Spotlight on using breakout rooms in your next Teams meeting
Tue, 22 Mar 2022

The breakout rooms feature in Microsoft Teams has many uses when meeting attendees want to collaborate in smaller groups.

Already, staff are saying they work positively in organised meetings.

Sarah Gibson, business change manager, said: "Research suggests that most productive meetings have between five to eight people. This is not always possible to have that number when we create our meetings, so if you want to communicate a message to a large group of people it could be very inefficient.  

"So, using breakout rooms is a great compromise. A meeting organiser can talk to the full group and give the same message, but when you get to the interactive bit you can break into smaller meetings, ensuring all people have a voice and an opportunity to talk." 

A few Q&As below can help create and get the best out of breakout rooms.  

Q. How do I set up a breakout room before a scheduled meeting?

A. In your role as Teams meeting organiser or presenter, you can appoint the breakout room manager or you can be it yourself (for more information on how to be appointed or to appoint, visit here).

Once this is done, go to the Teams calendar and open up the meeting invite for the meeting you want to create breakout rooms within. Then, go to 'Breakout Rooms' and select 'Create Rooms'; here, choose the number of rooms to be added and select 'Add rooms'. There is a selection of up to 50 rooms, which is useful for large-attended meetings.  

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Select 'Assign participants' (see above) to be either selective, by assigning people manually, or let Teams take its course, choosing automatically.  

Q. Can a breakout room be set up within a meeting?

A. Yes. At the start of the meeting, presenters/organisers can go into the meeting controls and select 'Breakout Rooms' (see below).

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From here, the number of rooms to be created can be done. Teams can evenly assign people into the rooms automatically or the presenter/organiser can do this manually (see below).

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Once the best-suited settings are decided, select 'Create rooms'.  

Q. Can the breakout rooms be managed?

A. Yes - meeting organisers can delegate presenters to manage the breakout rooms within the meeting and have a variety of controls over them.

 Before the meeting, go to the Teams calendar and open the meeting invite/in 'Breakout Rooms', select 'Room Settings'/switch the 'Assign presenters to manager rooms' toggle to 'on'/search for presenters, choosing the person/people as breakout room manager.  

 During the meeting, select 'Breakout Rooms' in the meeting controls and, from there, select 'Room Settings'/switch the 'Assign presenters to manager rooms' toggle on/choose the presenters from the drop-down box.  

Staff can learn much more about this useful function by visiting here.


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