Office 365: New Features

Microsoft is working hard to update Office 365 by adding new features and improving the overall user experience. I am very excited for the following new features. Note that some of these features are already live, being rolled out or still being developed.

Teams

The number of participants who can be viewed simultaneously in a meeting is now nine. This is a great update; this will help the meetings to go smoother.

You can now raise a hand in teams. By virtual raising your hand, you can signal to the speaker or organizer that you want to speak.

  • During a Teams meeting go to the options bar.
  • Click on the hand icon.

In Teams you can now instantly pop out your chat into a separate window! But thats not all you can also, resize, reposition, or close the window as you wish. You can pop out multiple conversations at the same time.

  • Click on the pop out icon to pop out the chat.
Pop out chat button screenshot

Modern Lists

Modern Lists has been announced, at this moment it is unknown when it will be released. With Modern Lists the platform will reach a new level of flexibility and maturity, the possibilities seem endless.

Yammer

The new Yammer is in public preview and it looks great. I listed a few of my favorites below. You can find all the details in the Microsoft announcement.

  • You can now pin your favorite communities (formerly known as groups) to the navigation for quick access.
  • The integration with Outlook, Teams and SharePoint has been update and works smoother.
  • You can brand Yammer with your company logo!
  • Posts can now be reported to make it easier to moderate your communities.
  • You can now search and filter easier.

Sensitivity labels for SharePoint and OneDrive

Sensitivity labels from the Microsoft Information Protection framework let you classify and protect your organization’s data, while making sure that user productivity and their ability to collaborate is not hindered. When the sensitivity label are created and associate protection policies like encryption and visual marking, then your end users simply label their important documents and emails. You can find all the details in the Microsoft announcement.

SharePoint Term Store

The SharePoint Term Store is being updated and one of the changes is now visible. The user interface has been modified to look cleaner and is easier to use. When you want to create more terms you will need to switch to the classical view. You can do this by clicking on the link called Return to classic.

Teams: Tips and tricks

With so many people working from home the need to stay connected is stronger than ever. Meeting online is a bit different, but with a few tips and tricks you will almost forget that you are not in the same room.

Be inclusive and use your video

Turn on your camera if your internet connection allows it. Now people can not only hear you but also see your facial expressions.

  • You can turn on/off your video before you join a meeting.
  • Click on the slider next to the video icon.
  • You can also turn on/off the video during a meeting.
  • Click on the video button.

Blur your background

In formal meetings the general advice is to blur your background. This will create a more official setting. For informal meetings this is less important and it might even stir up interesting conversation or create a more relax atmosphere.

  • Just before you join a meeting, you can activate the blur option.
  • Turn on the blur option and select a background.
  • You can also activate the blur function during a meeting.
  • Click on the …
  • Then on Show background effects (blur).

Custom blurred backgrounds

It is possible to add your own backgrounds. Simply open the following location and upload your favorite backgrounds.

%AppData%\Roaming\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads

Mute your microphone

Mute your microphone when you are joining a larger meeting. Only activate you microphonewhen you want to speak. This way there will be less ambient noise and the meeting will proceede more fluid.

  • You can mute/unmute your microphone before you join a meeting.
  • Click on the slider next to the microphone icon.
  • You can also mute/unmute your microphone during a meeting.
  • Click on the microphone icon.

Sharing content

With teams you can share content from your computer. There are many options for sharing content. You can share the whole desktop or a specific window. My advice is to close all windows that you don’t want to share and then share the whole desktop. In most meetings you want to share multiple things and switching between sharing option generates unnecessary disturbances.

Teams across Mobile platforms

Teams is available on multiple mobile platforms. You can access your files and meetings any ware anytime. This means that you can also join a meeting while sitting in the garden or on the couch.

SharePoint Teams: Link web part

A new Link web part has been added to the Team sites. With this web part you can add a link (website) to  a page to create a link that displays information about the linked page.
The web part will create a clickabe tile that contains a title, description and a picture if possible of the linked page. The look and feel is the same as linking a web page in Slack or WhatsApp.

Solution

  1. Open the home page of a teamsite
  2. Set the page in the edit mode
  3. Click on the plus icon and click on the Link web part
  4. Provide the web part with a hyperlink and press enter. The web part will resolve the hyperlink and show some information of the website.
  5. Click on the X next to the hyperlink to hide the hyperlink and save the changes