Microsoft Teams, Together mode, video conferencing
Anyone who uses Microsoft Teams or video conferencing technology.
The purpose of this article is to give an opinion on the Together mode videoconferencing tool recently launched by Microsoft Teams.
What is Microsoft Teams Together Mode?
Microsoft Teams Together Mode is a videoconferencing platform that was launched in August 2020. Like Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc., this tool allows meetings to happen in a virtual space. However, unlike other platforms, Together Mode makes meetings more inviting.
What are Some Features of Together Mode?
Together Mode was introduced with the intention of reducing the “fatigue” of video calls for everyone. Following years of research, this platform was created as a virtual filter that placed all participants in the same space, such as an auditorium, a coffee shop, etc. The idea was to make everyone feel as if they belonged in the same shared space. By giving up grid boxes, this method was adopted to make users feel empowered by video conferencing and feel more connected with their peers and coworkers.
Artificial intelligence is used to cut a user’s face and shoulders and give them an avatar of their choice. This avatar is juxtaposed with that of a colleague’s in a shared background. This is meant to reduce distractions and provide an intimate setting for a conversation.
Another feature of Together Mode is that it enables users to talk to each other non-verbally. People can give each other high-fives or a tap on the shoulder. Together Mode’s unique features promise greater inclusivity and better socialization.
How Can I Use Together Mode Most Effectively?
Together Mode was created with the goal of making the atmosphere at meetings more relaxed and interactive. The inclusion of a uniform virtual background was meant to reduce the stress of trying to find the perfect spot in your home for a meeting. There are several ways in which you can make the most out of your Together Mode experience:
1. Ask all participants to have their cameras on- Although all meetings do not require video, the experience with Together Mode works best when all participants have a visual presence.
2. Stack necessary hardware- Ask your participants to have a proper camera. Laptop cameras are often not ideal for video meetings. Provide your coworkers with a good webcam that will produce good picture quality and sound during meetings.
3. Experiment with it a few times- Since it is a new platform, your employees may run into issues operating Together Mode at first. Before starting a meeting, allow everyone five minutes to navigate the tool on their own. This will help people get familiar with it and avoid distractions during the meeting.
4. Guide Participants- Your team members may need some guidance from you in using this tool. If some of your participants are not familiar with video conferencing at all, take some time to help them understand and explore. Show them videos and articles on how to use this technology. Once everyone has a basic understanding, try doing different activities together on Together Mode like sharing files, muting calls, or turning off the video.
The creators of Together Mode have emphasized on the fun aspect of online meetings. At the same time, they have tried to make sure that nobody feels out of place by including helpful tips.