10 Features You Might Not Have Noticed In Microsoft Teams

With people moving from the office to home in lockdown. Microsoft Teams has become a valuable tool for many businesses but there may be a few additional features you may not of noticed:

  1. Command Prompts The search bar at the top of the screen is handier than you realise! It doesn’t just search across each of the Teams you are a member of to pull files and chats, it can act as command prompt. For example, if you need to chat someone quickly and don’t want to switch to the Chat section of Teams, just type “/chat” into the search bar, then their name and your message. Hit enter and the message is sent – a lot easier than any other IM function you’re using. Another quick hack is using Teams to view the organisational chart for a specific person. Just type in the search bar “/org” and the person’s name to find out who they report into, and who reports into them.
  2. /dnd If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by how many chats and pop-ups you receive, and want to stop any distractions so you can just get some work done, you can easily go on Do Not Disturb. Also using the search bar, simply type “/dnd” and work un-interrupted. When you are ready to give your Team your full attention again just type “/available”.
  3. Third Party Integrations Chances are, you probably use more apps than you realise. Teams helps you easily integrate these apps into Teams, so you can work fully from Teams. You can add Tabs in each channel and pull in Trello boards, Asana project timelines, Planner boards, SharePoint libraries, shared OneNotes, etc. So if you were already using these tools there is no need to switch, just use them in Teams instead.
  4. Bookmark a Message or Content We all flag emails we know are important so we can find them easily later. A bookmark in Teams is essentially the same thing. In a chat, simply hover over the message you want to save, click the ellipsis (…) click “Save this message”. To find your bookmarked chats, type “/saved” in the Search bar to find all your saved messages.
  5. Organising your Channels If you have more than one Team, some are going to be more important than others. You can drag and drop them into an order that suits you and your work style and changing priorities. Simply click and drag the team you’d like to move. Once the screen turns grey, move the team up or down depending on the order you’d like. Also, to favourite your most important Teams and Channels just go to the Team or Channel, click on the ellipses and select “Favourite”.
  6. Rich Text Editing Sometimes a simple IM in chat isn’t as structured as you would like it to be. With rich text editing, you can add a title, mark the message as important, and add other rich text options, such as bullet points and highlighting, so you can present your message in a way that best fits its contents. When you are going to “type a new message” in the chat box, click on the symbol below the bar on the left hand side.
  7. Microsoft Immersive Reader Immersive Reader is the inclusivity tool every business should be adopting. It works by making words and sentences easier to read, by offering different font options for sizes, colours, and spaces. The text can also be read aloud and can show syllables and different word types in different colours. To use immersive reader, click on the ellipsis and select “Immersive Reader”.
  8. Background Blur We’ve all been there, someone asks you to put your video on on a Teams call, but you are in a busy office, or you’re working from home and don’t want your colleagues to see where you live. Background Blur does exactly what it suggests; it blurs everything around you. Just click on the ellipsis on the call menu and select “Blur my background”.
  9. Outlook Integration By integrating Outlook into Teams you can now move and share an email, with all of its attachments, into a chat or Team. This feature bridges the gap between the two apps and gives you the best of both. With the “Share to Teams” button in Outlook, it’s easy to do, and allows you to chat easily about the contents of the email, without the cumbersome process.
  10. A Good GIF If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many is a GIF worth? Sometimes words fail us, and GIFs are the best way to communicate what we want to say. The workforce is now full of millennials and Gen Z-ers and GIFs are one of the easiest ways to modernise – and humanise – your Team. Before you type out a message, just click GIF and type in a keyword to see if there is a GIF that communicates what you want to say in a more effective way. Who doesnt love a GIF?
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