MS Teams Etiquette – 10 Rules to Avoid Remote #Fails

As many of us are forced to work remotely due to COVID-19, we’re turning to digital workspaces like MS Teams to stay connected and continue our work activities. Microsoft Teams’ intuitive UI and ease of use means users can quickly dive into using it. It empowers your organization to collaborate and communicate, as well as pull in specific cultural elements. While we all have unique ways of communicating—much like the rules of the road—there are some guidelines everyone should follow to keep some civility and sanity in the space. Avoid being THAT driver, who refuses to use their turn signal. Here are a few unspoken (and spoken) rules that members of the Teams community should follow no matter what organization, team, or channel you’re participating in.     


Universal Teams Etiquette 

Pinkies up!  ☕ Let’s find some calm and do our best to carry on… 


1. Mind the thread 

Each team channel provides a tab for channel-specific conversations (now labeled ‘Posts’). Without some structure, conversations can become difficult to follow, and that’s where threads come in. When you post a new message, you have the option to respond to a previous post or start a new thread. If you are continuing a conversation around a specific topic, mind the thread.  


2. Include a subject line when starting a new conversation. 

When starting a new conversation/thread, be sure to include a clear subject that tells users what you expect to discuss. This will help users follow #1!  


3. @mention people when their response is required, but don’t overuse this feature 

We’re often members of multiple teams with many channels, and it can become challenging to keep up. If you know that a specific team member’s attention is required, @mention them in the post. However, use this only when necessary; you don’t want to become the boy who cried wolf.  


4. Set your status 

If you plan to be away or unavailable, you can set a custom status with automated responses in your absence.   


5. Use your words.  
👍💖😄😦😞😡 

The reaction feature is great and all, but every organization—or person for that matter—has different interpretations of what 👍means. If someone is asking for your approval and it’s not extremely clear in your culture that a ‘like’ means “approved!”, do everyone a favor and respond in the thread too.   


6. Only create Teams when necessary, and follow governance!   

Avoid team bloat—and upsetting your governance enforcer—by being mindful about when you create a new team. If your organization doesn’t have specific guidelines around teams creation (which we highly recommend you do), consider if you really need a new team or if a channel will suffice.   


7. Mute! 🤐 

Stay muted when you’re not talking on meetings, but be ready to unmute as to avoid the most uttered phrase in online meetings, “sorry, I was muted.”    


8. Blur your background in meetings  

Backgrounds can be distracting and embarrassing. While many of us have our littles at home right now as well, avoid moments like this by turning on the blur background feature.   


9. Know who you’re talking to  

Teams, and now channels (thanks, private channels!), have unique groupings of people, often including external users. When external users are part of a team or channel, it’s especially important to establish clear naming conventions, so you know when you’re in a team with external users. For example, at PixelMill, we name teams and channels that include external users as such, “Client_CompanyName.”  


10. Managing multiple Teams accounts? Keep it all straight with Google chrome profiles.   

At this time, you can’t log into multiple Teams accounts at the same time. However, Microsoft is working on this! In the meantime, utilize Google Chrome Profiles to manage multiple accounts at once while keeping it all straight.   


Did we miss an etiquette rule? Please let us know! Are you ready to empower your organization with Teams, but need some help setting governance to encourage proper use? 
A PixelMill Teams expert would love to chat with you today!  

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