Microsoft Teams meetings: Are you back yet?

Are you back yet? Is a common question asked after you have had a break during a Teams meeting.

When you run virtual meetings with Microsoft Teams it is not always easy to see when people are back. Especially when people in the meeting don’t have their video cameras on.

Let me show you how to quickly see when people have returned to your meeting.

So how do you know if people have returned from their break in a Teams meeting?

Checking whether people had returned from a break was never a problem with in person meetings. You could see when everyone was back in the room and the meeting can restart.

However running virtual meetings with Microsoft Teams it is not always so easy. Especially when people in the meeting and they don’t have their video cameras on.

If you return from a break in a Teams meeting and you are faced with this image. You are not alone.

When people do not have their camera on it is impossible to see whether they are actually there or not.

I decided to start using the raise the hand feature in Teams to provide that visual indicator that someone is there. Even if their video is off.

So how does it work?

Just before the planned break in the meeting just remind people to use the raise their hand feature when they return to the meeting. You can always add in a slide into your PowerPoint deck as a reminder.

If you have not used it before. The raise hand feature is found under the Show reactions option in the meeting menu bar.

Raise hand with flyout menu

When you return from the break you can easily see if people are back in the meeting.

The Show reactions option will display the number of people with their hands raised.

In addition a raised hand icon will be displayed next to the user’s name.

You can also view the show participants list in order to see who has returned. The list will be displayed in the order that people raised their hands.

This way you can quickly see who does not have their hand is raised and check if they have returned. I often find people have returned to the meeting but forgot to raise their hand.

List of meeting attendees with raised hands

Once you are ready to restart the Teams meeting just ask people to lower their hands.

Alternatively as the meeting presenter you can lower the participants hands.

Its important to lower hands so you can identify if someone is raising their hand later in the meeting when they want to contribute.

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