Microsoft Teams is the ultimate tool for collaborating at work and is even more significant now that so many businesses are finding it necessary to work remotely.

In this blog post, we look at some of the best new features added to Microsoft Teams in 2020, to make sure your business is getting the most out of Teams.

Microsoft Teams Logo

10,000 teammates, all together

Team sizes have increased to ten thousand, making it a little easier for larger organisations to let everyone join the conversation.

Meeting options button in Teams

Once you send your online meeting invite, open your meeting options via the new button in Teams. Once you've sent your meeting invite, open the event and select Meeting options (at the top of the event). This will open a tab in your web browser where you can tweak your meeting settings, like lobby bypass and who can present.

Book appointments and online visits with Bookings

The Bookings app in Teams offers a simple way to schedule virtual (and in-person) appointments, like healthcare visits, financial consultations, and educator office hours.

Schedulers can manage multiple department and staff calendars, as well as communications with internal and external attendees, from a single experience. The virtual appointments themselves are held via Microsoft Teams Meetings.

Pop out a chat for multitasking

Double-click a chat in your chat list or select Pop out chat icon in Teams to open a chat in a secondary window. Now, you're free to move about Teams while working in multiple chat conversations.

Raise your hand in a meeting

Have a question or comment but don't want to interrupt the person speaking? Let people know you have something to say with the new raise hand feature in Teams. While in a meeting, select the Raise your hand in your control bar. This will place a gold hand icon on your video feed to let the rest of the attendees know that you'd like to speak.

Roll call!

Meeting organisers can now take attendance during a meeting. To get your attendance report, select Show participants > Download attendee list. The report will download a .CSV file that can be opened in Excel. The file will contain the name, join time, and leave time of meeting attendees.

Meetings are going 3x3 on desktop

Teams has completed its enabling of up to nine video streams at a time in meetings joined via the desktop app. This will gradually roll out to everyone, so keep an eye out for the 3x3 video grid in your upcoming Teams meetings.

Channel analytics have arrived

Channel metrics are now included in team analytics. Along with this addition comes new metrics like a running tally of posts and replies for each team and channel. Microsoft have also increased the time period for data to 90 days.

From your teams list, go to the team and select More options > Manage team > Analytics.

Add system audio to live events

Just like in a regular Teams meetings, you can now include your system audio when presenting in a live event. Note that currently, this feature is only available for presenters and producers joining from the Teams desktop app for Windows.

Let attendees who dial in bypass the meeting lobby

Allow callers to instantly join your next Teams meeting without having to wait in the lobby. That way you won't have to stop in the middle of a meeting to let attendees in.

To access this setting, select Meeting options and switch the toggle to Yes for Always let callers bypass the lobby?

Announce when callers join a meeting

Meeting organisers now have the option to announce when callers join or leave a Teams meeting, so you always know who is in your online meeting.

To access, select Meeting options and switch the toggle on for Announce when callers join or leave.

End the meeting for everyone

Meeting organisers, you now have the option to end your meetings for all participants. If you're a teacher, for example, this is a great way to make sure your students don't hang around in your virtual classroom after you've left.

To end an in-progress meeting, go to your meeting controls and select More options > End meeting. You'll be asked to confirm. When you do, the meeting will end for everyone right away.

Improvements to the Teams calendar

Right-click an item in your calendar to pull up RSVP options, start a chat with meeting participants, or quickly join a meeting when it starts.

Microsoft have also made improvements to the event scheduling form. Read up on how to schedule events at Schedule a meeting in Teams.

Work offline in the Windows desktop app

Read and create message, even when internet is slow or goes out completely. Pinned chats and channels, along with previously viewed channels will also be available while offline.

Tag, you're it!

Create tags and assign people to them so you can @mention a group, role, department, etc. Team owners, try it out for yourselves. Go to a team, select More options More options button > Manage tags. Learn more at Using tags in Teams.

Have no fear, editing is here!

Have you ever posted an announcement to multiple channels, only to realise you'd forgotten a channel? Or found a typo in your company-wide announcement? You're in luck, because now you can edit your cross-posts. Just like you'd edit a single channel post, go to More options More options button > Edit to change the content of your post and add or remove channels.

Pin your favourite apps

Organise your apps on the left side of Teams to fit the way you work. Select the three dots on the left side of Teams, right click any app icon, and select Pin to add it for easy access.

Left side of Microsoft Teams with a highlight around the More added apps icon and a menu option to pin an app.

Here's your receipt

Introducing: Read receipts! Now, when you send a message to someone you'll get a Seen icon in Teams confirmation to the right of the message. By default, read receipts will turn on for everyone and will show in group chats with up to 20 members.

Your admin decides whether you have this feature and the ability to turn it off. Learn more about how the feature works, where the setting control is, and more at Use read receipts for messages in Teams.

Windows Server gets the desktop app

Teams desktop app is now supported and available for machines operating Windows Server (versions 2012 R2 and later). Admins, learn how to get Teams desktop app on your employee devices.

Say hello to display names

Now, everyone gets a display name in Teams. Even people you chat with outside your organisation. So, you'll no longer have to remember that long email address when looking for an old conversation, simply search for the person by name.

Make the most out of Microsoft Teams, get in touch today!

You can learn more about using Microsoft Teams by speaking to one of our helpful IT specialists. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, you can rely on our team of friendly IT experts to help you and your team make the most of Microsoft Teams, with a choice of training on new features and other options available.

For more information or to speak with one of our Microsoft Teams experts, give our team a call on 0800 001 4199 or email us at [email protected].

About Custard Technical Services

Custard are a team of technicians, engineers, salespeople and directors (but above all, we’re a bunch of geeky gurus).

We’ve got over two decades of experience in the IT industry, delivering friendly jargon-free IT support and services for businesses across the East Midlands and the UK. We are a fast-growing company that support businesses across many different sectors, from manufacturing companies to charities.

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