A New and Useful Teams Feature
One small but useful feature added to Teams recently is the ability for users to set their own status. This is different to setting a user’s presence status (Available, Busy, Do Not Disturb, etc.), which is intended to show if the user can join a meeting or chat. The free-form status of up to 280 characters is intended to give more personal or detailed information to co-workers, such as when you are traveling and won’t be able to respond to messages quickly.
User status messages support plain text and emojis and can be set using the desktop, browser, and mobile clients. On Windows, press the Windows key and period (.) to expose the set of available emojis. On Mac, use the Command-Control-Spacebar sequence. You can’t enter HTML-formatted text.
The feature appeared in my tenant last week. I’ve also seen it in other tenants (and other folks are reporting it), so I assume it is rolling out to Office 365 tenants at present. There’s no trace of the feature in the Office 365 Roadmap.
Setting Your Status in Teams
To set the user status, click on the avatar (picture) in the top right-hand corner of the client and select Set status message from the menu (left-hand screen below). Then enter the text that you’d like to display to co-workers (for example, “I am in the San Francisco office this week, so I am working in that time zone.” Then select how long you want the status to be display. The options are:
- Today (until midnight)
- 1 hour
- 4 hours
- 8 hours
- 12 hours
- 2 days
- 5 days
Viewing User Status
Teams displays the status message when the user’s people card is viewed (see right-hand screen above). For example, if someone is @mentioned in a message, you can right-click on their name to see the card. Or you can see the people cards for members of a team by using the Manage team option to view the membership and then hovering over each member.
Interestingly, guest users can set a status. This probably means that the status is stored as a property of the user in the Teams directory rather than Azure Active Directory
For more information about Teams, see Chapter 13 of the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook.