fundamentals MS Teams Tips & Tricks

Microsoft Teams: Everyday Teams Best Practices & Etiquette Tips

Erica Hakonson March 18, 2021

5 MIN READ

There are said to be over 250 million daily users of Office 365, 145 million in Microsoft Teams alone. This just goes to show how widely adopted these applications have become and will continue to be. So the degree of seamless collaboration that Microsoft Teams facilitates for so many organizations and individuals, must be maintained with well-thought out and tested best practices. Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks that give you a smoother Microsoft Teams experience

MS Teams: Where it All Began

Microsoft Teams has been an all-encompassing platform that promotes communication and collaboration through multi-faceted characteristics. It combines the traits of Skype, SharePoint, and OneDrive, OneNote, Planner, Stream, along with in-app tabs that bring together tools like GSuite, MailChimp, Salesforce, and more. With an all-in-one access point, Microsoft Teams helps cut down on a lot of internal sprawl, for example, simplifying the hassle of email threads and attachments.

Screenshot Desktop View of Microsoft Teams Virtual Meeting
Image: MS Teams - Virtual Meeting

MS Teams Best Practices You Must Follow

Simply installing Microsoft Teams will not be enough to reap its many benefits. Proper change management strategy and hands-on involvement will go a long way in enhancing your overall experience in MS Teams. Here are some helpful tips on managing your Microsoft Teams experience:

  • Download the desktop MS Teams application: the modern experience of using MS Teams is only reaped via the desktop app. Features like popup windows are not supported by web apps and therefore may offer you a somewhat less user-friendly experience.
  • Personalize your MS Teams notifications: the many notifications from all your teams and channels can be overwhelming. Customize notifications to your requirements, such as making use of the toggle feature to control notifications and ignore redundant topics, people, or channels. Additionally, native notifications are now being made available across operating systems, so you no longer have to switch between apps!
  • Utilize browser profiles: the act of maintaining multiple Microsoft Teams accounts has been frustrating. Luckily, there is a better way to maintain multiple accounts or a multiple tenant system. Create browser profiles makes it simpler to navigate between accounts without any confusion using each browser profile as a unique area to login to a single tenant in the browser.

How To Ensure Your Conversations Are Hassle-free?

This is all about managing communication within a team and how to manage the information being circulated and stored. Let’s take a look at how you can get maximum efficiency from your conversations:

  • Using the @mention feature: Only @mention the concerned individuals, ensuring that individuals are notified when a question or task is directed at them. Do not @mention teams or channels unnecessarily. Avoid doing that to not create unwanted disturbance or diversions to the conversation at hand.
  • Formatted conversations for optimum readability: A pro tip is to make use of subject lines! Subject lines are really helpful from both a visual and search perspective.
ms teams tips - use subject line in channel conversations
Image: MS Teams - New Channel Conversation using Subject Lines.
  • Understand the reaction emojis: thumbs-up is more of an act of acknowledgment, while the other emojis are used for purposes like morale boost.
  • Match your meme, gif, stickers to your work culture:  be conservative in how you use such media files to maintain professionalism. Do not overdo their usage so that actual work inputs are overlooked.
  • Awareness of guest access: all team and channel members must know if a channel or team has external guests added. This allows them to know what kind of information to share or not share on the particular channel or team.
  • Guest renaming: guest user names can default to their email or other abbreviations. Always change it to their first and last name. A little tip to differentiate guests is to add “guest” after their name or include their company name.
  • Forward email to teams for internal discussions: easily share an email on your team and the software drops the email into the files tab while also automatically importing any attachments. Additionally, each channel has an email address that you can share and get emails delivered to directly.

Overall just be a good team owner and explore the manage team settings to set up your team properly.  

ms teams tips - managing a team
Image: MS Teams - Managing Team Settings.

Maintain Channel Productivity Throughout MS Teams

Channels are vital to any team and their smooth functioning is extremely important to the overall performance of Microsoft Teams. Here are some Microsoft Teams tips to managing your channels better:

  • Do not rename channels without informing your team: renaming channels does not rename the corresponding SharePoint file that it is associated with.
  • Channel naming policy: do not make use of acronyms in names as they can create confusion for new members and maintain consistency in channel naming across teams. You can do this by having a governance center that contains suggestive channel names with some descriptions.
  • Limit the number of channels: audit your channel requirements to keep things reasonably organized. Make use of MS Teams templates to help tackle such issues.
  • Reserve one channel for the “fun” stuff: use this channel for all things gifs, memes, and other informal modes of communication. This allows you to have a space for informal discussions while keeping things work-related elsewhere.
  • Use of the General channel: it is not something you can get rid of so make sure you are using it for important things only like team-wide announcements or any other topic unfit for existing channels.
  • Understand the complexity of private channels: have adequate knowledge of areas like team ownership, file storage, etc. to make the most of them. Ensure you are well versed before creating and using such channels.

Clean & Efficient File Sharing in MS Teams

A communication platform like Microsoft Teams obviously has users sharing a lot of information, including those in files and folders. Thus, to avoid unnecessary sprawl and easy access for all, you can take some simple steps for how you share and store files in MS Teams.

Use links for file sharing to enable easy access, collaboration, and clarity so that every member knows which file is being referenced. Also, maintain file size to under 100GB. You also need to be mindful of how deep you store a file, try and limit file storage to up to three folders deep. This way it is easy to know your way within and around folders. At the same time, it is important to be mindful of the character limit of file-sharing URLs. For more tips on this check out: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/sharing-files-in-teams.

ms teams tips - file sharing best practices
Image: MS Teams - Using Links for File Sharing.

We know that all files and folders are stored in SharePoint, so make it your one-stop shop for all data. SharePoint also allows you to keep their respective permissions and control access in case any information is confidential.

Moreover, to avoid chaos around which storage service to use remove extra cloud storage options altogether, and you can make use of OneDrive to sync files for offline access.

Know Your Private Chat Protocols

One would think there isn’t much to do around private chats when it comes to best practices. But you shouldn’t forget that you are maintaining these chats within your workspace platform, so you need to ensure that a certain system is followed throughout. If you are constantly adding new participants to your chat, make sure your chat history is reviewed beforehand. You can manage chat history visibility for new members depending upon the relevance and importance of the chat history to the new member. However, if you notice your private chat having too many members, maybe it is time to consider creating a team around that topic.

Begin with keeping your conversations ad hoc. Conversations on a private chat are not necessarily the most work-related conversations. At the same time, you need to avoid side conversations at all costs to maintain transparency in the organization.

We are bound to share files through private chat, so you just need to make sure you alter the link setting to limit visibility or editing rights for other team users. Most importantly, do not assume privacy just because these are private chats. The data is still accessible through IT cells and hence professionalism must be maintained at all cost!

Efficiently Conduct Meetings And Calls In Microsoft Teams

Meetings and calls are a highly valued feature of MS Teams, making the entire collaboration experience more meaningful and effective. Therefore, there is no doubt that one needs to conduct them as seamlessly as possible for the best results.

Did you know you can set up a meeting by choosing to have it within the channel? This way the channel will maintain the meeting appointment and will appear on your calendar as well.

During a meeting, you should use the chat feature in meetings to share resources and information without creating any distractions for attendees. Additionally, these meeting conversations are also retained in the channels.

Many people refrain from turning on video during meetings, but use videos when circumstances and the network permits, it really helps show your attentiveness and active participation. You can stay on mute when you are not speaking to avoid any unwanted distractions or noises.

Microsoft 365: MS Teams application: Live meeting on mobile and feed display on desktop
Image: Office 365 - Microsoft Teams - Desktop & Mobile View.

Furthermore, screen sharing is crucial during meetings, to ensure that all attendees have a good experience during the meet, make sure you zoom in for clarity. This is a simple act that you can do to make it better for those on the other end!

For more Microsoft Teams Best Practices and Etiquette Tips, check out our on-demand webinar with Matt Wade of Jumpto365: https://www.orchestry.com/event/microsoft-teams-everyday-teams-etiquette-tips-best-practices/

Customize Your Microsoft Teams Practices with Orchestry

The tips and tricks are not a one-size-fits-all system. Customize these tips to best suit your organization and needs. You can also make use of third-party change management facilitators like Orchestry to implement Microsoft Teams tips and maintain the Teams environment.

Orchestry - Creating Workspaces with Microsoft Teams Templates
Image: Using Microsoft Teams Templates from Orchestry

Orchestry’s core capabilities equip you with pre-configured Workspace Templates, intelligent Self-Service Provisioning, transparent Microsoft 365 Governance features, and an all-in-one Workspace Directory. All this put together can be a powerful force towards running an efficient Microsoft Teams environment. With Orchestry by your side, you will be utilizing Microsoft Teams to its full potential. You can try out this enhanced performance experience for yourself, just request  free access with us to get started.

About the Author

Erica Hakonson Image

Erica Hakonson

Orchestry CMO, B2B Marketing Maven

The award-winning entrepreneur and B2B digital marketing maven brings a customer-first, maniacally results-driven focus, and digital expertise to Orchestry. Hakonson knows the struggles technology changes can bring to organizations and works to simplify the landscape through strengthening communication and education to enable better user adoption.

Outside of the office, a mother of two awesome tiny humans, a wife of a daily hero and an amateur banjo player, Hakonson’s passion for life extends far beyond the office and into the woods as an ultra-marathoner, backpacker and outdoor adventurist.

Introduction

This Privacy Policy explains what information Orchestry Software Inc. and its associated entities (collectively “Orchestry”) collect about you, why, what we do with that information, how we share it and how we handle the content you place in our products and services. It also explains the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.

Privacy Policy Scope

Our Privacy Policy applies to the information we collect when you use one of our services, or when you otherwise engage with Orchestry Software, including, but not limited to:
when you visit our websites (“Websites“);
when you contact us for assistance;
when we connect with you as a prospective customer or as a customer;
when you attend customer or prospective customer events;
when you meet us at third party events, gatherings or meetups.
Orchestry is committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy applies to our websites (Websites), including www.orchestry.com, www.success.orchestry.com and www.app-dev.orchestry.com, owned and controlled by Orchestry.

This Privacy Policy governs our data collection, processing and usage practices. It also describes your choices regarding use, access and correction of your personal information. By using the Websites, you consent to the data practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with the data practices described in this Privacy Policy, you should not use the Websites.

Information We Collect

We collect personal data that you submit to us via our website or third-party tools including, for example, when applying for a job via our website or requesting support in relation to one of our services.
You are free to explore the Websites without providing any Personal Information about yourself. When you visit the Websites, we request that you provide Personal Information about yourself, and we collect Navigational Information.

Information Collection & Access

Orchestry acknowledges that you have the right to access your Personal Information. If requested to remove data we will respond within a reasonable timeframe.

We may transfer Personal Information to companies that help us provide our service, such as those organizations as part of our Global Partner Alliance. Transfers to subsequent third parties for the sole purpose of responding to requests from Websites in the appropriate geography service territory.

“Personal Information”
This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.

“Navigational Information”
This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed.

We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about Orchestry.

Information About Children

The Websites are not intended for or targeted at children under 13, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about children under 13. If you believe that we have collected information about a child under 13, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com, so that we may delete the information.

Information Usage

We use the information we collect only in compliance with this Privacy Policy.

In addition to the uses identified elsewhere in this Privacy Policy, we may use your Personal Information to: (a) improve your browsing experience by personalizing the Websites; (b) send information to you which we think may be of interest to you by post, email, or other means; (c) send you marketing communications relating to our business.

We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party. However, we may share or disclose your Personal Information as follows:
we may provide your information to our business partners, vendors or service providers who perform functions on our behalf;
in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company;
as required by law, government officials, or other third parties pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or other legal process or requirement applicable to our Company;
when we believe, in our sole discretion, that the disclosure of personal information is necessary to prevent physical harm or financial loss;
to report suspected illegal activity or to investigate violations of our agreements.

Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information
Upon request, Orchestry will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. If you provide us with your Personal Information, you have the following rights with respect to that information:
To review the user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that we correct any errors, outdated information, or omissions in user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that your user information not be used to contact you.
To request that your user information be removed from any solicitation list that we use.
To request that your user information be deleted from our records.
To opt out of being solicited by Orchestry or third parties.

To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct, or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe and notify you of the action we have taken.

Retention of Personal Information

We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you our services, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in “Unsubscribe from Communication” below.

Customer Testimonials and Comments

We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.

Security of your Personal Information

We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

Social Media Features

Our Websites include Social Media Features, such as the Facebook Like button and Widgets, such as the Share This button or interactive mini-programs that run on our sites. These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our sites, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social Media Features and Widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Websites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these features.  Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy and other policies of the companies providing them.

External Websites

Our Websites provide links to other websites. We do not control, and are not responsible for, the content or practices of these other websites. Our provision of such links does not constitute our endorsement of these other websites, their content, their owners, or their practices. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these other websites, which are subject to any privacy and other policies they may have.

Public Forums

We offer publicly accessible blogs, message boards and community forums. Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose any information through our public message boards, blogs, or forums, this information may be collected and used by others. We will correct or delete any information you have posted on the Websites if you so request, as described in “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” below.

International Transfer of Information

To facilitate our global operations, we may transfer and access Personal Information from around the world, including the United States. This Privacy Policy shall apply even if we transfer Personal Information to other countries.

Corporate Events

If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered by Orchestry on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.

Cookies & Similar Technologies

Orchestry uses cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the website, track users’ movements around the website, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.

The cookies we use on this website are broadly grouped into the following categories:

Essential: Some of the cookies on our website are essential for us to be able to provide you with a service you have requested. You may not be able to use our website effectively without these cookies.
Analytics: We use analytics cookies to help us understand how users engage with our website. An example of this is for counting the number of different people coming to our website, visiting a particular page or using a particular feature. Without this cookie, if you visited the website once each week for three weeks, we would count you as three separate users and this wouldn’t be a true representation. These cookies do not let us identify specific users as the information is aggregated.
Social sharing: We use cookies to allow you to share content directly to your social networking sites for example Facebook, Twitter and Google+ i.e. clicking Like on Facebook and Share on Twitter.
Interest-based advertising: You may have noticed that when you visit websites, you will be shown advertisements for products and services you may be interested in. Cookie information about certain pages you have visited on our website helps us be more relevant in our advertising. Having these cookies does not increase the number of adverts you will be shown on these specific sites. These ‘persistent’ cookies last no longer than 90 days, or until you clear them. These and the other cookies we use do NOT allow us to see what other sites you have been visiting, they simply act as a record of our web pages and advertisements that you may see.
Opt Out of Cookies
When you first visited the websites you will have been shown a status bar notifying you that this website uses cookies and inviting you to review this cookie policy. Once you have clicked to go further into our website, the cookie prompt will disappear, this confirms that you consent to us using the cookies detailed in this policy.
Please note that we can’t always control third party cookies (such as from social networks) stored on your machine from our website and where this is the case you will need to visit the relevant third party’s website directly to understand their cookies stored on your machine by them. Please see our ‘third party cookies’ section below.
If you want to reject cookies we use from this website you will need to:
Delete the cookies from your browser. Most browsers also allow you to prevent all or some cookies being stored on your machine in the future. For more information on how to delete or disable cookies from your browser please use the ‘help’ function within your browser, or alternatively visit www.allaboutcookies.org. By deleting our cookie preference cookie, the next time you visit our website the cookie status bar will appear again inviting you to again reconsider your preferences.
AND/OR: If you only want to reject the Internet Based Advertising cookies we store on your machine, you can opt-out of receiving these cookies at any time by going to the Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com and following the opt-out instructions.
Please do be aware that disabling cookies may impact the functionality of this website.
Third Party Cookies
Some of the cookies described above are stored on your machine by third parties when you use our website. We have no control over these cookies of how the third party uses them. They are used to allow that third party to provide a service to us, for example website analytics. For more information on these cookies and how to disable them, please see:
Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ where you will be able to opt-out of receiving Internet Based Advertising cookies from some of the third parties, such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The use of cookies and web beacons by any tracking utility company is not covered by our Privacy Policy.

Log Files

We may collect demographic information, such as your region, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other personal information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Orchestry to provide general statistics regarding use of the Websites. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information such as name, email address, address, and phone number.

Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)

We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users.  In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients.  This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.

Advertising

We partner with a third-party ad network to either display advertising on our Web site or to manage our advertising on other sites. Our ad network partner uses cookies and Web beacons to collect non-personal information about your activities on this and other Web sites to provide you targeted advertising based upon your interests.  If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here: http://preferences.truste.com/ (or if located in the European Union, by clicking here: http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/). Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising.  You will continue to receive generic ads.

Unsubscribe from Communications

You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our e-mails, or by sending us email us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our treatment of the information you provide us, please write to us by email at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Changes

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. When there are changes to this Privacy Policy, we will update this page. The date on the bottom will always indicate when we last made changes.
Last Updated: July 28, 2020

Step 1 of 4

  • Congratulations...

    Congratulatons, you are taking the first step to making work simple in Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams & SharePoint. Complete this form to see Orchestry in action with a FREE personalized tour of the platform.

In completing this form, you are providing your contact information to Orchestry Software Inc to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.

Step 1 of 4

  • Congratulations...

    Congratulations, you are taking the first step to making work simple in Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams & SharePoint. Complete this form to get started with FREE access to Orchestry for 28-days

In completing this form, you are providing your contact information to Orchestry Software Inc to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.

Step 1 of 3

  • Congratulations...

    Congratulations, you are taking the first step to join the global Orchestry Partner community, making work simpler in Microsoft 365.

In completing this form, you are providing your contact information to Orchestry Software Inc to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, please review our Privacy Policy.