Teams Detox for the Holidays

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As I reflect back on the year, the prominence of Teams in my life has become quite apparent. I am likely not the only one who wakes up to Teams before Outlook, and I am likely not the only one who spends 75% of my day in Teams.

Given the holidays have arrived, I would like to share how I am choosing to detox from Teams – and figuring out the best way to do this with minimal disruption to my colleagues, clients and, the anxiety of coming back to craziness!

It’s not going to be easy…let’s be honest.

Here are my detox tips. I am sure you all have some tips of your own which I would love to hear about as well.

But wait.

The first step is to trust in Teams when you go off the grid.

Teams is real-time! Trust that work can continue without you. Discussions, projects and collaboration absolutely will move forward.

Communicate to your teammates.

Consider creating a specific time-off calendar, if you don’t already have a team calendar. You can use a Group calendar, SharePoint calendar, Excel calendar, or setup a BOT in teams to ping everyone every morning with who is in and out of the office over the holidays.

There is currently no seamless way of sharing time-off calendars, however, this functionality is coming soon! In the mean time, a few hacks and work-around will accomplish this task.

Communicate to everyone else.

Set your status and let people know where you are and when you will be back. Update your status in your Teams profile (click on your profile photo in the top right corner of your application). Your status will appear everywhere your profile is visible in Teams.

Even better, let users know who to contact in your absence with an @mention. This will provide users one-click access to contact your backup.

Don’t forget to set an end date for your trip, both in your status message text and, in the custom status expiration date.

Status window from your Teams profile

When you @mention your backup, an automated message will be sent to notify them of your updated status.

2:57 PM 
Automated message: Shafina mentioned Simran in a status message 
Happy Holidays! 
I will be away December 24-January 2. 
For urgent inquiries please contact Simran Chaudhry.
Automated chat sent to the user you @mention

Set your quiet hours and days

Maximize your quiet hours settings to set expectations for yourself. Teammates can send you messages meant to be read later without worrying they’re bothering you. Detox without anxiety.

Save messages as reminders

Use the handy “save message” feature so you can come back to your “need to respond to this as soon as I can find a minute to think” messages.

In other words, save messages in teams like you flag emails in Outlook. Set them before you leave so you can come back from your detox without the anxiety of not knowing where to pick up.

And when you are back…

Share your detox experience with others 🙂

Taking the time to be disconnected is progressively becoming a challenge in our personal and professional lives. Taking time off from the office will benefit your family, your company and, most importantly yourself.

Share your experience with others, learn from others and, encourage everyone to take an extended break once in a while.

With a little planning and following some or all of my tricks, your teams and projects will continue to progress while you take a well deserved wellness break.

Fret not, upon your return, all the tools you need to pick up where you left off will be at the tip of your fingertips.

Taking a vacation from your usual surroundings, and routine of life will inspire greater creativity, and boost productivity! Trust me 😉

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