3 Tips for Communicating Effectively with Teams

Working from home means there are myriad alerts, beeps, and blips crossing your computer all the time and demanding your attention.

It can be a challenge to keep up.

It’s important to remember that these are all forms of communication from members of your team or those you serve. To keep from being overwhelmed, here are some practical tips you can employ when using Microsoft Teams to ensure your communication is received and understood. And, bonus! Two of these can be employed for other forms of written communication.

woman working on a laptop at a table

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


1. Write concisely

Hit delete on redundant words or extraneous information

When typing a message, use as few words as possible. Consider the difference:

Could we possibly consider moving the check-in meeting to 10 a.m. instead of 4 p.m. because I plan to get started on the XYZ project later in the afternoon? I was thinking that might be a better use of my time. Can we move it?

vs — Is it possible to move the check-in to 10 a.m.? I want to start work on XYZ later that day.

Short, to the point …

Stay clear of passive voice

This one is a little tougher. It involves putting the subject at the beginning of the sentence as the actor. It is more direct and helps to increase understanding.

Passive: The project is headed by Tobias.

Active: Tobias is the point person for the project.

One requires your reader to work just a bit harder to figure out who is in charge. Write assertively to speed up comprehension.

2. Compartmentalize

Use different channels for different purposes

Have you scrolled back through a channel in Teams to find where a particular issue was discussed only to find yourself frustrated?

I think we all have, and that’s why using different channels helps. Set up a channel for each project, topic, etc. and hold the team members to using them for their specified purpose.

For example, if you work in student advising, perhaps your channel lineup will look like this:
Prospective Students

Pre-Major Students

In-Major Students

Water Cooler – Use this channel for the conversations you might have that are off-topic but might be chatted about in person.

3. If you’re lost, Search!

Teams has a Search function to let you find things easily. Type in the box at the top of the application to look for a word or group of words. The results will populate at the left. Preview content by clicking on the conversation.

Teams search

Teams search allows for you to look for specific words and phrases across all of your Teams and conversations. (Image from Microsoft)

There is a filter feature to narrow by Date, Team, and author.

teams filter

Use the filter to narrow your search results.