Microsoft Teams has become an essential tool for remote teams to stay connected and collaborate effectively. However, one common issue that many users face is the constant “Away” status on their Teams profile. This can be frustrating and can hinder team productivity. In this article, we will discuss how to prevent Microsoft Teams from showing away and improve your team’s overall productivity.
Why is the “Away” Status a Problem?
Before we dive into the solutions, let’s understand why the “Away” status can be problematic for teams. When a team member’s status is set to “Away”, it gives the impression that they are not actively working or available for communication. This can lead to delays in response time and miscommunication within the team.
Moreover, the “Away” status can also affect team productivity. When team members see that their colleagues are away, they may feel less motivated to work and may also take more breaks themselves. This can result in a decrease in overall team productivity.
How Does Microsoft Teams Determine the “Away” Status?
Microsoft Teams uses a combination of factors to determine a user’s status. These include keyboard and mouse activity, Outlook calendar status, and Teams activity. If a user is inactive for a certain period of time, their status will automatically change to “Away”. This is to ensure that the status accurately reflects the user’s availability.
How to Prevent Microsoft Teams From Showing Away?
Now that we understand the impact of the “Away” status, let’s explore some solutions to prevent it from showing on your Teams profile.
1. Change Your Status Manually
The simplest solution is to manually change your status to “Available” whenever you are actively working. This will prevent Teams from automatically changing your status to “Away”. However, this can be a tedious task and can easily be forgotten, especially during busy workdays.
2. Use the “Do Not Disturb” Status
Another option is to use the “Do Not Disturb” status. This will prevent Teams from showing your status as “Away” and will also mute notifications. However, this may not be ideal for all situations, as it may prevent important messages from reaching you.
3. Adjust Your Activity Settings
You can also adjust your activity settings in Teams to prevent your status from changing to “Away”. To do this, go to your profile picture and click on “Settings”. Then, go to the “General” tab and under “Application”, uncheck the box next to “Change my status automatically”. This will prevent Teams from changing your status based on your activity.
4. Use a Third-Party App
There are also third-party apps available that can help prevent your status from showing as “Away” on Teams. These apps work by simulating activity on your computer, such as moving the mouse or pressing keys, to prevent Teams from detecting inactivity. Some popular options include “NoStatus” and “PresenceLight”.
Other Tips to Improve Team Productivity on Microsoft Teams
Aside from preventing the “Away” status, there are other ways to improve team productivity on Microsoft Teams. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this collaboration tool.
1. Use Channels Effectively
Channels are a great way to organize conversations and files within a team. Make sure to create channels for different projects or topics to keep discussions and files organized. This will help team members find what they need quickly and avoid confusion.
2. Utilize the Chat Function
The chat function in Teams is a great way to communicate with team members in real-time. Instead of sending multiple emails back and forth, use the chat function for quick questions or updates. This will save time and improve communication within the team.
3. Take Advantage of Integrations
Microsoft Teams offers integrations with various apps and tools, such as Trello, Asana, and Zoom. Take advantage of these integrations to streamline your workflow and improve team productivity. For example, you can create Trello cards directly from Teams or start a Zoom meeting without leaving the app.
4. Use Video Conferencing for Meetings
Instead of relying on traditional conference calls, use the video conferencing feature in Teams for meetings. This will help team members feel more connected and engaged, especially for remote teams. It also allows for screen sharing and collaboration in real-time.
5. Set Clear Expectations
Lastly, it’s important to set clear expectations for team members when using Microsoft Teams. This includes guidelines for communication, response time, and file organization. This will help avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
The “Away” status on Microsoft Teams can be a hindrance to team productivity. However, by using the tips and solutions mentioned in this article, you can prevent your status from showing as “Away” and improve team collaboration. Remember to also utilize other features of Teams to streamline your workflow and boost team productivity. With these strategies in place, your team can make the most out of Microsoft Teams and achieve their goals efficiently.