Since the time pandemic started, remote work has been the norm in most of the IT companies. With the new way of working, the demand for apps that support collaborative work style has increased. In the same way employees would work together in an office, your teams need the right “tools” to do their collaborative jobs. The utilization of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Office and Microsoft Teams can provide powerful online collaboration that simplify remote work. However, there are many sorts of digital tools your team could use once you understand the basics of collaborative remote work. In this blog post I will focus on a few of the Microsoft Teams tips & tricks that will help to improve your productivity.

Slash Commands

In the Teams app search box area, you can type in commands preceded by a slash character. This will be helpful to quickly navigate the various options on Teams like changing the status, chatting with a specific person, checking all the @mentions to you etc. You can input the command, irrespective of the tab that you are in on the side bar. Some of the frequently used commands are as follows.

  • Status commands : /available, /busy, /dnd, /brb, /away, /offline
  • Check all your @mentions : /mentions
  • Check all your bookmarked messages : /saved
  • Chat with a specific person : /chat <person> <message>
  • Jump to a Team/Channel : /goto <Team/Channel>
Captions, Transcription & Recording

Some people prefer to have subtitles or captions during meetings. MS Teams has this feature that when enabled, captions will be visible to the person who activates it. Once in a meeting as the organizer or as an attendee, navigate to the ellipsis icon(…) and click on “Turn on live captions” option to enable the captions.

The point to note here is that the captions setting done above will not save the captions for further reference after the meeting. This is where the transcription feature helps. Once the “Start transcription” option is selected under the ellipsis icon, the live transcription starts and the whole meeting will be saved as a file that can be used for later reference or sharing after the meeting . The point to note here is that only the organizer or the presenters within the same organization can start the transcription. Once the transcription is started, it will be visible to all the attendees as well.

The next option is helpful if you want to save the whole meeting session in the form of a video. The recording can be done only by the organizer or presenters of the meeting. Just select the “Start recording” option under the ellipsis icon to record the meeting. Once the meeting is complete, the recorded file will be accessible to all the attendees in the meeting chat.


This section is about the mute or unmute settings available in teams meeting. Once you join a meeting as an organizer or as a presenter you have the permission to mute or unmute others in the meeting. An organizer can make the “Who can present?” setting under “meeting options” before the start of the meeting so that specific people can be set as presenters. However, with this setting, though the non-presenters or attendees cannot mute/unmute others but can unmute themselves. If you are in a meeting with disturbing background noise of attendees, you can make appropriate setting that will not let the attendees unmute themselves. This is available as “Allow mic for attendees” option under “meeting options”.

Collaborate & Share

Microsoft Teams provides an interactive whiteboard in the form of Microsoft Whiteboard app that can be used to brainstorm, share ideas and collaborate in an organization. On Teams channel or group, click on the add a tab(+) icon, search for the Whiteboard app and add the new Whiteboard tab so that the whole team/channel can access it. The collaborate feature can also be made use of during remote meetings. Once you start a meeting, navigate to the share tray and select the “Microsoft Whiteboard” option. In the next window you need to select either the present or collaborate option to start using the app based on your needs.


The option to bookmark a chat post publicly or privately is available on Teams. In order to bookmark an item from a conversation, hover over the post, then click on the more option ellipsis on the right side of the emoji bar. Click “Save this message” or “Pin” . If you select the “Save this message” option, the message will be bookmarked privately to you that can later be accessed by navigating to your profile icon at the top right and clicking on the “Saved” option. You can remove the bookmark by clicking on the “Unsave this message” option on the bookmarked post.

The other way to bookmark is to click on the “Pin” option. Any chat participant can pin a message to the top of the chat or unpin the pinned message if they don’t like it. There’s no way to lock a pinned chat to stop someone else deciding that it’s not so important and unpin the message. Even channel conversations support pinning.

Other useful features include the Task Management using Tasks by Planner and To Do app, Polling using Microsoft Forms app, Immersive reader, Channel notifications on/off, Dark Mode etc.

Further Reading :