These Teams Tips Will Change the Way You Work

Nick James

With 145 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams has become an integral part of most companies. You may be a frequent user of Teams, but are you using it to its full potential? As a workplace productivity hub, Teams can help you achieve everyday tasks in less time. If you are new to Teams, the apps may be overwhelming and confusing. Here are some tips and tricks to improve your efficiency.

Shortcuts for Everyday Tasks

  • Go to Search: Ctrl + E
  • Turn your camera off: Ctrl+Shift+O
  • Mute yourself: CTRL+Shift+Spacebar
  • Background blur: Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Zoom: Ctrl+= to zoom in or Ctrl+- to zoom out
  • Go to your files: Ctrl+6

How to Translate Messages from One Language to Another

You can translate messages to your base language in Microsoft Teams on a message-by-message basis. Next to the specific message you want to translate, simply click the ellipsis button and select Translate.

How to Use “Do Not Disturb” to Finish Your Projects in Ninja Mode

When trying to hit a deadline for a project in ninja mode, constant pings can be a productivity killer. The Do Not Disturb option is just what you need. To turn on Do Not Disturb, click your profile icon in Teams and set your status to Do Not Disturb. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any important messages from your boss when you’re in Ninja mode, select:

  1. The 3-button ellipsis next to your profile picture
  2. Settings
  3. Privacy
  4. Manage Priority Access

How to Get Your Message Noticed When People Are Busy

I hesitate to post this tip, so use it sparingly and ONLY if the message is truly urgent! To send an Urgent Message Notification, look below the text compose box, and you’ll be able to check Urgent or Important to grab the recipient’s attention.

If you mark a message as urgent, the recipient will get it every two minutes for 20 minutes, which makes it difficult ignore, but could also make an enemy. Hence, my suggestion is to use this option thoughtfully.

How to Run Meetings Like a Boss

Meeting Notes: You can take notes directly from the meeting screen instead of having to go back and forth between different programs. The meeting notes will create a panel on the side for taking down meeting notes. To select Meeting Notes in Teams:

  1. Select the More Options ellipsis button once the meeting has started
  2. Start Taking Meeting Notes

Together Mode: Together Mode places all your meeting participants together in a shared background, such as an auditorium. To select Together Mode:

  1. Go to the Settings tab after selecting your profile.
  2. Check the Turn on new meeting experience option.
  3. Start a video call in Microsoft Teams with five people or more.
  4. Select the three dots while you are on the call and then select Together Mode.

Whiteboard: Whiteboarding has to be enabled to use it in Teams, but once it is, it’s a great way to interact remotely. I use it when drawing out technological concepts for clients when scoping calls to make sure we’re on the same page, and to diagram architectural concepts. To enable Whiteboard in Teams:

  1. Select Share
  2. On the right-hand side  of the screen, select Whiteboard

Conduct Polls: When you need your team’s help to make a decision, you can now survey a meeting chat. Microsoft Forms allows multiple answers and anonymous polls too. You can also conduct surveys on channels and one-to-one chats. To conduct polls:

  1. Select FORMS under the message box (you may have to click the ellipsis)
  2. Create your poll and type your question and the answer choices
  3. Select your options for multiple choices, share results automatically, and keep the poll anonymous

I hope some of these tips and tricks are helpful and improve your Microsoft Teams experience. As a Microsoft partner, Connection takes pride in helping companies deploy and configure Microsoft Teams. In addition to deployment and licensing optimization services, we now offer Teams workshops to help companies achieve long-term success with Teams. These are free workshops for eligible customers. Check out our workshop information, and let us know if you are interested.

Nick James is a Solution Architect for Microsoft Services in Connection’s Microsoft Center of Excellence. His areas of expertise include Microsoft 365 Migration, Exchange, and Teams.