Microsoft Teams Etiquette Part 4: Channel Conversations

19 May 2020, MOQdigital


With Microsoft Teams rapidly (and mandatorily) succeeding Skype for Business, a lot of people are going to need to learn about an unfamiliar software program – fast. 

Here’s Part 4 of our series on how to make Teams into a fun and productive experience for your entire department.

How do channel conversations work in Microsoft Teams?

The “post” tab is going to be where you end up doing most of your team work in Microsoft Teams. Each channel has an associated post tab where your discussion is held. Selecting the post tab, and then selecting the compose window at the bottom of your client, will bring you to a place where you can type up your message to the team. This is deliberately similar to making a post on a social media site, or using a mobile messaging app – if you’re familiar with this, then it’s probably easy for you to get up to speed with posts.

Posts contain a couple of additional features. First, you can “@ mention” someone to specifically direct their attention to a post. This will send them a notification, and other users in the channel will see their name highlighted. You can also attach things like pictures, stickers, emojis, and animated gifs in order to liven up the subject.

Making channel conversations easier in Microsoft Teams

In order to make the posts tab a good place to work in, you’ve got one overarching job – resist the temptation to overuse the @ feature. Everyone can see posts that you make in a channel, and the channel is at the center of your workplace communications. Your team members will eventually see your post – so only @ someone if you need to demand their urgent attention.

If you really need to get someone’s attention – and again, resist the urge to do this often – press the “!” button when creating a post. This will mark the message as urgent. If you need to get a reply from someone faster than if you were using email, this is the way to do it.

Lastly, it’s important to keep the Teams environment as professional as the rest of the organisation. In other words, the tone of your messages should match that of your organisational culture. Memes and gifs may be okay for some workplaces, but not others. With that in mind, channel owners have the power to invite external guests, but you should only do that if the other members of your channel team agree to it first – and if they won’t be shocked by what they find in your channel.

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