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Microsoft Teams: The Best 5 New Workplace Communication Features

Microsoft is adding new features to Teams. The workplace integration software allows you to communicate with co-workers and share information without a physical meeting.

The new features repackage Teams to bring improved ways that co-workers connect and collaborate. We’ll highlight the best five new features and show you how to use them. The guide appeal to:

  • Users with The desktop app for macOS and Windows
  • Businesses with Microsoft 365 or Office 365
  • Users with Business Standards or Education versions of Microsoft Meets

The new features might be unavailable for the mobile app, web versions, and the free version of teams. Let’s start with the first one.

Microsoft Teams Toronto

1. New Live Meeting Reactions for More Engaging Meetings

Initially, Microsoft only had 85 emojis to express how you feel during Teams meetings. In May 2021, Microsoft included a wide range of emojis to make meetings more engaging, fun, and inclusive.

The Meeting Reaction feature allows you to choose from over 800 emojis, including new categories and different skin tones. Here’s how to use Live Reactions:

  1. Head over to the “Meeting controls” at the upper-right when on a meeting.
  2. Hover over “React or raise your hand.” Several emojis will open.
  3. Select the emoji that describes your reaction.

Your emoji will appear in live video feeds and at your profile picture for a few seconds. If you’re the meeting organizer, you can control the Live Reaction features in participant settings.

2.  Meeting Recap That Summarizes Teams Meeting

The Meeting Recap feature allows meeting participants to overview important information after the meeting is over. The feature auto-generates the meeting summary of the entire meeting and makes it available in the left sidebar of the Teams app. Meeting participants can view:

  • Meeting recordings
  • Chat messages
  • Note
  • Transcripts

You can view the summary in the meeting detail tab or chat tab. More importantly, the Meeting recap link will be available in the meeting event in the Outlook calendar.

Here’s how you use the recap feature:

  1. Go to the Microsoft Teams app’s left sidebar and hit the “Chat Icon.” A small pane will open.
  2. Identify the title for the meeting that has ended on the pane that has opened. Then, click on it.

You’ll see chat texts, notes, files shared during the meeting, video recordings, and transcripts that Teams created during the meeting.

If you’re the meeting organizer, you also see the attendance report that you can download as a .csv file.

3. Call Quality Monitor

The Call Quality Monitor allows you to monitor, troubleshoot, manage, and improve the quality of Microsoft Teams meetings and calls.

You’ll have a Call health feature that lets you get data about your:

  • Network
  • Screen sharing
  • Audio
  • Outgoing

The data updates after every 15 seconds, and you can use them to examine call issues that last longer.

To view your call quality during a meeting:

  1. Head over to the “More actions” option — a three-dotted icon. A menu will open.
  2. Select “Call health.
  3. A sidebar will open on the right side of the screen. Examine the technical statuses of your video, audio, network, and screen sharing.

You can learn more about call quality monitoring, but extremely low values show that Teams is limiting its maximum bandwidth usage to ensure transmission.

4. Breakout Room That Helps You Hold  Mini-Meetings Within Teams Meeting

The breakout room feature lets you create sub-meetings amid-team meetings. Each break room has general meeting features, including participant video, audio, a chat pane, and screen sharing features.

You can create up to 50 Breakout rooms in a single meeting.

The feature is critical when you have a small team that wants to speak or present in a meeting. The team members can prep and confer with each other in a separate breakout room when the main meeting occurs.

Alternatively, the breakout room feature can help you hold a small-group discussion before bringing everybody back to the main meeting. Only meeting organizers or presenters with room manager privileges can set up breakout rooms. You can use the Breakout rooms feature during the meeting.

  1. Head over to the “Breakout rooms icon” (large square with a smaller on top) on the top right of the meeting window.
  2. A panel will open asking you to create one or more breakout rooms.
  3. Assign people in the breakout room manually or automatically.

Alternatively, you can create a breakout room before the main meeting start. Here’s a quick guide on how to go about it.

  1. Open the meeting invite in Teams.
  2. Select “Breakout rooms.
  3. Select “Create rooms.

As a breakout room manager, you can set time limits for breakout sessions, rename breakout rooms, send announcements to breakout rooms, and enter and leave different breakout rooms.

5. Revamped Whiteboard

For years, Microsoft has integrated the Whiteboard app on Teams so that members can share virtual whiteboards. Meeting participants could share:

  • Images
  • Text
  • Sketches
  • Diagrams
  • Notes

All on a virtual board.

Microsoft rebuilt the whiteboard to offer a rich visual collaboration workspace. The improved whiteboard gives you access to:

  • Over 41 new templates to enhance whiteboard sessions
  • Reactions to quickly communicate feelings and thoughts on ideas
  • Sticky notes and note grids to help you build forms and structure on the board
  • Insert images and shape on board to communicate complex and abstract concepts
  • Change whiteboard’s background colour and design

You can use the new whiteboard on personal chat, channels, and meetings. To use the whiteboard at meetings:

  1. Go to the upper right of a meeting window and find the “Share Content” icon (up arrow).
  2. A new panel will open. Select “Microsoft Whiteboard.”

To launch the improved Whiteboard on Teams channels:

  1. Head over to the + icon at the top of the channel to open the “Add a tab” pane
  2. Select the “Whiteboard” icon. A new pane will open.
  3. Type in the name of the whiteboard.
  4. Select the “Save” button on the lower right to add a whiteboard on the channel.

You can also use the whiteboard on chat. Here is a quick guide to launch it.

  1. Open a new chat on Microsoft Teams.
  2. On top of the window, find the “Whiteboard” icon. If the whiteboard isn’t already enlisted, click the “More” icon to open the menu enlisting Whiteboard.
  3. Once you find “Whiteboard,” select it to launch the app in chat.

Tektonic Will Help You Leverage Microsoft Teams For Co-Worker Collaboration

If you’ve been using Microsoft Teams, you’ve probably got a good grasp on all the big-ticket Teams features for co-workers collaboration and communication. However, Microsoft is frequently adding the best new features.

Our experienced Microsoft 365 technicians at Tektonic can walk you through ways to get the most out of Teams and all other Microsoft 365 features.

Contact us today to discuss all your Microsoft 365 needs.

Thanks to Baroan Technologies, a member of the Ulistic peer group program and a digital transformation specialist in New Jersey for their help with this article.

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