Teams is a great application for communicating with colleagues or external contacts using instant messages, video or audio calls, screen sharing and shared document access.

This page provides guidance, tips and advice on how to optimise your use of Teams. Further information can be found on our remote working page.

Find out more about Microsoft Teams on ICT's website.

How to use Teams

The Microsoft Teams help centre webpages offer several easy to follow guides for how to use Teams including:

General advice

Download the Teams app

The desktop application provides a better Teams experience than accessing it directly through your browser. You can download the Teams application for your desktop or mobile.

It may be useful to pin Teams to your taskbar once you've opened it so that it's easily accessible. You can also choose to start Teams automatically when you log into your computer. You can do this by clicking your profile picture in the top right corner, then choosing Settings > General and selecting 'auto-start application'.

Configure your notifications

Once you’re a member of several teams and meeting chats, you may be distracted by all the notifications that appear on your desktop, particularly during meetings.

You can disable or change these in your settings, which you can access in the top right corner of the application by clicking on your profile picture and choosing Settings, then Notifications. It may be preferable to ‘only show in feed’ for most types of notification.

‘Chat messages’ under ‘Messages’ needs to be set to ‘Off’ to ensure notification boxes stop appearing in the bottom right hand corner of your screen every time someone sends you a message.

Don't use Teams if you're using Remote Desktop

If you're using the Remote Desktop Connection to work remotely, Teams won't work. You should instead access the Teams application directly through your local device (either using the downloaded desktop application or through your browser).

Follow recommended meeting etiquette

There are some useful tips that will help you make the most of Teams and ensure your conversations and meetings work effectively. Follow our recommended meeting etiquette.

Further guidance

Guidance is available in the list below on how to make best use of the various features available through Teams.

You can also view the Getting start with Teams guide on SharePoint.

Further guidance

Add an external (non-Imperial) guest to a meeting

When you schedule a meeting in Teams you can add any participant from within or outside the college, all you need is the attendee's email address.

Screenshot from Teams showing where to add an external user's email address in the meeting invite

Guests will receive an email with the link to the meeting.

When joining the meeting the guest will be have the option to add a name (1), enable/disable the camera/microphone (2) or log in with the email they received the meeting invite at (3). They will sit in a virtual lobby until the organiser admits them (4).

Screenshot from Teams showing the options available to users when joining a meetingIf your meeting has been scheduled already then simply right-click on the meeting invite (1), copy the link then send it to your guest(s) or if the meeting is ongoing click on the copy link icon (2).

Screenshot from Teams showing how to invite people to a scheduled meeting

Add an external (non-Imperial) guest to a team

Click on the three dots next to your team's name then select 'Add member', type the external email then clilck on the Add pop-up.

Screenshot from Teams showing how to add a member to a TeamThe guest experience

Image showing what the welcome email looks like when an external user is added to a TeamWhen a guest is added to a team, they will receive a welcome email inviting them to open Microsoft Teams.

If their email is not associated with an Office 365, or a Microsoft account, then they will be asked to sign up.

You can see the steps in the image below or visit the Miscrosoft website to find out how to create an account.

Image showing the steps for creating a microsoft account

Running live events through Teams

Teams Live Events allow you to broadcast meetings through Microsoft Teams. The live events allow oneor more presenters to deliver audio, video and presentations to large audiences.

View the guidance produced by ICT on creating and running a live event in Teams (internal only).

Use Wiki to store personal notes

Screenshot from Teams showing how to add the Wiki add to your teamFor taking quick notes in Teams you can use the Wiki app.

Click on the three dots under Files in the left menu bar, then select Wiki.

The app is a good place to store quick notes and is similar to the Meeting Notes tab in meetings. Find out more about features available during meetings.

Notes can be divided by Pages (1) then Sections (2), the latter being the space to add your text and tables, with basic formatting options (3).

Screenshot of the Wiki app showing where you can add Pages and Sections to your notes

Using Shift to create work rotas

Shifts is a rota and shift management app for your team members with a focus on firstline workers.

The app allows team owners to create schedules (rotas) and allow team members to see their upcoming shifts, swap shifts with other staff, access files and information and chat with other team members either individually or within a group.

Check out our Shifts training page or Shifts Quick Start Guide for more information.