Sharing the etiquette of Microsoft 365

Last week, myself and my fellow co-hosts of GreyHatBeard were joined by Luise Freese, Vesa Nopanen and Karoliina Kettukari at Collab Days Munich/Vienna as we shared our thoughts on the etiquette of Microsoft 365. It was a fun format with plenty of chance to laugh at the same time as attendees picking up some great ideas as we ran through three questions that each person had 90 seconds to answer.

  • What breach of good etiquette most frustrates you in Microsoft 365?
  • What do you wish Microsoft 365 would do to encourage good etiquette?
  • What is your top tip for tip top Microsoft 365 etiquette?

So what did our etiquette experts recommend?

What breach of good etiquette most frustrates you in Microsoft 365?

Al

People booking meetings without checking the scheduling assistant to check if I have time available for the meeting. See this video for an example on how to do it.

Luise

Saying "hello" and then writing nothing but forcing me to ask "whats up". You disrupt people from what they are doing and force them to wait. Instead say hello and what you are after in one post. For a great link explaining this, see [https://sbmueller.github.io/nohello/.

Also, when people keep with old working habits in new tools: cascading folders, signatures in chats, adding people to a chat to cover your ass. There's no need!

Vesa

Not showing up on time for Teams meetings or having to leave in the middle of the meeting without telling the schedule issues in advance. The worst is when people show up late and then ask for the full review of things missed, shouting out a few quick opinions and then leaving.

Also, when using Microsoft 365, don't make all content personal. Instead of files on OneDrive, make use of SharePoint. Instead of personal flows and personal Power Apps, make them team flows and shared apps. Start as you mean to go on, all the way from draft.

Karoliina

When people are complaining about notifications, teams and channels but not caring to go through the settings to configure them. There are settings that can be configured with a bit of time.

In fact, even further, complaining about everything but not caring to learn how to use the tool properly. There are so many ways to learn how to do things that you should investigate.

Garry

Not using subject lines for new conversations. These help introduce a subject and give people a summary.

Also, ignoring presence status - do not disturb is not I'm available and those chats coming in will break someone's focus.

What do you wish Microsoft 365 would do to encourage good etiquette?

Vesa

Analyzing the agenda and not letting someone send the invitation until agenda is properly filled if there are more than 10 people invited.

Marking a meeting "cameras will be on" and turning off such a meeting cameras on automatically.

Reminding people putting documents to silos/hidden areas such as OneDrive that "this seems to be a document that would be better to be saved to a shared location".

Bring back Clippy as a Microsoft 365 version and annoy people until they comply!

Al

When sharing a screen on Teams put a message up with the name of a person who has put their hand up and allowing me to click it so their hand is lowered.

Put the names of people with hands up in order so I know who put their hand up first and can allow them to ask their question first.

Garry

Allow setting of default messages for presence statuses. For example, you could suggest alternative contact methods.

Letting people automatically know when you are next free based on your calendar, e.g. "Garry is busy right now but will become available at 14:00?"

Luise

Mute – raise hand – unmute. Please, dear Microsoft Teams, help people to lower their hands when they have made their point. EVERYONE forgets to lower their hands!

Karoliina

Smart tooltips when writing a message or making a calendar invite (like you get in Outlook).

Suggestions to make a team instead or to discuss in an existing team when you create a groupchat with the same people. Also suggesting NOT to mention a whole team or a channel.

What is your top tip for tip top Microsoft 365 etiquette?

Karoliina

Teams is for teamwork & sharing is caring & all that glitters are unicorns.

Learn to use the tools together with your team as working together will help that combined understanding.

Al

Use scheduling assistant to ensure people are free and if you cannot find a time when everyone is free, use FindTime to offer options to all attendees.

Make sure that you respond to meeting invites and add messages to responses. Just leaving things hanging leaves people unclear on what is going to happen.

Vesa

Respect others – don't take over the meeting. Keep your mic off unless you speak. Keep the camera on and pay attention to the meeting (don't multitask – I am guilty on this one). In Microsoft 365, work together, put files and apps already in version 0.1 to a shared location. This can make it clear that it is in draft but is available for viewing straight away.

Luise

Don't let people jump from meeting to meeting. Schedule meetings that everyone can take a break, especially in this current world where everyone is at home.

Garry

Use Subject lines in conversations, you can search messages by subject line in Teams and it makes them more discoverable.

Don't just throw documents into Files and expect people to know that they are there. Follow up your upload with a post in the chat area to let people know that are there. For imporant documents start a new conversation with subject line and shared file, this helps discoverability of the document and also a good starting point for document conversations.

Share the way you work in email footers and your status message and encourage others to do the same to set expectations for how they expect you to engage.

Wrap-up

We all had a great time during the session, despite my buzzer adding that frisson to the atmosphere. Vesa and Luise won through to the final where they had to defend the indefensible, showing their ability to justify things that probably shouldn't be.

  • Luise - What we need is a new service for tracking tasks in Microsoft 365
  • Vesa - Agendas in meeting invites are a waste of time

Both were very articulate and had me persuaded that they were great ideas (outrageous!) but Vesa just managed to take the win by mentioning whiskey!

I would like to give my heart felt thanks to Luise, Vesa, Karoliina, Garry and Al for all their great tips and for being so entertaining with them. If you would like to hear more of these events, let user group and conference organisers know and we'll see what we can do!

Photo courtesy of My Life Through A Lens via Unsplash

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