Not so long ago we were scrambling to conduct work meetings with colleagues while working from home with new technologies that many of us were not too familiar with. On 14 May, we released a Microsoft Teams blog to announce that the gallery view for meetings would be increased to 3 x 3 allowing you to collaborate with 8 colleagues on the screen. As a reflection of the ever-changing IT industry, this view has already been increased to 7 x 7 and Microsoft, as always, are introducing new features to continue improving our remote working experience.
Teams grid view increased to 7 x 7
Satya Nadella, the famous Microsoft CEO, phrased it perfectly when he stated "we've seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months". Taking inspiration from teachers working remotely in their workplace, the Education arm of Microsoft announced in June that the gallery will be expanded to a 7 x 7 format and this will be generally available soon.
Multi-window chats, meetings and calling
In May, Microsoft released the ability to open multi-window chats allowing you to pop out a chat (either one-on-one or group) into a separate window. You can pop out multiple conversations enabling you to move seamlessly around the screen while collaborating with several different groups. See Pop out a chat for more details.
Always going one step further, Microsoft are now improving Teams to enable the same feature for meetings and calling. This will include the ability to pop out these functions to different screens - just like walking around the office talking to different people, all from home!
Attendee limit increased to 300
Virtual Breakout Rooms
A handy function for those with a bigger team. This will enable a large meeting to be split into smaller groups by sending participants to different rooms - either automatically sending people or asking them to join. Organisers can jump between the different rooms (on their own or at the request of a participant), make announcements to the different rooms and then recall everyone back together again. This will be released later this year and will be hugely beneficial for training or for brainstorming with your teams.
Free versions of Teams now offer scheduled meetings
For those of you on an unpaid version of Teams, you can now schedule meetings and send out invitations to attend a Teams meeting. You can either copy the meeting link and send, or send a meeting invitation from Outlook. Speaking from experience, this is a very well used tool at Sentrian!
Chat and Collaboration Features
Chat translation - for the global organisation, your team can translate their chat to a common language with the click of a button.
Priority notifications - are now available to all Teams customers, enabling you to send notifications that repeat every two minutes for up to 20 minutes on messages marked as urgent.
Pulse surveys - Microsoft Forms have several templates for gathering data on how your team is faring during the COVID-19 working restrictions (including staff sentiment, health status, issues and challenges). These can be deployed via a Teams channel, you can learn more here.
For all the latest news on Teams, keep a look out for the What's New in Microsoft Teams updates or contact your Client Services Manager.