone needs to make a last-minute booking while on the way to the office or out at lunch.

In recent months, Microsoft has announced a series of new hybrid working-related features for Outlook, including the ability to specify one’s working location on a day-by-day basis and color-coordinate the calendar to create clearer distinction between meetings.

The idea is that the new room finder feature will combine with these recent updates to improve the overall hybrid working experience for end users.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.