Status messages have been heavily used in other Microsoft Tools such as Skype for Business and MS Outlook. This functionality is available in Microsoft Teams, which can be a great way to display your current status so that other users know when they should / shouldn’t contact you. Plus, using a Teams status message stops the ever-dreaded fear of sending a chat message to someone, not getting a reply, and wanting to know why. 🙂 

Changing your MS Teams Status 

Changing your MS Team status message is quite simple. The process on the mobile app and desktop app are virtually identical. First, you go to your profile, which is located in the top right corner on the desktop application.

From here you can click on ‘Set status message’ to be taken to the area where you set your status message:

Your Teams status message can contain up to 280 characters. As a bonus feature, you can also @mention someone to contact in your absence. For example, if I want to let people know to contact someone else I simply update my status as follows:

Another bonus feature is if someone does mention you in their status message, you will receive a notification. In this example, I am receiving a notification, as Denise has listed me in here latest Teams status.

Microsoft Teams Status Message - MS Teams Status Notification
This is subtle but very smart!

Show Teams Status When Message Received

By default, you should also have the ‘show when people message me’ enabled in your Teams status. For example, if I try to do a one-to-one chat with Denise, as soon as I start typing in the message box I get a prompt showing her current away Teams status:

MS Teams Status Message

Clear Teams Status Message

With MS Teams Status message, you have a great amount of granularity. The clear Teams status message setting is a nice touch allowing users the choice of when they want the status message removed.

Finally, once you have set your status you will receive a notification of your set status and top notification bar in the MS Teams client. This is easy enough to dismiss, but once again another nice user experience (UX) cue that helps users understand where and how MS Teams status messages will be used. 

Where is the MS Teams status message visible? 

Once my status message is set, exactly where is it visible? It turns out a few places in Microsoft Teams: 

1. One:One or One:Many MS Teams Chat 

If you initiate a one:one chat, then if a status message has been set, will display above the conversation box. A useful notification that you can always dismiss the notification.

2. @Mentions in MS Teams Channels 

If you are mentioning a person as part of Channel, you will also see the same message as above within the Channel. This happens both in new conversations and replies and is incredibly useful.

MS Teams Channels - Microsoft Teams Mentions in Channels

3. Pop Up Card in MS Teams 

It also appears in users’ contact cards in MS Teams. If you hover over the image of a person in MS Teams you will see their contact card. As you can see the status message is displayed along with when the message was entered.

When to use the MS Teams Status Message feature 

There are a number of ways that you can use this feature: 

  • When you are away: Often people won’t look at your calendar or might wonder why you are away. Setting a status message can be a great way to add some additional context so that people understand what is going on. 
  • When you don’t want people to contact you: Another way to use this feature is when you want some quiet time from people. For example, if you are working on a presentation and need some time to prepare for it.
  • You want to delegate work to someone else: Having a status message explaining that you are unavailable and who they should contact is incredibly useful. I have seen this used very effectively at many organizations.

MS Teams Status Message Suggestions for Improvements 

Given all that is included, what improvements could be made to this feature?

  1. Better integration with MS Outlook and Office 365: If there is a status in MS Teams via the pop up in MS Teams, then why not have this status message flow to the Office 365 contact card so that it may be visible in SharePoint and also Outlook. Having a single place to update things in Office 365 has always been a challenge and yet this is another example of different functionality across tools. 
  2. Better MS Teams Status Message visibility: Even though the status message is visible in a few area it would be better if you didn’t have to hover over a user to get the status message. On the Microsoft Teams user voice there is some good examples of use cases. 
  3. Ability to specify MS Teams or Channels in the status: another really useful addition would be being able to specify a MS Teams status per team or per channel so that if a user has a question they could be redirected to the best resource.  

Final Thoughts on Microsoft Teams Status Messages

Although there are some areas for improvement, overall, MS Teams Status Messages are valuable and often overlooked in the Microsoft Teams toolbox. Thanks for checking out the site and reading this post – get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

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