10 Tips to
Work Smarter on Microsoft Teams

More than 300,000 businesses and 120 million people are using Microsoft Teams every day. If you’re one of them or you know members of your team who are, there are plenty of ways you can work smarter on the software.

In many ways, Microsoft Teams is much like a social media platform for business. After all, it’s where people share documents and ideas, join voice and video conferencing, leave messages for one another and collaborate. The software organises all the supporting materials that go with these interactions, making it possible to create any number of channels for your employees and partners.

While Zoom and other video conferencing platforms are still used, Microsoft Teams offers far more functionality, especially since it’s included within Microsoft 365. Since the cloud-based version of Microsoft 365 is used by almost every business, you’ll more than likely already have Teams in place even if you’re not using it. So how can you get the most out of the platform, and what are the 10 tips every business user should know?

10 Microsoft Teams Tips

Search Your Teams Conversations

Your team members will have countless conversations on Teams. Therefore, the Search feature will become your best friend. Using the basic search query box, you can search by People or Files, and for more advanced searches, you can use integrated Keyword Query Language that looks for content within each message. To do this, you just need to enter the command and then the search term (without a space between the colon and term), as shown below:

“Subject:” (followed by the keyword from a subject line or message)

“In:” (followed by the channel or chat name)

“From:” the person’s name

Use Microsoft Teams Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts aren’t for everyone. Our IT technicians love them, but some people find them tricky to master. If you’re on Teams every day, though, they will become second nature. So, what are the most common Teams keyboard commands?

  • Turn off your camera: Ctrl+Shift+O
  • Mute your mic: Ctrl+Shift+M
  • Blur your background: Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Go to Search: Ctrl+E

Highlight Important Messages

If you think about it, even on Teams, it’s hard to know what’s essential or needs urgent attention unless you’re prompted. That’s where the ‘Mark as Important’ button at the bottom of a Teams post comes in useful. Essentially, it’s a bit like marking an Outlook message as urgent. Just remember to use it sparingly; otherwise, it’ll lose its importance.

Use the @mention Filtering Option

If you think about it, the main reason Teams exists is to help people stay connected, so being able to ‘find’ that person when you need to ping them a message is important. Much like social media platforms, you can find them by typing the @symbol within the Search bar and messaging them directly. Likewise, you can also use this feature to review recent activities and see all the messages sent to you.

Avoid Being Interrupted

Sometimes Teams can feel like a busy environment as it can be quite the hive of activity within a business. So being able to switch off without stepping away from Teams is necessary. Thankfully, there’s a feature for this. If you want to work distraction-free and focus on a single chat without seeing other messages, you go to your profile picture and select ‘Manage Account,’ which will give you the option to click on Notifications. Here, you can change the frequency and type of alerts you wish to see.

Make Full use of SharePoint

Since it’s already integrated into Microsoft Teams, use SharePoint to share your files on Teams. If you click on the Files tab, you can easily share files with other team members. If a file has been shared to a Teams Channel, then other people within your team can use other Microsoft Office software to collaborate on it.

Save Messages for Later

It’s impossible to tend to all messages at once, especially if you’re due to head into a meeting or have a call you need to make. Handily, within Teams, you can hover over any message and click ‘Save this message,’ which will then appear as unread in the left pane.

Quickly Edit a Mistake in Chat

We’ve all done it. You type too quickly and accidently spell a word or someone’s name incorrectly. Mostly, you’ll recognise the error straight away. To quickly edit the text press the up arrow on your keyboard twice.

Create a Private Channel

If there are sensitive topics and you do not want other people to engage in the conversation, you can create a private channel. When creating a new channel, select ‘Private’ from the privacy drop-down menu.

Automatically Record Teams Meetings

So that you do not forget to press record on the day of the Microsoft Teams meeting, you can pre-select ‘Record Automatically’ within the meeting options when scheduling your meeting. Your guests will know that they are being recorded as a message will appear on their screen at the beginning of a meeting.

This feature is particularly helpful if some people cannot make the meeting but need to know what was actioned.

Mould Microsoft Teams to your Business

These tips are just 10 of the most helpful for the everyday use of Microsoft Teams. Being the powerful software it is, there’s lots more to consider. If you’re unsure whether you’re getting the most out of Teams and your other Microsoft products, we can help. Please feel free to contact us for an initial chat – even the smallest of recommendations can make a big difference!