If you’re looking to share some workplace secrets, or just blow off some steam and vent, then a new Microsoft Teams feature could be ideal.
The video conferencing platform is releasing a new “offline meetings” feature that will allow users to meet in secret, for those times when you might need a bit more privacy.
In its entry (opens in new tab) on the official Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company did not reveal much about the feature, but instead offered a brief outline of how it will work – and it could be great for those moments where you need to blow off some steam.
Microsoft Teams secret meetings
Users will be able to schedule an offline meeting much as they would a normal one, but with the crucial addition of turning the “online” toggle off when setting up calendar events for personal appointments, lunch break slots and more.
The company notes that offline meetings will not have a chat thread or any other Microsoft Teams “online meeting artifacts”, meaning they will remain a secret for those on the call only.
The feature is rolling out now, and will be available to Microsoft Teams users on desktop and Mac.
Opinion – flying under the radar
Let’s face it – we’ve all wanted to schedule meetings just to have a vent at some point. But what if the people you share your calendar with start to notice these regular slots you’ve booked in with your work BFFs?
On the face of it, Microsoft’s move seems like a puzzling one, as hiding meetings with no trace doesn’t exactly seem to scream confidence in your workforce.
Of course, offline meetings in Teams could also be used for more formal situations, such as speaking to a line manager about a workplace concern – or just for a quick catch-up before an important presentation or call.
It’s interesting that the launch comes days after Microsoft Teams announced it would let users set their working location for the day, meaning bosses, co-workers, and anyone else you’re connected with on the platform will know exactly where you are – as well as having the more useful trait of finding out the availability of workers for chats or meetings, whether you or your colleagues are in the office or not.
Overall, the launch may be part of Microsoft’s ongoing pledge to make Teams more accessible to users around the world – in whatever capacity they may choose.