Top tips for remote working with Microsoft Teams

Top tips for remote working with Microsoft Teams

At the moment, employees, volunteers and students across the globe are faced with no choice but to work or learn remotely, in order to keep themselves and those around them safe. Microsoft Teams is an offering that allows individuals to stay connected, collaborate with one another and keep productive, even when they are apart.

Teams is a virtual office you can take anywhere. The solution allows you to:

  • Securely store files where the right people can access them and pull up documents directly in Teams.

  • Quickly jump into calls, using both audio and visual.

  • Chat with your colleagues.

  • Hold meetings online with people from inside or outside your organisation.

Communication and collaboration are more important than ever in a time like today, meaning Teams is becoming central to the way many people are working.

Microsoft Teams has gained more than 12 million daily users in one week with over 44 million active users as of March 18 (Microsoft, 2020).

Whether you are brand new to Teams, currently rolling it out or an experienced user, here are some tips on how the tool can support you with remote working.

Make the most of online meetings

Easily organise, execute and record online meetings anywhere with individuals internal or external to your organisation, by hosting online meetings in Teams. Whether a 1:1, team meeting or a live event for up to 10,000 people (Microsoft Teams live events), be seen and heard clearly with high quality video and audio.  Turn on your camera during meetings- face-to-face interaction goes a long way to help everyone feel connected. Join a meeting with the click of a button, or dial-in from a mobile using the instructions on your meeting invitation.

Tips for holding meetings online in Teams:
  • Use your meeting description to detail exactly what the meeting is for and make sure that is has a clear purpose to keep the focus.

  • Use the Teams background blur function, so meeting attendees can focus solely on you.

  • When sharing your screen, share only what you want your team to see; whether that is showing your entire desktop or a specific window.

  • Don’t forget to keep track of your mute button.

  • Use the meeting chat function to share opinions and for follow-ups after the meeting.

  • Be mindful and inclusive; removal of visual cues or overcrowded conference calls can make it difficult for people to share opinions. Make sure to pause frequently to invite questions.

  • Stay in control of your meeting by defining roles and permissions of participants, designate who can present, mute or start and stop recordings.

  • Create a meeting lobby so you can control who is admitted to the meeting at what time.

Communication is key

Whilst adjusting to new ways of working its key to maintain team morale and communication. Utilise the Teams chat function to make up for those ‘hallway conversations’ that remote working takes away. Post insight and helpful resources or share news stories and pictures with colleagues to keep people positive and engaged. Finding ways to communicate throughout your organisation is also important; here at Pythagoras we are carrying out daily online meditation sessions using Teams to look after our mental health, whilst helping each other to relax and stay focused.

Tips for using the Teams chat function:
  • Pin your favourite 1:1 or group chats so they always appear on the upper left-hand side of your application.

  • Communicate your working hours by updating your status message so your colleagues know when to reach you.

  • Use emojis, GIFS and stickers to convey your emotion and keep things fun.

  • Create messaging policies to control which chat and channel messaging features are available to your users in Teams.

  • Declutter your emails by taking conversations out of Outlook and into Teams.

  • Schedule a meeting directly from a chat without leaving the application or turn your chat directly into a call with the click of a button.

Set up and manage your Teams channels

Teams channels will act as the hub for you and your teammates to continue working as one whilst apart. No longer frantically search for files again, Microsoft Teams acts as the centralised place to access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real time. You no longer need to spend hours trying to attach large files to emails, simply upload to your shared Team channel, giving your teammates the ability to access and edit your file.

Tips for setting up and managing your teams and channels:
  • Drag and drop your teams so they are in priority order.

  • Hide the teams you don’t work in often, giving you the ability to focus on what is important to you.

  • Manage your notifications on your profile settings, allowing you to only receive the notifications you need or want.

  • Carefully manage your administrator roles. Teams lets you assign ownership and moderator capabilities so that you can control who can perform certain actions within a channel.

  • If you have external business users or guests that will need to communicate with or access files from your organisation, you can set up external or guest access for them by adding domains to allowed lists.

  • Use the chat function in your channels to communicate messages or share insights with all teammates that might be interested.

We think that sharing guidance and supporting each other in this time is crucial in keeping everyone together and maintaining productivity. Try out some of these tips and let us know how you get on!

If your organisation needs help setting up Teams or advice on how to make the most of the solution, we are here to help. Sign up for a free Teams Surgery call in which one of our Office 365 consultants will be booked to provide you with the advice you need and answer any questions you may have.

We’d love to hear from you so drop us an email at or give us a call on 01628 519 000.

Microsoft Teams Surgery

Microsoft Teams Surgery

Our Teams Surgery provides personalised Teams guidance to organisations looking to utilise the technology, completely free of charge. We will be hosting regular Teams Surgery appointments in which an Office 365 consultant will deliver tailored, 1-2-1 advice to you.

The aim of the session is to give you a deeper understanding of Teams and the considerations surrounding the tool to enhance your organisations capabilities to plan, deliver and operate Teams.

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Microsoft Teams Success Story