Why Teams changes to Away
If you see that your colleagues' status has changed to away, then you will notice that their icon is no longer green. It is now yellow. You can click on their status and see how long they have been away. The same is true for yours. Others can see how long you have been inactive on your computer.
[The official term that Microsoft uses to label a users status is Presence.]
So why does Microsoft Teams' presence change to away? A users presence can only be in a single state at any one time. Some of these can be manually selected by the user however maintaining the 'Available' presence state is the only one that can not be permanently selected by the user.
The purpose of the 6 presence states is to provide collaborative teams with the ability to know when a colleague or other member of the organisation can be contacted.
It is not intended to be a solution for bosses to keep an eye on their staff however we know that it can be used in this way. We know that managers with admin controls can set up alerts to see when their staff become available. We will go into this topic in a future blog.
When Teams status changes yellow
Your team's status changes yellow when leaving your computer inactive for a period of time. The status change occurs automatically after a user has been idle for 5 minutes. This can very based on the settings managed by the Administrator.
The Away status can be manually activated by selected 'Appear away' in Teams. The Available status can not be manually activated other than through direct activity on your computer.
How to Fix Your Team's Away Status Problem
You can fix this issue by following these steps:
1) Enter Microsoft Teams and select the search field
2) Hold down the caps lock key on your keybard using a device or large item. You may need to be creative hear. Alternatively use the Caps N Lock® keyboard clip.
3) You can now leave your computer without activity. The screen saver will not come on and your computer wont sleep. Teams will stay green and the away status stays away.
Computer keyboard clip. A novel idea for Microsoft Teams
If you're looking for something new to try out with Microsoft Teams, then check out the Caps N Lock Keyboard Clip. It's a small device that clips onto your computer keyboard and allows you to keep simulating CPU activity to prevent Teams changing it's status to a yellow away icon.
Designing a clip to specifically hold down a key on a computer keyboard is not something that has been done before. Caps N Lock is a Patent Pending device which was specifically designed to clip onto different size keyboards and minimise any impact from a laptop screen closing on top.
Mouse jigglers have become more common as more of us start working from home. The idea of keyboard jiggler is a simplified, low tech solution that costs a fraction of the price with less effort.
Where to purchase a keyboard clip
Caps N Lock keyboard clips are availabe from the UK. Shipping to other countries is possible and packaging as well as the device have been specifically designed to ship easily in a large letter, lower cost envelope.
Black and White Caps N Lock clips are currently available on AMAZON UK and via the Caps N Lock website.