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Microsoft Teams reaches 44 million users every day, but are they reaching all of Microsoft Teams? Whether you’re still getting familiar with your Microsoft Teams environment or you’ve recently transitioned to working fully remote, there are some helpful hints that can give your user experience the love it needs.

“Microsoft’s Teams service for calling and chatting with colleagues has over 44 million daily active users, up from 20 million in November. The disclosure puts even more distance between Teams and its closest competitor, Slack.”

Jordan Novet, CNBC Markets News


Here are five productivity hacks and other secrets to getting more out of Microsoft Teams:

1. Avoid information overload.

Are you drowning in emails from different teams and groups on different projects while juggling multiple collaboration tools? Working remote can mean a lot of phone calls and new levels of inbox activity. Using Microsoft Teams Channels can help.

Following the channels that are most essential to your day-to-day workload can minimize the noise so you stay focused on what matters for your team.

Here’s how to follow a channel on Microsoft Teams:

  1. Click the ellipses beside the channel.
  2. Click Follow.
  3. Enjoy the latest updates on priority communications.

2. Take your video meetings global.

Don’t let language gaps keep your teams apart. With Microsoft Teams Live events, you can use real-time video captions to communicate with colleagues—anywhere.

The Teams Translate to menu lets users sharing content add language captions—up to six dialects at a time. This functionality can bring people together for global quarterly business reviews of kick-off calls.

Attendees can enable live captions just by clicking Subtitles On—in the lower right-hand corner of their Teams Live Event meeting.

Added bonus? Download the post-meeting transcript following the event so you can review any details. Here’s how:

  1. Click on Meetings.
  2. Go to Live Event Resources to locate the meeting transcript.

3. Work smarter with shortcuts.

When you’re in the middle of a meeting or making headway on a project you don’t want to be stuck searching for different functionalities. These keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Teams can help you avert disasters—including your dogs barking at delivery drivers on your company-wide conference call.

  • Mute yourself: Ctrl+Shift+M
  • Turn your camera off Ctrl+Shift+O
  • Blur your background: Ctrl+Shift+P

Find all the available keyboard shortcuts by entering /Keys into your Microsoft Teams search menu.

4. Express yourself.

Tired of staring at the same chat window or not getting enough feedback from your colleagues muting their kids in the background? Make your chats more exciting and interactive by dropping a gif or two.

Try showering speakers with gifs at just the right moment in live meetings or meetings to boost comradery without even typing a word. It’s an easy way to team build with virtually no effort. And it’s always worth making someone smile.

It’s easy. Click the GIF button in your new message box and type a keyword to find endless options.

5. Make Teams your place.

So, maybe you are stuck in a cramped home office—or hiding from an angry kid in your walk-in closet. Or, maybe you’re more productive in your favorite hammock?

No one needs to know, there’s a beach out there, somewhere. Make your meetings your own with your own background that expresses your personality more and puts everyone mentally in a better-looking place.

And the wait for custom backgrounds is rumored to be over soon. (We see you, Star Wars fans).

Update your background:

  1. On your Join Now meeting page, toggle the background icon in between the video and mute options.
  2. A settings page displays in your right-hand panel with different options—including no background, blur, or the Microsoft Teams default library of backgrounds.
  3. Select your favorite option.

Need more help with Microsoft Teams?

Let’s talk.

Our Microsoft Teams experts are here to make sure your team is getting the most out of your Teams experience. That’s why we offer different Microsoft Teams training programs for your unique business goals.

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