Microsoft Teams now lets you assign breakout rooms spontaneously

Kevin Okemwa

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At the height of COVID-19, Microsoft announced a new feature coming to Teams to further enhance the meeting experience for users. The breakout rooms feature is designed to allow meeting organizers to split a group video or audio call into divergent sessions for smaller group discussions.

Microsoft is further enhancing this experience by integrating a new feature into Teams. The Shuffle feature is in place to help Teams users assign meeting attendees breakout rooms spontaneously.

The feature is currently rolling out to members of the Teams Public Preview and on the Windows or macOS version of Teams. It should be noted that you can make use of this feature during or before the Teams meeting starts.

Assign people to breakout rooms window, showing the Shuffle menu

Here’s how you can access the feature as highlighted by Microsoft in the blog post:

  • Prior to the meeting (but after sending a meeting invite) and after creating rooms, on the Breakout rooms tab of meeting calendar view,  click Assign participants. When the Assign people to breakout rooms window appears, click the Shuffle dropdown and assign, as necessary.
  • During a meeting, click Rooms > Assign Participants, and then click the Shuffle dropdown and assign, as necessary.

Microsoft hasn’t indicated when this feature will ship to open preview for everyone to try out, however, you can still utilize the feature even if the meeting attendees are not part of the Teams Public Preview program.