8 Microsoft Teams Hacks to Transform Your Workday

With Microsoft Teams monthly users reaching 270 million at the end of 2021 – that’s up from 75 million at the start of the pandemic – we’ve all become used to using this communication and collaboration tool. But there’s always more to learn, right?

Ruud Brok, one of the Technical Partner Managers here at Valo, is a complete pro when it comes to M365 and in a recent webinar, Creating Employee Communications Your Staff Will Love, he shared his favorite Microsoft Teams hacks to save time, increase efficiency and generally improve your work day.

1. Review your notifications

There are multiple changes you can make to your Teams notification settings to save yourself time and reduce distractions.

Switch off Teams notification emails

Have you noticed that Teams kindly sends you regular emails notifying you of things you missed? Does anyone find this useful? We think not. So, why not switch them off and save some space in your inbox?

All you need to do is go to your settings, select “Notifications” and set your “Missed activity email” to “Off”. Job done.

  • Pro tip: When you make changes to your Teams settings, the changes will follow your user, so will be applied across all devices.

Set up custom notifications for chat, meetings and calls

From the same Teams settings, you can also make changes to your chat, meetings and calls notifications. With chat notifications you can choose where you would like notifications to appear, and with meetings and calls, mute notifications altogether.

Set up channel notifications

Our last notifications hack is at channel level, where you can choose how you want to be notified about activities in each channel. There’s a default setting or you can set your own custom notifications. Just click on the “More options” ellipsis button next to the relevant channel.

2. Pin the channels and chats you use most

As well as drowning out unnecessary noise in your work day, there are some great Microsoft Teams hacks to highlight the most important information. Using the “Pin” setting you can prioritize the channels and chats you use the most.

Once again, the “Pin” setting can be found via the ellipsis button next to your Teams channels and chats. This automatically puts your pinned channels to the top so you can access them more quickly.

3. Mute “noisy” chats

Alternatively, if there’s an active chat going on that’s not immediately of interest you can temporarily “mute” the chat. In the same way as before, just click on the “More options” button and hit “Mute”.

4. Use the “Do not disturb” status

The “Do not disturb” setting is a great tool if you want to get down to work without distraction. Unlike the “Busy” setting, “Do not disturb” disables on-screen pop-ups that could be intrusive if you’re trying to concentrate.

  • Pro tip: If you’re planning on sharing your screen during a meeting, remember to hit “Do not disturb” before the meeting. This means you won’t get any pop-up notifications, including partial messages which everyone in the meeting would be able to read.

5. Save messages to read later

Another great Microsoft Teams hack is the “Save this message” feature. This feature is particularly useful for those busy periods when you don’t have time to fully digest a message, perhaps when you have lots of messages to get through after the weekend or a holiday. Just click the “More options” button next to the message and hit “Save this message”.

You can find all your saved messages via your user icon on the top right of your Teams dashboard. Click “Saved” to view your saved messages and you can also “Unsave this message” in the same way as you saved it, when you no longer need it.

6. Create a task directly from a Teams message

We’re used to setting tasks in Outlook but thanks to this hack, you can avoid app switching by setting them from a Teams message instead.

Just click “More options” next to the message, then “More actions” followed by “Create task”. You can amend who the task is assigned to, as well as the priority level and deadline, plus there’s a space for notes.

Once you’ve set up the task you can also view it via the “To Do” tab in Outlook.

7. Set up silent hours in your Teams mobile app

Everyone deserves time in their day when they’re free from work-related contact and notifications. In fact some countries, such as France and Portugal, have legislated for it. Although the boundaries of work and home have become blurred over the course of the pandemic, there are things you can do to help.

The Microsoft Teams mobile app has a “Quiet hours” setting which allows you to choose the hours in the day, or even whole days, where you won’t receive any work-related notifications.

8. Pin your most important files

Finally, another Microsoft Teams hack to save you and your colleagues valuable time is the files “Pin to top” setting. This allows you to pin your most current files to the top of your folder so they can be found and accessed quickly and easily.

To do this just click “More options” next to the relevant file and select “Pin to top”. You can, of course, un-pin when required but you can also edit the order of the pinned files, which comes in very useful if you’re working on several important files at once.


Ready to learn even more? Download our webinar for more tips, tricks and general Microsoft Teams: Creating Employee Communications Your Staff Will Love.

You can contact us to find out more about Valo’s digital workplace solutions, built inside Microsoft Teams. Or why not book a demo?

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