In the last month, Microsoft Teams has become a critical tool used by many companies in their day-to-day activities. Here at Definitive Logic we’ve been using Teams since 2017 when our own David Martinez Osorio suggested that our geographically dispersed project teams use it to collaborate more succinctly and leverage its conference call capabilities. Since that time we’ve learned a lot and we’d like to share 5 tips for those who got the basic of Teams but want to level-up:
Tip #1 – The “@” Symbol
Do you want to get the attention of a group or specific people when writing a message? Make sure to prefix the “@” symbol to a group, channel, or person when writing a message in Teams to activate the mention notification.
Mention notifications show a red badge over the Activity and Teams navigation items that serves as a visual cue to them to read it. Without the use of mentions, your unread messages show up as bold lettering for the channel.
Tip # 2 – Sharing a Screen
We’ve seen that staff new to Teams have a hard time figuring out how to share a screen. During a call/meeting, the menu bar has a button signified by an up arrow within a rectangle. It is located next to the microphone button (see screenshot below). If you click that button you’ll be presented with an option to share your desktop (labeled as Screen #1 and Screen #2 if you have more than one monitor) or share a particular window. If you share your desktop then folks on the meeting will see everything.
If you share the Window then they only see the application you selected. Often staff will share a Window to show Power BI or their Chrome browser – just keep in mind pop-up windows or new windows will not appear. For example, if you were in Power BI and clicked on the Transform data button, it would take you to a new window that wouldn’t appear to staff seeing your screen on Teams.
Tip #3 – Keyboard Shortcuts
They are many great shortcuts to use in Teams. Our favorites are Ctrl + Equals Sign (=) to make the Teams App font bigger, Ctrl + Minus Sign (–) to make the Teams App font smaller, and Ctrl + N to start composing a new message. Those shortcuts were for Windows users, so a complete listing of shortcuts for both Mac and Windows can be accessed at this link: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/keyboard-shortcuts-for-microsoft-teams-2e8e2a70-e8d8-4a19-949b-4c36dd5292d2. I will also note the keyboard shortcut for mute (Ctrl + Shift + M for windows) only works when your Teams App is in focus. Many laptops have a hotkey to mute/un-mute mics, so we’d suggest using your laptop’s hotkey instead. For example, for staff with Dell Latitudes at our company Shift + F4 toggles the microphone regardless of whether your Teams App is in focus.
Tip #4 – Do Not Disturb
With so many people on Teams it is easy to get distracted with all the messages, mentions, and dinging that will occur on your computer. If you need to remove those distractions type “/dnd” in command prompt at the top of the screen and hit the Enter key.
This will suppress notifications until you change that status. You can further customize who can send you priority notifications (like your boss) by clicking on the “Change settings”.
While your status is set to “Do Not Disturb”, other staff will see your status as a red icon with a line when viewing your profile.
To received regular notifications again, type “/available” in the command prompt at the top of the screen and hit the Enter key.
Alternatively, you can change your status to “Do Not Disturb” and “Available” by clicking on your profile Icon in the top right.
Tip #5 – Check Your Camera
When preparing for a video chat use the Camera Preview feature to ensure your camera is well positioned and you have good lighting. This feature can be accessed by clicking on your picture (upper right-hand corner of Teams), then click Settings and select the Devices option. Near the bottom of the Devices section is the camera preview feature. Now you’ll know your camera is working and you’re ready to impress!
We hope these tips can increase your productivity with Microsoft Teams. If you’re interested in how Teams can be implemented or better leveraged in your organization, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org