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How to use Together mode on Microsoft Teams

Meetings have moved online amid the on-going pandemic. An online meeting takes getting used since everyone is in a different location and it’s a stark difference to everyone being in the same room. For many people, not having a physical or pseudo physical presence in a meeting makes it harder for them to interact with everyone and is often what takes the most getting used to.

Together mode on Microsoft Teams

To make up for the lack of a physical presence and the fact that not everyone is in the same physical location/room, Microsoft Teams has added a feature called Together mode.

Together mode puts users in a virtual room that they can see on their screens. Each participant appears to be sitting in their virtual seat. The feature simulates an actual conference room.

Together mode availability

Together mode works for;

  • A premium/E1/E3/E5 license.
  • Requires at least 4 participants (other than yourself) in a meeting.
  • Is for meetings only, and not group or one-on-one calls.

Enable Together mode

Together mode is still in preview and as such, users must opt-in to use the features.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click your profile icon at the top right.
  3. Select Settings from the menu.
  4. On the settings window, go to the General tab.
  5. Enable the “Turn on new meeting experience” option.
  6. Quit Microsoft Teams.
  7. Run Microsoft Teams again.

Use Together mode in Microsoft Teams

Once you’ve enabled preview features in Microsoft Teams, you can start using together mode.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Go to the Meetings tab.
  3. Join a meeting, or create a new one.
  4. Invite at least 4 participants to the meeting, and wait for them to join it.
  5. Once you’ve joined a meeting, click the more options button in the bar at the top.
  6. From the menu, select ‘Together mode’.
  7. Microsoft Teams will use feed from the camera of each participant and map them to a virtual conference room.

Conclusion

Online meetings are tedious. It’s not just that the format of meetings has changed nad you’re having a had time getting used to it. Virtual/online meeting fatigue is real and has been documented extensively now that more people are participating in them.

Together mode is an attempt at making the online meeting process feel more organic and closer to a meeting where everyone is seated at the same table. It’s not guaranteed to make things better but if you find it hard to interact with the default meeting UI, give it a try.

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