Getting the most out of Microsoft Teams

As people around the world are continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future, it’s a good idea to become better acquainted with tools that can help you and your team get the job done. 

One tool that most businesses already have access to, whether they know it or not, is Microsoft Teams. It comes standard in any Business Essential, Enterprise or Business Premium Office 365 subscription, so it’s a great choice for businesses already familiar with Microsoft platforms. 

Whether you’re a Teams pro or just starting out, here are some helpful tips on features that can help you make the most of the software. 

All about chats

Chats within Teams are an easy way to stay up-to-speed with what’s happening across your teams without having to send an email or hop on a call. Give each of your chats a distinct title so you can easily navigate to it when needed. Chats can also store files so that members of that team can always have the info they need in a designated space. 

You can also chat during a video or audio call by clicking the message icon in the call control bar. This is especially helpful when you have a meeting of more than a few people and it’s hard to get a word in. Call participants can answer and ask questions during the meeting without having to interrupt the speaker. 


Need to get a team member’s attention? Instantly notify someone in a chat or search for previous conversations with someone by typing the @ symbol, followed by their name. That person will be notified of the mention and be able to respond quicker than an email or digging through their various chats and teams. 

You can also send a quick message to someone by using the @mention feature in the search box at the very top of the Teams window. 

Select backgrounds 

It’s not just Zoom users who can accessorise their backgrounds now, as Microsoft has rolled out dozens of virtual backgrounds for Teams users. To access them, click on the ellipses (the … icon) and click “show background effects.” Select one of the pre-designed options from Teams, or upload your own photo to let your creativity run wild. 

Get familiar with its keyboard shortcuts

Learning how to use a new platform can be daunting, but harnessing the power of shortcuts can make it a breeze. To quickly go between chats, teams and videos, check out this comprehensive list of keyboard shortcuts

Download the app

Sometimes you just need a break from the desktop. Bring Teams with you across your devices so you can stay in the loop and participate in chats and calls without being tied to your desk. See the app options here.

Live captioning and recording 

If you’re taking your team through a training but need the presentation to be available for reference once the call is over, utilise the call recording feature in Teams. This will enable you to capture your screen during the call, as well as any questions that may come through from team members during it. 

You can also turn on live captioning for video and audio calls, which will help support team members with accessibility needs. For additional support for staff with disabilities, Microsoft has a dedicated Disability Answer Desk that can provide technical assistance. 

Ask the experts

Microsoft has developed dozens of tutorials and guides to help users with anything they might encounter. Check out the teams and channels guide for helpful info on how to create different teams, and learn how to empower your small business with the remote worker support guide. They’ve also developed a Customer Success Kit, including email templates, flyers, posters, and more tips and tricks for users that will help drive adoption of the platform across your business.