Microsoft is constantly adding new features to Teams, and its latest offerings are set to make working from home even more productive whilst allowing users to make time for their wellbeing.

microsoft teams

Some of the new Microsoft Teams features include additions to Together Mode, breakout rooms for large meetings, and even the chance to do some meditation. Here’s the lowdown on what’s in store for the upcoming months.


Reflect on your day with virtual commutes

Providing it isn’t too long or stressful, many people enjoy their commute. In the morning, it allows you time to mentally prepare for the day ahead. In the evening, you can use it to reflect on your day.

It creates a clear transition between home and work, something that’s much harder to do when your living room is also your office. Research suggests that the daily commute can increase productivity by 12-15%.

Microsoft’s new virtual commute feature is said to be released within the first half of 2021.

Users will be able to schedule their virtual commute pre- and post-work to regain some personal time and clear their head.


Headspace meditation

Microsoft has also partnered with Headspace to introduce a selection of meditation and mindfulness experiences to Teams.

In a study where users tried the Headspace app for 30 days, they experienced a 32% reduction in stress. This shows that there is the potential for this partnership to prove successful in improving employee wellbeing.

Meditation breaks will be available as part of the virtual commute, or as a mindfulness break during the day.

This could be an invaluable tool for many people who are working longer hours and struggling with their work/life balance whilst working from home.


Breakout Rooms

Teams will soon allow large video calls to be split up into smaller groups which presenters can hop in and out of.

With university students attending lectures online for the foreseeable future, this will be ideal for the education sector.

This feature is expected to arrive by October.


New additions to Together Mode and Dynamic View

Together Mode and Dynamic View were announced in July, allowing meeting participants to be placed in a shared background, viewing each other and their shared content more easily.

Later this year, new background scenes will be added to Together Mode, including auditoriums, conference rooms, and coffee shops.

Dynamic Mode will allow presenters to choose how their screen sharing appears. For example, it will be possible to view a presenter’s video feed over the top of their slide deck, so there’s no need to choose between the two.


Productivity insights for managers

Around October time, managers will be able to gain an insight into employees’ productivity and wellbeing.

Powered by Workplace Analytics, managers and business leaders will be able to view things like meeting effectiveness, focus time, after-hours collaboration and cross-company connections.

This feature will also include reminders for users to unplug at the end of the day, reduce meeting overload, and check in with their emotions.


Fully integrated with Teams Talk

Microsoft Teams has soared in popularity this year since remote working has become the norm. It allows employees to connect via instant message, audio or video call no matter where they are. However, businesses with traditional on-premise phone systems have struggled to adapt their external communications to this new way of working – that’s where Teams Talk comes in.

Teams Talk is a unified, all-in-one telephony solution which integrates completely with Teams, allowing you to connect with customers and other organisations outside of your business.

So, you can make the most of all these new Microsoft Teams features with the added bonus of seamless communications, whether internal or external.


Want to know more?

Air IT is a Microsoft Gold Partner – we’re fully qualified to offer best-in-class solutions and advice regarding IT and communications infrastructure.

If your business could benefit from Microsoft Teams and Teams Talk, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly experts.