Microsoft Teams: 12 New Virtual Meeting Features

These are the new features Microsoft is adding to Teams to enhance virtual meetings.

Jeffrey Schwartz

August 5, 2020

12 Slides

Together Mode for Microsoft Teams is now available. This is one of many new features designed to make virtual meetings feel more natural.

The Microsoft Teams road map called for many of the features to roll out last month, or in the near term. But use of Microsoft Teams Meetings has increased exponentially since the beginning of this year.

After COVID-19 left millions of people working at home, virtual meeting capabilities in Microsoft Teams became a lifeline. Usurped only potentially by Zoom, usage of Google Meet, Cisco WebEx and numerous others has also surged.

While some workplaces have started to reopen, many workers throughout the world continue to work remotely. Many companies haven’t determined when – and in some cases if – they will bring all their employees back. Google this week said it will keep its employees’ home for another year. No one knows when risk of infection will subside, but few would dispute its enduring impact on how people work.

It took little time for Microsoft to conclude that the sudden shift to virtual meetings has resulted in “meeting fatigue.” In its latest research, the company found that work and home lives are intertwined. People are having more meetings and more frequently than before, outside of normal business hours.

Keep up with resources for supporting partners and customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Based on use of Teams, Microsoft found that people are working earlier in the morning and later in the evening. Teams chats have increased from 15% to 23%, and by more than 200% on weekends.

“We see this blending of work and life as a durable workplace trend with potential for technology to help ease some of the challenges that come with it, according to a blog by Microsoft corporate VP Jared Spataro. “You’ll see us continuing to innovate in the areas of organizational analytics and employee wellbeing in the near future.”

Scroll through the slideshow above to see how new Microsoft Teams features aim to improve the virtual meeting experience.

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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