Using Microsoft Teams for Hybrid meetings

Historically, lots of meetings consisted of mostly users in a shared meeting location with a few remote users. Frequently remote users would join with just audio, leading them to have a poor experience.

Over the last 18 months or so we have all seen a massive increase in remote or flexible working due to Covid, often supported by using Microsoft Teams, with users once solely office based now working apart from colleagues.

For some of us remote working was already normal but for many it was a new way of working. As some users now return to an office, we need to look at creating hybrid methods of meeting and collaborating to better connect with those still working remotely

Through the introduction of room based meeting solutions that work with Microsoft Teams, it is possible to offer a meeting experience that offers both office and remote users similar levels of functionality and engagement, enabling better collaboration and inclusion.

Users can use a Microsoft Teams equipped room, either on its own or in tandem with a Teams desktop/mobile client to join a meeting. Using a certified camera and audio setup allows remote participants to hear everyone in the meeting space/room. Content presented by either local or remote participants can be displayed on central screens, as well as the devices of all attendees.

Multiple vendors offer Microsoft Teams room devices solutions, including Microsoft themselves with the Surface Hub family of devices. Different models/combinations can support a wide range of shared spaces which can generally be grouped as huddle spaces, small meeting room, midsize meeting room and large meeting rooms.

When thinking about the type of equipment needed to support a Teams meeting, in addition to the room size thought needs to be given around positioning of users. User location is important and needs to be considered so that users can all be heard clearly by all participants, depending on the room size a single microphone may not be enough.

Teams rooms devices range from “all-in-one” bar style solutions that can be mounted above/below a screen allowing users to sit quite close all the way to large room systems with multiple screens, speakers and microphones around the room.

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