Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based collaboration and chat system.

This video shows some of the key features of Microsoft Teams:

On this page:

Why you should use Teams as part of your University work

you can request a team for your department

A workspace with your colleagues

You can request a Team for your department, division or school. If you’re a member of a Team, you are part of a single chat room with everyone else in that Team.

You can add files to a Team that will become available to all members to open, edit and save.

You can work on Office files together with colleagues, live within Teams. There are a range of tools to make this easy and to improve collaboration.

teams conforms to GDPR legislation

GDPR compliant and secure

Your work is stored securely, under the same agreement that covers our other Microsoft products. This means that files and chats with other members of the University are GDPR compliant.

Many other chat platforms are not compliant. If you use these, you may expose the University to risk of legal action. ITS provides guidance for which chat and collaboration platforms to use for your University work.

Chat to one or many people

Private chat with one or many people

It provides a simple chat interface to chat to one or many people at once.

voice or video calls

Voice and video chat

You can start a call or video chat with one or many people.

screen sharing

Share your screen

Easily demonstrate something on your own computer or device.

install on almost any device

Get Teams on your computers and devices

You can install it on your work computer and almost any other device (PC or Apple computer, Android or iOS phone or tablet). You don’t need help from ITS to do this. Stay as connected as you want, and work from whichever device you want.

work anywhere in the world

Stay connected, work anywhere

Wherever you are, you can start live chats with colleagues, access any files that have been uploaded into Teams and collaborate on documents.

How to request a Team

If you would like a dedicated Team to collaborate with your colleagues, you will need to request one from the IT Service Desk. Please let us know the purpose for the Team.

How to install Teams on your computer or device

  • On a Windows PC or a Mac computer, visit the Teams Download page or search for install Microsoft Teams. Download the installer and open it. You don’t need any special permissions or help from ITS.
  • On an Android phone or tablet, visit the Play Store and search for Microsoft Teams.
  • A Linux client is in development. You can use Microsoft Teams via with the same functionality as the local client.

When you’re asked for login details, use your Sussex username You’ll see a familiar Sussex login page, where you should enter your Sussex username and password.

Basic Features

  • New chat button
    press the new chat button to begin a conversation
    Use this button to start a new chat with somebody (or several people).
    Please note: you will not be able to find somebody unless they’ve logged into Teams at least once.
  • Chat
    Use this tab to find your ongoing chats.
  • Teams
    A ‘Team’ is a group of people who want to collaborate on their work. At Sussex, we tend to think of a Team being a school, department or division. However, you can request a Team for a smaller group.
    You can use the Teams tab to see ongoing chats in your Team.
    Within each Team, there is a Files tab - here you can see files that have been added to your Team.
    You can also create Channels, which are sub-divisions of Teams. These are used for specific topics, such as events, distinct streams of work, or hobbies. You can also keep files within Channels. You can set channels to be private when you create them. This means that only members of the Team that you invite can see the Channel.
  • Invite someone to a Team
    To add a colleage to your Team, press the More Options button (three dots) beside the name of your Team:
    use the more options button to add people to a Team
    If somebody has logged into Teams before, click Add Member and then type their name in the next screen.
    If the person you want to invite hasn't used Teams before, click Get Link to Team. This will create a URL that anybody can use to join the Team. Send this URL to the peson you want to invite, for example by email.
  • Calendar
    You will be able to see your calendar here once your email account is updated to Office 365 (coming soon)
    Several other features in Teams will become available once your mailbox has been moved to Office 365
  • Calls
    You can start and resume voice and video chats here. You will need a webcam to use video chat.
  • Files Here you can see all files that you can access through Teams, including files in private chats, Teams and Channels.

Collaborating on Office Documents

Live collaboration in an Office document is easy in Teams.

you can edit office files in teams

  1. Upload a file to Teams using the paperclip icon
  2. To open an existing file, find the file in a chat, Team, Channel or in the Files tab
  3. Click on the file to view it
  4. To edit the file, click the purple Edit button. You are now editing the file from within Teams.
  5. Changes you make are saved immediately. If you are working with somebody, you’ll see their changes in real time.
  6. Press the chat button at the top right of the Teams window to chat to others as you work.
    press the new chat button to begin a conversation

Using Box with Teams

If your team stores their files in Box, you can share and view Box files within Teams, but you will not be able to edit them in Teams.

To add Box in Teams, go to the Files tab in the left hand menu and look for a button called Add cloud storage. Select Box, then click on the new icon for Box in the list of Cloud storage sources. A login box will appear. Log in with your Sussex and your usual password and you'll be able to view and share Box files from within Teams.

Please note that people will only be able to view Box files in Teams if you have granted them access to the file in Box. Sharing in Teams does not change persmissions in Box.

Advanced Features

  • Integrations
    You can add a wide range of apps to Microsoft Teams to extend its capabilities. Some apps can be added to the search box, some can be added to chats, some can be added as tabs in the left menu. These apps can add lots of features to Teams.
    Popular apps include Trello, YouTube, Hootsuite, Wikipedia and Box.
    For more information, please visit this Microsoft blog for a list of popular Teams apps.
  • Live translate
    Teams will translate any chat message into your language.
  • Priority notifications
    To draw people’s attention, you can use @ tags. For example, @ followed by somebody’s name. You can also @team to send a notification for everyone in a Team, or @channel for just people in a Channel.
    Use the Important button (ctrl + shift + I) to mark a message as important.
  • Dark mode
    Like many Office365 applications, Teams has a dark mode that you may find more comfortable for long-term work.
  • Blur your background in video chat
    Use the keyboard shortcut ctrl + Shift + P to blur the background during a video call.
  • Find a full list of keyboard shortcuts on the Microsoft website.

Find out more

You can learn about other advanced features on the Microsoft blog, and there is also a roadmap of upcoming improvements.

University file storage

The University's traditional on-prem file system provides the Home Share (N Drive), Group Share (G Drive) and T Drive systems.

Find out more on the file storage page.

Updated on 27 July 2022