Online communication platforms, such as Microsoft Teams were one of the workplace heroes that enabled businesses everywhere to work from home successfully when the pandemic hit. With its simple user interface and plethora of communication and collaboration features, Microsoft Teams was the go-to for many businesses when it came to enabling their employees to work remotely. In 2022, flexible, hybrid, and remote working is here to stay and Microsoft Teams is facilitating these new ways of working. You may have learned the ropes of how the platform works, but with so many features available within Microsoft Teams, can you be certain that you’re making the most of them?
From fuelling better productivity to creating more engaging conversations, here are 22 Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks you need to know in 2022.
To view which team you’re part of, click the Teams icon to open the Teams pane. Underneath the team name you’ll see one or more channels. Within a team there are 2 different types of channels: standard – visible to everyone and private – focused conversations for a specific audience.
Teams will appear in the order that you either joined or created them, which is fine when you first start out. However, when you’ve been using the platform for a while, you will find that some teams and channels will become more useful or important to you than others. To change the order of your teams, click and hold a team name and drag it up or down to change its position. To prioritise channels, you can pin them towards the top of the Teams pane by clicking the three dot icon (more options) on the right of the channel pane and select pin from the menu. You can even change the order of these pinned channels by clicking and holding a channel name and dragging it up or down to position it.
Declutter your interface by hiding channels and teams that are not important right now. Click the three-dot icon to the right of the channel or team name and then click hide. The only channel you can’t hide within a team is the General channel.
Unhide a Teams Channel
If you want to unhide a channel, look at the list of channels under a team name – you’ll find a link that tells you how many hidden channels the team has. Click this link to open a menu that will show you those hidden channels. Hover over the name of the channel that you want to unhide and click the Show icon.
Want to unhide a team? Scroll to the end of your teams list and you’ll see a Hidden Teams link. Click the link to show the list of hidden teams then click the three-dot icon to the right of a hidden team, then click Show.
No need for endless scrolling to find a specific message or conversation you were involved in. Click the Activity icon at the top of the task pane on the left-hand side. This will open the Feed pane. Next to the title bar there is a Filter icon and select @Mentions from the menu. You can also type @Mentions into the search bar at the top of the app to complete this action. All messages you have been tagged in will now appear in the feed.
This is a great Microsoft Teams hack for busy people who don’t have time to respond to some messages straight away, but want to catch up on them later. Find the message that you want to save and hover on the upper-right hand side of the message. Click the three-dot icon and click save this message. To view all of your saved messages, click your profile on the top right and from the menu, click Saved or you can type /saved into the search bar at the top.
Now, they say it’s not nice to have favourites, but when it comes to prioritising your communication within Microsoft Teams, it’s pretty useful! Having specific teams and channels that you use the most often can end up being buried if you receive a lot of correspondence throughout the day. Once you mark a team or channel as a favourite, it places them at the top of the list. To mark a team or channel as a favourite, click the three dots next to the team and select Favourite.
Why not streamline your communications further by creating subgroups according to team roles, projects, or even locations? Tags can make it easy to mention or chat with anybody who is grouped within this tag. To create a new tag, select Teams on the left-hand side of the app and choose your team from the list. Then select the three-dot icon and select Manage tags. From here you can create tags and assign them to relevant people within your teams.
Every channel contains 2 default tabs when created – Conversations and Files. However, you can take your Microsoft Teams experience one step further by creating custom tabs for other Microsoft 365 tools, websites, and other third-party apps. This means you can perform tasks and collaborate without having to leave the Microsoft Teams App.
Did you know that the Microsoft Teams search bar can also be used as a command line? Simply type in one of the commands and you have a shortcut to frequent tasks. Examples of these commands include:
There are many shortcuts that you can learn – to get started, simply type a ‘/ ‘ into the search bar to view a range of available commands.
Sometimes you just need a bit of peace and quiet away from constant notifications. Enable ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode to quieten these distractions. Click on your profile icon and set your status to ‘Do Not Disturb’. If you fancy trying out the command shortcut tip, you can use /dnd in the search bar to activate ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode too.
But, what if you don’t want to miss any important updates and messages? You can set priority access for particular individuals whose messages you don’t want to miss. To set priority access, click on your profile, click Manage Account then go to Privacy Settings and under Do not disturb select Manage Priority Access.
Instant messaging doesn’t always feel that instant when you have to stop what you’re doing within the Microsoft Teams app and find the conversation with the required person in Teams. That doesn’t have to be the case. Simply @ in the search bar, type their name, select it and type and send your message directly from the search bar. It doesn’t get more instant than that!
Capture your team’s attention with a stand-out subject line. You can insert a subject line by accessing the rich text formatting options. Click the Format icon (the capital A with a pen) in the bottom left of the message box to access these options. Whilst you’re there, you can also incorporate features, such as different text sizes and colours, bullet and numbered points and links for messages that really pop!
A GIF, meme or sticker can sum up an entire point and keep your team’s attention on the conversation. You can access GIFs, memes and stickers in the taskbar at the bottom of the message box.
Need some feedback or want to summarise your team’s opinion on a subject? Use a poll! You can create a poll by clicking the Forms icon in the message box taskbar. Can’t see a Forms icon? Click the three-dot icon at the end of the message box taskbar and search for Forms.
Sometimes you just need an answer – right here, right now. Mark your message as important by clicking the exclamation point icon on the message box taskbar. The recipient of this message will then receive notifications every two minutes for 20 minutes until the message is read. Now, if that won’t get their attention, nothing will!
Whether it’s blocking out activities that are going on in the office behind you or hiding the mess in your kitchen when working from home, blurring your background avoids any distractions during meetings and video calls. When joining a meeting, click background filters and select blur.
Sometimes schedules don’t align and it isn’t possible for everybody to make your meeting. No worries – you can help them catch up by recording your meeting for them to view later. You can start recording your meeting by clicking the three-dot button in the control panel at the top of the meeting window and select start recording. The recording of the meeting will be available after it has ended.
No need to set up a Word document or grab a pen and paper to ensure you pick up the key points of your meeting. You can create meeting notes in the meeting window itself. To start making notes, click the three-dot icon and select meeting notes. This will open a panel where you can start jotting down your meeting notes.
Using Together Mode makes meetings feel a little more personal by bringing your team together (literally) on the screen. When you use Together Mode, it positions all participants on a shared background, which makes it look like they are sitting together in one room. To activate Together Mode, go to your in-call background options.
With multiple people contributing to the same conversation, replies can get mixed up with other messages. Make sure your answer is heard by finding the specific message you want to reply to and hover over the message with the cursor. When the toolbar with emoticons appears, click the three-dot icon and select Reply. You can then type a direct reply to this message.
Is there an important message in your chat that everyone needs to take note of? Pin it! To pin a message, hover the cursor over the message until the toolbar appears, click the three-dot icon and select Pin.
Whether it’s an invitation to a team event or an important reminder, make sure everybody notices your message by making it an Announcement. To create an Announcement within your channel, select Format (the A with a pen underneath it) icon. At the top of the box, click the arrow next to New conversation and then select Announcement. Create a snappy headline and make it eye-catching with background images and colours. Type the subject of your announcement in the Add a subhead section and then your Announcement’s information. Once you’re happy with your announcement, click Send and get it out there!
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