MS Teams new features to look at

We have all been working from home now for some time. Microsoft has been busy updating and improving Teams with new features in preparation for the move away from Skype. Last month we had the battle of the video conference platforms, read more.  Here I am going to list the new features from Teams just in case you have not spotted them yet!

Customised Backgrounds

Lots of people like to play with their backgrounds on Zoom, and others find their computer is not up to the task without a green screen. This anomaly is down to the UHD 620 integrated graphics on the Intel processors not being compatible. The great news is that Teams backgrounds work fine! And one of the new changes is the ability to add your customised backgrounds. Canva is an app worth checking out as they have backgrounds you can redesign with your company logos and graphics. It is nice to have a background showing your official work title and logo when talking to potential new clients. Saves tidying the back bedroom, which is your new office!

More to see

Teams now let you view nine people in a 3×3 grid, and there are plans to increase this. One of the initial complaints were that you could not see everyone at the meeting. Organisers can download a list of participants by clicking on show participants and the download attendee list; this will generate an excel spreadsheet for follow-up and checking.

Polite gestures!

May 15th saw the introduction of gestures to put your hand up without interrupting the speaker. Clicking on the hand icon will place a gold hand o your video stream for the others to see. The speaker or organiser can then see who wants to talk and then ask you to speak up.

POP-out chat

If you double click the chat box next to a colleague, it will appear in a pop-up, so you can multitask by taking part in the conference call while chatting to them.

Larger audiences

The audience size has now been increased to 10,000, allowing large corporations to collaborate better. Group chat is also increased to 250, so no excuses for not including everyone.


Privacy has always been a big part of Microsoft’s appeal, and they have resolved one of the issues surrounding telephone numbers. People who dial into a teams meeting will now have their numbers obscured from those participants outside of your Office 365 organisation, however, those within the organisation will still see the telephone number.

Offline access

Once you have left a meeting, your chat and other channels are available even while you are offline, useful,  if you forgot to note a comment, or need to check back what was said.

As we explained, Teams is getting new features all the time and so improving, and we expect to see many more additions to the program in the next few months.