Microsoft Teams is a great software tool that enables better online collaboration and communication. As you transition from working in an office to working remotely, Teams can help you stay connected to your peers, and stay productive!

Of course with all technology there can be a learning curve, and Teams is no different. There are a ton of features, and more are being launched each day. Below we’ve compiled 5 powerful tips that will help you conquer working remotely.

  1. Adding external users to your meetings.
    When starting a meeting for the first time it can be a little confusing adding external (non-employee) users. Currently this can be done by simply clicking the show participants button from your active meeting.
    Teams Show ParticipantsThen clicking on the small link icon in the participants pane on the right side of the screen. You will be able to copy the meeting info to your clipboard, and then paste it in an email or instant message and send to whomever you would like to join. Teams Meeting
  2. Scheduling a meeting with Teams info.
    Another time saving tip is to use Ms Outlook meeting invites to setup your Teams conference calls instead of appointments. To setup a new meeting from outlook just click the New Items button on your home ribbon.
    New Meeting

    Then select Meeting. Once the new meeting dialog comes up you will notice an option for Teams meeting in the meeting ribbon. Just click that button and the Teams meeting will be setup and conference information will be added to the message of the invite.
    Teams Meeting

    *You can also invite external users this way as well!

  3. Set custom backgrounds in your Teams meeting
    Microsoft just released the ability to set custom backgrounds in your Teams meeting (similar to a Zoom video conference feature). To set a custom background while in a video meeting. Click on the “…” icon in the Teams toolbar.
    Teams OptionsThen select Show Background Effects. The Background effect tab will open up on the right. Choose the background image you would like to use, and select Apply.

    Teams BG

  4. Be mindful of phishing attacks.
    With more and more people working remotely, attacks targeting users have increased. Be extra mindful of the meeting invites you are receiving and verify they are accurate and legitimate. If something does not look right, don’t click the link. You can see the legitimate meetings you have been invited to on your Teams calendar. When you open the Teams app just click the calendar icon on the left toolbar and look for the meeting in your schedule.

  5. Record your meetings.
    A very handy way to go back and verify meeting notes and assigned tasks is to record the meetings. MS Teams gives you a very easy way to do this by clicking the “…” icon in the meeting toolbar and selecting Start Recording.
    Record MeetingThe meeting will start recording and save in the meeting chat, as well as in MS Stream. To get a copy of the meeting after you have stopped the recording you can simply open MS Stream, or click the chat icon on the MS Teams toolbar
    Teams ChatAnd then from the chat pane on the right, click the the dots “…” next to the recording and choose to copy a link to the file, or open MS Stream
    Record MeetingYou will also receive an email after the meeting with a link to the recording in MS Stream.

    ** BONUS TIP

  6. Quick launch a new Teams meeting without scheduling it.
    Every once in a while you need to meet right now! This is easy to do in Teams by clicking on the Calendar icon on the left toolbar of the Teams app.
    Teams CalendarThen simply clicking on the Meet Now icon located in the upper right hand corner.

    Meet Now

MS Teams is constantly evolving and Microsoft is always coming out with new features. It will continue to be a great tool to leverage while transitioning to remote work. But remember, when you’re not in the office it is still very important to stay in touch with your peers. Keep safe and stay healthy!