Microsoft Teams has seen its popularity boom during the coronavirus pandemic, with
over 75 million active users in April 2020.
While many of its features have traditionally been aimed on business users, recent updates have taken on more of a consumer focus.
That was reflected in the recent
rebranding of Office 365 as Microsoft 365, which sees Teams included in consumer subscriptions for the first time. There’s also been a slew of new features in recent weeks, helping to keep people entertained while stuck at home and beyond.
Microsoft Teams is still primarily focused on productivity, but there are a number of fun and interesting things you can do while using the software. Here are our top picks.
Send emojis and GIFs
Emojis and GIFs are a mainstay of most messaging apps, and the good news is that you can access them when chatting in Teams too.
They are available regardless of what platform you’re using, and can add a touch of personality to your exchanges whether in a group setting or one-on-one.
This is as simple as clicking or tapping on the smiley face under the box where you type, and choosing the appropriate emoji.
You can also react to individual messages with an emoji by hovering (desktop) or pressing an holding (mobile) and selecting the emoji of your choice.
It’s a similar story for GIFs, where you just click or tap the adjacent GIF button. A selection of the most popular ones will appear, or you can type out a specific command.
Send stickers and customise your own memes (desktop only)
Stickers are exclusive to the desktop version of the software, but do offer an extra layer of fun.
The sticker menu is in the same place as emojis and GIFs, and there’s a whole host of different categories to choose from, while you can also type in the search box.
The exciting bit is that these can be customised. Once you’ve picked your sticker and before you hit send, you can add a caption and transform your sticker into a fun meme that can be shared in Teams and beyond.
Microsoft introduced bots to Teams in early 2018, and they have proven to be among the most successful integration of bots into software in recent years.
Growbot, Workbot and Statsbot have changed the way people review documents and monitor traffic through Teams.
There are some great
bots already available, and we’re hoping the inclusion of more consumer-based features means they will become just as entertaining as they are useful. They do say that morale is vital to the success of a team!
If you’re particularly skilled, that might be a job for you, as Teams also has the option to
create your own.
Use Snapchat filters
One of the funniest apps to be integrated with Microsoft Teams is the Snap Camera.
This was unintentionally used to hilarious effect in a Teams meeting, when
a company boss turned herself into a potato and couldn’t figure out how to get back to normal. As is typical of a viral tweet, the name #PotatoBoss has now been coined.
If you’d like to deliberately add your own funny filters while using Microsoft Teams, you’ll need to download the
Snap Camera. As you might have guessed, this has been created by Snap Inc., the developer of Snapchat.
Once you’ve opened it and activated your filter of choice, head back into Teams and configure it to use the Snap Camera instead of the default one. Head to your profile in the top right and choose devices, or you can set it for each meeting by selecting the three dots and choosing your camera.
Check out more info
See a virtual meeting room with Together Mode
Although aimed at simulating a physical meeting environment, you can’t help but have fun when using Teams’ new ‘Together Mode’.
By removing the distractions from a regular or custom background, Microsoft is hoping it will enable users to be more focused, thus enabling more productive meetings.
You can even wave at colleagues, tap them on the shoulder or do virtual high-fives, all of which make holding a meeting much more fun. With Microsoft’s suggestion that Teams can be used to organise trips with family and friends, there’s plenty of entertainment value here.
Add tabs to your favourite website
Adding tabs to Microsoft Teams can be a hugely effective way of ensuring your workflow isn’t fragmented across multiple apps.
The default ones usually include Conversations and Files, but hitting the + symbol next to it means you can add easy access to a particular page. This can be very useful for productivity with all the Office apps available, but you can also add some fun meme sites or perhaps a social media website to keep you entertained.
Under the add a tab page, there’s an option for ‘Website’. Clicking on this will allow you to enter a URL and name for your site, which will become an ever-present in the navigation pane of that channel.
This makes it incredibly easy to share funny things with colleagues or friends without ever having to leave the app.
Play quizzes on Kahoot!
Kahoot! is a popular game-based platform aimed at schools, but there’s no reason why you can’t set it up to have a fun quiz with colleagues or friends.
Since 2019, Kahoot! has had direct integration with Microsoft Teams, making it easy to start a game in your current workspace.
You’ll still have to create your Kahoot! from the website itself, but Teams is now an option when you hit Share. Clicking this will take you into the Teams app, where you can choose which channel or group you want to share it with.
Anyone can then just click the link you post to get started.
Check out our
guide to Microsoft Teams for more information. Feeling inspired and looking to get in on the action?
Download Teams now.
Visit Home Hacks for more top tips and advice on dealing with the new normal.