Microsoft Teams Tutorials – Making meetings more productive

Lacking meeting productivity? This is a problem! A recent study suggests 70% of company executives fear meetings are affecting their productivity. This is reinforced by a recent survey that stated that over 50% of remote workers would rather spend less time in video calls. Additionally, a large percentage claim they are more productive when allowed to work for longer periods of time uninterrupted, 42% to be exact!

But, if you utilise a remote workforce you can understand how invaluable virtual meetings can be in terms of keeping employees involved with the latest companywide innovations and developments.  This can also help with staff morale and in developing a corporate culture within the company.

Microsoft Teams users are fortunate in the fact the platform comes packed with design features to make virtual meetings more beneficial. Let me talk you through a few of those so you can make your meetings more beneficial.


Recording meetings

It can be difficult to remember all information at a meeting. It can be even more challenging when an individual is unable to attend a meeting, so the ability to record your meetings to a Teams channel for future reference or to review can be a valuable asset.

To record your next meeting, firstly navigate to the calendar tab on the left of the Teams window. From here you can either schedule a meeting or hold a private meeting instantly. Both of these you can record, although if you want the recording posted to a thread of a specific team channel then we would recommend scheduling first. Select ‘New meeting’ to do this and enter the channel name into the form that appears, as shown below.


The details of your meeting once set up will appear in the chosen channel’s conversation thread.

Once the meeting begins you can start recording. Go to ‘more actions’ in the meeting control buttons,- and select ‘start recording’ from the drop-down menu. Bingo you’re underway!

When you’re finished recording, simply ‘hang up’ or click ‘stop recording’ from the ‘more actions’ menu. After the meeting has concluded and you have finished recording, you can retrieve the recording from the channel conversation feed. Microsoft Stream will need time to process the file, so the recording will not be instantly available. Everyone with channel access will be able to view it once the recording has been processed. It will look like this in the channel feed.


Meeting notes

Occasionally, all you need is a shorted record of meetings most integral information. Meeting notes are a great way to keep track of the more vital information to look over in the future. Taking meeting notes could not be easier.

Schedule a meeting and add this meeting to the channel of your choice. This is where your meeting notes will be saved so this is very important. Then find the ‘more actions’ menu just as before and press ‘meeting notes’.

Recent updates to meetings in Teams means the note-feature now opens in the Team app window. There’s a new tab entitled ‘meeting notes’ which has automatically been put in the channel. This is where all meeting notes relating to this channel will be.

Meeting notes will also be in the channel’s conversation feed along with recordings. See below.


Background effects feature

Seeing our colleagues and friends when working remotely in a virtual meeting helps provide that level of personal connection that we all need in life. For many, being on camera is no problem, perhaps even an enjoyable experience but for others having their personal space and home on display for everyone to see can be quite a stressful experience. A hectic background can also be very distracting for attendees of the meeting and in certain situations, obscuring a background may be integral for data security reasons. ‘Teams’ has a solution thankfully, with its ‘Background Effects’ feature. By keeping you in focus and blurring the background, it keeps your privacy intact and everyone’s focus completely on you and not on what’s going on in the peripheral. The feature can also replace your background with a number of alternative backgrounds, all computer-generated.

Turn on the camera and press ‘more actions’ followed by ‘show background effects’ to activate.

On the right-hand menu that appears, there will be a display with several different background settings. Blurring the background is the first option on the list. Simply click one and select ‘apply’. You can preview and try different effects before applying them also.


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