Everything you need to know about Teams Notifications…and a few surprises
The rise of remote work has business-leaders grappling with the challenge of collaborating effectively.
“In 2017, 43% of U.S. workers worked remotely at least occasionally, up from 9% in 2007.” – Forbes
Although Slack — with all it’s interesting features and channels — has tried to bridge the communication gap; security has been a issue. This is where Microsoft Teams, with its ultra-secure, and highly collaborative workplace hub software, shines. One of the areas where users (who may be more used to working and living in either email or the Skype for Business client) sometimes struggle is knowing when and how to respond to Teams messages or chats. This is where the powerful Teams notifications features come into play — this article talks about what they are and how to use them.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Teams is a unified communications and collaboration tool that allows you to communicate with your employees, partners, clients, and more, regardless of location. It provides a common work space to share information and has baked-in features like document sharing, personal messaging, team and group chats, etc.
What’s more, Microsoft Teams also comes fully integrated with other Office 365 productivity tools such as Skype for Business, SharePoint, Exchange, and Yammer, making it the one-stop software for all your communication and collaboration needs.
Quick Rundown: Microsoft Teams Notifications
For users who have not quite (and who may continue to live in a hybrid mode of communications for the next 2-3 years) completed a full transition from Outlook and/or Skype for Business to Teams, it can often be difficult to keep track of when a team or channel has received new information that requires your input, feedback or simply your eyeballs for a quick read. Microsoft Teams notifications alert you about new tasks, mentions and comments related to what you’re working on, or need to look at. And although the notification setting section looks like just another option menu, it actually has a few customizations you can use to make your work life more intuitive.
To personalize your Microsoft Teams notifications, click on your profile picture in the upper right-hand part of the Teams UI to access the account settings. From here you can access “Settings” and then you can click on “Notifications.”
Notification Categories: Mentions, Messages, Others
Once in, you’ll see notifications for three different subheadings.
Mentions, or @mentions, work in two ways. You can either notify your entire team by typing the name of the team in the channel (example: @marketing) or you could mention the name of a specific individual to alert them of something (example: @bryan).
It’s also good to know that when you @mention someone directly in a channel, the entire team can read the message, but a Microsoft Teams desktop taskbar notification will only pop up for the @mentioned person. To further aide you, the message will also be highlighted with a red icon next to it in both the Teams vertical taskbar as well as in the channel flow discussion. Also, a red circle with a number in it appears next to the channel name. As an added benefit, especially for users still getting used to using Teams on a regular basis, the pop up appears even if your Teams app is not open.
Microsoft Teams is a messaging platform first and foremost, and so it’s obvious that it would have customization for its chat notifications. Because this centralized communication software is designed to reduce clutter and noise, each team gets their own general channel, which means others do not have to read internal departmental communications.
But, like any other messaging platform, you can message others privately, or create your own groups. You can choose to receive or disable notifications for normal chat messages, or specifically choose to enable Microsoft Teams’ notifications for conversations you’ve previously replied to, or have been a part of. And just like consumer Facebook, you can ‘react and like’ messages, for which you can also enable notifications.
These notifications are not related to messages, chats, comments, or tasks. To explain this subheading better, we’ll need to start by expanding on the two ‘roles’ that exist within Teams.
- Owner: a user that creates a new team or who starts a new channel is granted the owner status. An owner has more access and full permissions to the group, which means they can add/remove members, change team name, and do much more.
- Member: a group member who enjoys standard permissions to send/receive messages, make mentions, etc.
By default, Microsoft Teams enables notifications for role and membership changes. This is also where you can turn on SOUND notifications for calls, messages, and chats (more on that later).
Quick Tip: If you ever want a quick way to check on all your unread channel notifications, just type /unread in the command bar at the top of Teams!
Within the Teams app itself, the Activity Feed is the best one-stop shop area to go to keep track of all your important news, including your recent likes, @mentions, replies, and more. The first thing you’ll see is your regular feed, which shows you all the activity that’s directly relevant to you (like if someone replied to your post in a channel, liked one of your messages, or mentioned you). You can filter your feed based on what kind of notification you want to see (like @mentions or replies). Click the Filter flash light filter icon to select the kind of notification you’d like to see first.
My activity shows you a list of everything you’ve been up to lately in Teams, like if you replied to a conversation, @mentioned someone (including @team and @channel mentions), and more. The following table gives you a quick overview of the different key symbols used in Teams to highlight different types of activities:
Now that we know what notifications you can get, let’s go over how the settings seem to affect things. You can manage, enable and disable your notifications by clicking on the drop-down arrow
Notification Settings: Banner, In feed, Email
Banner notifications are larger notifications which appear at the corner of your screen whenever you’re mentioned individually or as a team in any channel/group. You’ll also get a banner notification when someone messages you personally. As stated, you can always change what you receive this notification for. Note: The banner notification will also indicate if the alert you’ve received is from a message, reply, etc.
#2 Banner and Email
Microsoft Teams notifications can also be sent to your inbox alongside a banner notification to ensure that you’re alerted on all fronts. You can also configure Teams to send scheduled emails for your notifications, the frequency can be adjusted as follows.
- As soon as possible
- Once every 10 mins
- Once every hour (default)
Also, speaking of email, if you’re either ‘old school’ (or if email just seems to be the more appropriate communications medium) to send someone an email from Teams, you can simply hover over their profile picture until their contact card appears. Click the envelope icon at the bottom left of the card to send an email.
Quick Tip: You can use Teams to chat with someone who’s using Skype for Business. Simply start a one-on-one chat with the person you’d like to talk to, and they’ll get your message in Skype for Business. In the chat, you’ll have the opportunity to invite them to join you and the rest of the world in Microsoft Teams.
#3 In Feed
Alerts can also appear in your feed, this is a section that displays all previous and new notifications.
You can also enable auditory Microsoft Teams desktop notifications, and you’ll be able to select from three options:
- All – you’ll be alerted via sound for all messages, from all channels you’re part of, whether you’re mentioned or not (we recommend not selecting this to reduce clutter)
- Call, mention, and chat – notifications will only appear when you’re called, someone private messages you, or when you’re mentioned
- Off – this will disable all sound notifications
#5 Follow a Channel
This last option isn’t available in the Settings commands section, however if you want to follow any given channel, click More options next to the channel name and then select Follow this channel. From then on, you’ll receive direct notifications whenever there’s new channel activity. You can also catch up on all your followed channels in your Activity feed. Click Activity > Filter > Following.
Skype for Business Integration
With this functionality, Microsoft is taking the capabilities of Skype for Business and integrating all its voice, video, and meetings capabilities into Teams. This means you get a new hub for all your teamwork and everything you need to operate and communicate with your team, is now at one place.Enabling the Skype for Business notifications allows you to access Skype’s features on a brand new piece of software and architecture, meaning you get a truly intelligent and upgraded communications workplace.
Excited about Microsoft Teams for your business, but unsure how to implement, integrate, manage, maintain, AND upgrade for maximum efficiency? Unify Square can do all of it and more for you! Contact us now!