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Top 5 Tips for Using Microsoft Teams

At this point, we’re likely all pros at using Microsoft Teams to communicate and collaborate with other team members. Whether you’re messaging co-workers, participating in video calls, or looking for files – Microsoft Teams allows you to do it all, with ease.  

However, there are a few tips that can help to elevate your Teams experience and increase productivity in your workday. Below you’ll find our top five tips when it comes to getting the most out of Microsoft Teams. Refine Search Results

1. Refine search results 

We’ve all been there before. We had a conversation with someone, and now we need to find that message, but we don’t want to scroll back through weeks of different conversations. Luckily, Teams makes it easy to find messages you’re looking for with their search results filters.  

Once you’ve typed a word or phrase in the search box that you want to find, you can further refine your results by a number of different things: 

  • “Type”: select whether the message was in a private chat or in a channel 
  • “Teams & channels”: if the message was within a specific team or channel, select the corresponding name 
  • “From”: if the message was in a private chat, select the person you were chatting with 
  • “Date”: select either a specific date or a date range that the message was sent

By refining your search results, you’re able to find what you’re looking for much faster and easier than simply scrolling until you find it.  

Search results

2. Keep your status updated & accurate 

In the top right corner of Teams, you will find your status. Not only is this status visible to you, but it’s also visible to everyone else in your organization. 

There are six different status options to choose from: 

  • Available 
  • Busy 
  • Do not disturb 
  • Be right back 
  • Appear away 
  • Appear offline 

It’s important to keep this status accurate throughout the workday so that your fellow team members know when it’s an appropriate time to reach out if they were to need something.  

You can also set your status for a certain duration of time. For example, if you were in back-to-back meetings for the remainder of the day, you could set your status as ‘Busy’ and set it to reset at the end of the day, thus keeping your status as busy while you were in meetings. 

Keep Your Status Up-to-Date and Accurate 

3. Use interactive tools in meetings 

We’ve all become well accustomed to virtual meetings and Teams calls. Sometimes, these meetings can get monotonous if there’s no engagement from the team. 

There are a few different tools you can use to help keep a Teams meeting more lively: 

  1. Participate in polls: The meeting organizer can create a poll to display during the meeting, allowing attendees to actively participate throughout. 
  2. Use the Q&A: If you’re attending a meeting and have a question, but you don’t want to interrupt the speaker, you can always use the Q&A box to ask your question, allowing the speaker to address it whenever they’d prefer.
  3. Reactions: It may seem insignificant, but using the reactions during a call can be meaningful when used properly. Using these reactions helps the speaker know that you’re listening, and also allows you to express your thoughts on what’s being presented.  

Use reactions or ask a question during a meeting

4. Send urgent messages 

Being in a hybrid environment, it can be a little more challenging to get an immediate response from a co-worker, seeing as how you can’t simply walk over to their desk and chat. However, there is a way in Teams to alert the recipient of your message that it’s urgent.  

When sending a chat, there are three different delivery options to choose from:  

  1. Standard: the message is sent as usual 
  2. Important: flagged as important 
  3. Urgent: the recipient is notified every 2 minutes for 20 minutes 

By using these delivery options, you can let your co-workers know when a response is needed quickly, even though you may not be working in the same building.  

indicate the importance of chat messages 

5. Mark messages as unread. 

Often times when you’re working and receive a non-urgent message from another team member, you most likely don’t want to pause what you were doing and interrupt your focus. 

By marking the message as unread, you’re able to easily go back and address the message at a later time without forgetting that it’s there.  

Mark as Unread

Key to Productivity

Even though many of us spend a large portion of our day working within Microsoft Teams, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking advantage of all of the tools and resources available within the app.  

Using Microsoft Teams and other collaborative apps to their fullest extent helps to support productivity and efficiency in the workplace, no matter where your team is working from.

Related Content: 

How to Use Microsoft 365 for Secure File Storage & Sharing 

The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Microsoft Teams for Meetings