Microsoft Teams is set to launch an update that gives users new breakout and meeting rooms. Microsoft first introduced Breakout Rooms for Teams meetings at the end of last year, enabling group organizers to divide meetings into standalone groups.
With many of us shifting to remote working, it was a useful feature for running longer sessions by introducing new dynamics like, say, the ability to brainstorm in separate teams. Having recently updated the breakout rooms feature with enhanced user controls, organizers will soon get a new feature that lets them select managers for individual groups.
The new Teams setting allows organizers to assign the manager role to individual presenters, which in turn lets those users set timers, make group announcements, and customize other meeting settings. Amongst several other administrative powers, group managers can add and remove participants or terminate the entire Breakout Room if they choose to.
Microsoft has also introduced the ability to "pre-create breakout rooms before the meeting starts and perform participant assignment tasks (both auto and manual) in advance," according to the official support page (opens in new tab). We've all been in a situation where a meeting has begun in chaos; the aim of these pre-configuration settings is to assign tasks before a meeting kicks off, so everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing.
Before initiating a session, meeting organizers of the channel and private meetings can now access a new tab in the scheduling form, which is aptly called Breakout rooms. Through this, users can pre-create breakout rooms and pre-assign participants.
Microsoft is usually pretty hot on releasing new features, including any patches that are needed to remove bugs like the recent video call fix it rolled out to help your video meetings run more smoothly. These latest improvements are now accessible in Microsoft Teams Desktop, as long as you're part of the public preview (opens in new tab). As for an official timeline of when we can expect the updates to begin rolling out to the general month, the Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab) expects that to be sometime next month.