Tech Tip: An important note about Microsoft Skype and Teams instant messages/chat 

Employees may recall that the guidance for using Skype instant messages (IMs) has been “do not conduct work via IM.” IMs should only be used for transitory communication because once the IM window is closed, the message is gone.  Yes, that has meant the instant messages were totally gone, leaving no record. 

The same guidance is mostly in place with IMs in Teams, only they’re called “Chats” now.
Chats, though, work a little differently in Teams. Microsoft technical requirements prevent Chats from instantly disappearing when the Chat window is closed, so they will be held in the system for 24 hours, at which point they will be deleted. The Skype to Teams transition project is still working on this “holding period” for Chats, and it may be subject to change in the future. More information is to come on this. 

When employees move to Teams for calls, meetings and IMs/chats (this year for most employees, the rest in 2021), continue to use Chats only for transitory communication, such as “Ready for that coffee now?” or “Hey, are you going to join our meeting?” 

Posts in Teams Channels, on the other hand, are retained and are a great place to communicate important information. Learn about posts and other great Teams collaboration features here. 

Employees should keep in mind that since Teams posts are retained, and Teams Chats are automatically held for 24 hours, they are both subject to public disclosure and a hold may be placed on these communications, so please continue to communicate in a professional manner.