Microsoft Teams is about to get a whole lot more festive this holiday season

Together Mode holiday scene
(Image credit: Microsoft)

As traveling may be out of the question for some this holiday season, many families and even co-workers will be using video conferencing software to hold virtual holiday parties instead which is why Microsoft is bringing a number of new experiences to Teams.

For those unfamiliar, Together Mode in Teams allows multiple users to share the same virtual space while on a video call. So far these virtual spaces have been modeled after coffee shops, conference rooms and classrooms but to help get users into the holiday spirit, Microsoft has created a set of new winter wonderland Together Mode scenes.

According to a recent report from the company, Together Mode not only makes video calls more enjoyable users but the feature also helps reduce meeting fatigue.

To get started using Microsoft's new winter wonderland scenes for your holiday events this year, select Together Mode from the drop-down menu in Teams and click the small pencil in the left-hand corner of the screen to choose a scene. It's worth noting that you will need at least five people in your meeting to use this feature.

Custom backgrounds and breakout rooms

In addition to new Together Mode scenes, Microsoft has also created a set of new holiday-themed custom backgrounds for standard meetings and video calls.

To add a new custom background to Teams, simply download the ones you want and the new holiday backgrounds are available here.

Microsoft has also announced that breakout rooms are now generally available in Teams. Breakout rooms provide an easy easy to divide meetings into sub-groups for smaller discussions, brainstorming sessions, learning groups and even holiday mixers.

Meeting organizers have the ability to jump between breakout rooms, deliver announcements to all of the rooms at once and bring everyone back to the main meeting at any time.

Whether you're planning a virtual holiday event for work or with your family, you can now use Microsoft Teams to add a little holiday flair to your video calls.

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Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.