SFU Teams - Etiquette


The MS Teams Etiquette for SFU covers the best practices for the following areas:


Conversations, Chats, and Messages

  • Clarify expectations on response times to messages as needed. Team members may have different constraints that may affect response times.
    • Take note of your team member’s availability status. They may need to focus on other tasks and may not respond to your message immediately as a result.
  • Be polite, professional and respectful in all your conversations.
    • The use of images, memes, emojis, stickers and GIFs can convey different tones. Use them mindfully. 
    • The use of ALL CAPS can signal yelling or shouting. Use them appropriately.
  • Use @mentions mindfully. 
    • If you need a team member’s attention to read or reply, using mentions (@name) is appropriate.
    • Only use channel-wide mentions (@channels) or team-wide mentions (@team) if you are requesting attention from the entire team. This creates a notification for everyone in that channel/team.  
  • Consider using the emoji reaction button to acknowledge a message in place of short replies.
  • Make use of the reply button when posting a reply to a conversation in a channel. Posting your reply as a new message (instead of using the reply button) can make the conversation more difficult to follow.  
  • Keep channel conversations relevant to that channel’s purpose and topic. For ad hoc conversations, consider using the chat function instead of posting messages in channels.


Meetings and Calls

  • Strive to start and end calls/meetings on time. If you are an attendee and anticipate that you will be late for a call/meeting, notify the meeting organizer ahead of time with a quick chat message.
  • Mute yourself when you are not speaking. There may be background sounds that you may not be aware of, but others may hear.
  • Leave a message in the meeting chat if you joined late or need to leave early, instead of interrupting the speaker by announcing it verbally. 
  • Utilize background effects (or blurred background) if there are visual distractions in your video background. Select an appropriate background effect based on your audience. If you are eating or doing tasks that can be visually distracting to others, consider turning off your camera.


Teams and Channels

For Team Members

  • Be mindful about who you are inviting into your team. New team members will be able to see all previous messages and files on public channels. If you are not a Team Owner, it is best to inform your Team Owner before inviting people to a team.
  • It is best to speak with the team owner(s) before creating a new channel
  • If there are certain files or conversations that are should only be accessed by specific team members, consider creating a private channel.
  • Only upload and share files that are relevant to your team or project. For your own files that are unrelated to the team, you can store them in your own OneDrive account. 


For Team Owners

  • Before requesting a new team, have a conversation with your local IT staff or whomever may be overseeing the collection of teams for your faculty/department/unit. This is help minimize the creation of duplicate teams with overlapping purposes and/or memberships. Also consider whether a new channel within an existing team would be sufficient.
  • Check with your faculty/department/unit for guidelines on the naming conventions and appropriate imagery for your team picture (i.e., the image identifying your team).
  • Inform team members before renaming a channel to minimize confusion.
  • Before removing a member/guest from your team, notify them and ensure that the document storage and retention policies in your faculty/department/unit are addressed. MS Teams will not send a notification to the member/guest removed from your team.


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Article ID: 3997
Sat 7/9/22 7:14 PM
Tue 7/12/22 1:22 PM

Related Services / Offerings (1)

Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) is a virtual collaboration app that brings together Microsoft 365 services (such as Office and OneDrive) to keep you virtually connected to the SFU community from anywhere at any time.