12 Ways To Use Microsoft Teams Like A Pro

We all know how much Microsoft Teams has revolutionized the digital workplace but as an ever-evolving collaboration tool, how can you make the most of Microsoft Teams? Here are my top tips on how to use Microsoft Teams like a pro!

If you’d also like to see how to build a custom enterprise portal inside Microsoft Teams & consolidate your digital solutions under one roof, get familiar with our Valo Connect product!

1. Use @mention tags to get people’s attention

Did you know that you can use the @ to tag people? You can tag people, tag teams, target a selected set of people in your organization or you can even tag the channel this way. So, this is a really great way to get someone’s attention. Depending on how everyone has set their notification level in Microsoft Teams, this is a really nice way to make sure that people see you’re trying to reach them.

2. Let the number of channels grow

You can’t invent everything, you don’t know everything, you don’t know how that team will evolve. So, don’t do too much work in the beginning. Set up a few of the most important channels and let them grow inside the team and let the people create the channels that it’s natural for them to create.

Reserve the “General” channel for team-wide announcements that need to reach everybody. Because you can’t get rid of it, use it for something specific.

3. Adopt a naming convention for channels with external users 

Be a little bit careful when you invite external users into your conversations because typically, if you invite an external guest into a team, they will see all of those conversations as well. So, make sure that people actually know they are talking with an external person. One practice that we have in Valo is to add the word “external” at the naming convention because then everybody sees that you have external people in that team.

Use Microsoft Teams Like A Pro

Adopt a similar naming convention across all of your channels.

4. Don’t forget to name your chats

If you have a lot of private chats and you don’t go in and give them titles/names, it will be really hard, later on, to understand what the chat is about, or even to find the right one. You can do this by opening up the chat and clicking the pen icon next to the people’s names on the top.

5. Mute yourself in meetings

While you’re in a meeting it’s really important to stay on mute when you’re not talking, because it helps to reduce background noise. So many people accidentally type on the keyboard, or go and make a cup of coffee, even take a restroom break. All that background noise is so distracting.

6. Keep the conversation on using the chat during meetings

One thing that I do like is to use the chat function during a meeting. It’s a great way to say something or get a point across without having to say it out loud and be on camera, which some people aren’t keen on. The chat is also a great place to keep the conversation going, especially if it’s for a recurring meeting.

7. Zoom in on presentation material during meetings

If you’re sharing a web page, make sure you zoom in, because your resolution is likely to higher than the other people’s. The Microsoft Teams window is pretty small and has all the things on the side, so make sure you zoom in if you can so that people will actually see what you’re showing.

ms teams - video meeting

Remember to zoom in. If your audience joins the meeting via their smartphones the presenter’s screen might get tiny.

8. Remember to stop the recording

Something we have noticed, especially with running a lot of online events, is that sometimes people forget to leave the meeting or stop recording it. if the meeting’s running, the recording keeps running unless someone stops it.

9. Use emojis in your writing

Use emojis in your channels to bring them alive! Emojis help to break up the text and they look a lot better in chats too. Plus, they help colleagues to feel appreciated and connected.

10. Set up your custom notifications

The out of the box notifications from Microsoft are really, really intrusive, because you are notified everywhere. To edit these, you need to go into the notification settings and select your preferred level, which will make your workday a lot more efficient if you choose so.

Use Microsoft Teams Like A Pro Custom Notifications

Setting up your Custom Notifications will make your workday more efficient.

11. Respect the availability status

Pay attention to your colleagues’ availability status. There is the “available” one and the “available out of the office” one. It’s really hard to notice the difference between them. Also, if a colleague has “Do not disturb”, respect that and don’t try to ask for a call.

12. Don’t forget the happy hour

Why not use Snapchat filters and have some fun in your happy hour or a social hour in your company. This will help to replicate a little bit of the feelings that you would have if you were in the office. Sometimes you need to be a little bit sociable as well, especially during these social distancing days!

You can listen to my full presentation, including even more tips and tricks for Microsoft Teams by registering for all our amazing Valo Fest 2020 talks.

Other useful stories to read:
Intranets vs Microsoft Teams: Which Platform Should Be Used For What Purpose?
5 Benefits of Having Your Intranet Inside Microsoft Teams

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