Microsoft Teams settings to make your day better

With everybody using Microsoft Teams, it’s easy to adopt bad habits associated with always-on communication. To help avoid this, check out these Microsoft Teams settings you can change to ease notifications and organize your day better.

Why bother tweaking your settings?

By making a simple change, you can make a big impact on your productivity. That one change, or half an hour spent tweaking things, can gain you back so much time in the long run. 

Invest in yourself and your Teams settings and you’ll take control of your job again.

Microsoft Teams setting #1 – Video off during meetings

You’ve heard about Zoom fatigue, right? Well, it’s relevant for Teams too. It’s nothing to do with which platform you use but simply that we are having more video calls than we’re used to.

Extra eye strain, constant worry about looking at the camera (and looking your best) causes video fatigue. And studies even show that energy use during a video call is higher than in face-to-face meetings.

So, take advantage of being able to turn your video off.

how to turn off Microsoft Teams video

All you need to do is toggle the camera icon off at the join meeting screen.

What’s the worst that can happen? Someone might ask you to turn your camera on. But, more often than not, you’ll be able to have audio calls when you need to.

Microsoft Teams setting #2 – Personalize notifications

Outside of video calls, one potential hazard is a constant bombardment of notifications.

The cause of this is usually that nobody has told you there is a way to tailor what notifications you get and when you get them.

If you’re fighting notification fatigue, get familiar with the custom notifications options.

You can choose to only receive missed activity notifications every 10 minutes, every hour, every 8 hours, once a day, or not at all.

Custom notifications in Microsoft Teams

If it’s the type of notifications that you find intrusive, you can limit how they get displayed too.

Choose to only receive @ mentions or to only get notifications for replies in important conversations.

Custom notifications in Microsoft Teams

Spend five minutes in the chat settings and you’ll find you have more time for deep work and less time assigned to checking what everyone else is doing.

Microsoft Teams setting #3 – Accessibility settings

There are many Microsoft Teams accessibility features designed to help a variety of users.

Some of those features can be used by anyone in Teams to help better your working day. 

For example, if you don’t wear glasses or have an eye condition, you can still use the Zoom in feature to ease eye strain. And dark mode in Teams removes some of the harsh light you subject yourself to when staring at a screen eight hours a day. 

Dark mode Microsoft Teams

There are also settings like high contrast mode and voice messages to ease the burden on your eyes without taking time out of your day.

Microsoft Teams setting #4 – Privacy settings for downtime

What’s the number one productivity killer in your day?

If you said unwanted disturbances, you’re not alone.

When you’re in the groove writing an article or powering through the end of a presentation, the last thing you want is a spam call interrupting your flow. 

In Teams, there are three settings to help you keep unwelcomed disturbances to a minimum.

  1. Do not disturb: sets your status to “DND” and only allows priority contacts to interrupt you.
  2. Blocked contacts: stops selected contacts from calling you.
  3. Block calls with no caller ID: if the caller withholds their number, the call doesn’t make it through to you.
Do not disturb and blocked contacts in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams setting #5 – Enable cross-platform chat

If you spend your working day in Teams, moving to a different platform to cater to your colleague’s or client’s needs is infuriating.

You must learn the nuances of Slack or Webex. You lose the context you were working on. And you have to fire up a new app just to facilitate messaging them.

Or, perhaps even worse, you start a new email chain with attachments and people cc-ed all over the place.

Instead, you can create a universal channel to send messages from Teams to users on other platforms. 

Connect Microsoft Teams to Slack and Webex

You get to stay in Teams. They get to stay in Slack or Webex.

You keep all your context, no longer need to switch apps, and can even send files and GIFs like you would if everyone was in Teams.

These five Microsoft Teams settings are simple to set up. Once you’ve dedicated a small amount of time getting them going, you should find you’re more productive and that job satisfaction returns a little.