July 28th 2021


Microsoft Teams has gained in popularity during the pandemic as both offices and places of education have been forced to adapt to a hybrid working environment. Gone are the days of whole office meetings and full classes of students, as some now favour doing them virtually from the comfort of their home.

It seems that Microsoft understand this moving forward in the new normal world. Not everybody will be returning to the office/education full time and have therefore introduced new features to make this easier for everyone. In a way of making meetings more engaging and interactive for attendees, two stand out features have been added to Teams; meeting polls and breakout rooms.

Meeting Polls

Microsoft Teams meeting polls were introduced a while ago in order to make meetings more productive and engaging for everyone involved. Whether this is in the office or a classroom, meeting presenters can create a poll in the chat and get real time feedback from their attendees and turn them into active participants.

Polls in teams work alongside Microsoft Forms to create an interactive experience during meetings. Presenters can prepare all their polls before the meeting begins and whilst presenting all they simply have to do is select the forms button at the top of their screen and select which question they would like attendees to answer.

Breakout Rooms

Sometimes during a large meeting it’s difficult to share ideas or have discussions as everyone is talking over each other. That’s where Microsoft Teams breakout rooms come in to solve this issue. Following on from the success of breakout rooms in Zoom, Microsoft clearly saw the importance of adding them into its own software. With the click of a button, all attendees in a meeting will be dispersed into separate meeting rooms of much smaller groups. Meeting organisers can manually select who they want to be in each room or allow Teams to randomly select for them.

Time limits can be applied to breakout rooms so participants know how long they have to discuss the topic at hand. Once the time limit is up, all participants will automatically be returned to the main meeting. The meeting presenter is able to join any of the breakout rooms at any point and participate in the discussion. This feature is commonly used in schools and universities, as teachers are able to disperse students into smaller groups to share and discuss ideas with one another in the same way that they usually would in a classroom.

As we continue to move forward with a hybrid working approach, features such as these will become increasingly important to ensure seamless and engaging meetings take place across all elements of business and education. Are you already using Microsoft Teams in your place of work? If not, get in touch today to discuss the benefits of Teams and the options available to you.

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