Basic Communications with Colleagues in Microsoft Teams

As I am currently driving the adoption of Microsoft Teams in my own organisation, it’s become clear to me that the one of the biggest blockers for adoption is the new interface. When users are used to using Skype for Business for chatting or going to the browser to work on your documents, changing those built in habits is something which is difficult. The purpose of this series of mini-blogs is just to help you find your way around the product and to become comfortable with the newest interface to Office 365.

Instant Messaging

When you first open Microsoft Teams, your attention should be drawn to the navigation panel on the far left of the screen. This allows you to quickly move between the key areas of Microsoft Teams. By default, you will see your Activity feed first of all.

You can see existing chats by click on the Chat icon (highlighted yellow), or you can start a new chat by clicking on the Pen icon at the top (highlighted in Red).

Once you have the chat pane open, you can add the person(s) that you wish to chat with. This can be a group of people, not just 1-2-1 chat.


Once you have opened a chat window, you can start a video or voice call with the participants. This is done by clicking one of the controls in the top right corner of the chat window.

From left to right, the first icon will initiate a Video chat. As this is cloud based, I have so far found the quality to be outstanding, even when tethered to my mobile.

Secondly, voice call. A simple call which will initiate voice chat amongst participants in the chat.

Thirdly, add someone else to the chat, so that you can invite others to join.

I hope that helps you get started with basic communications in Microsoft Teams, if you have any questions please feel free to comment or contact me on Twitter @1MattWeston