Can your employer spy on you via Microsoft Teams? If you are on the business plan of your organization, then anything you do on Microsoft Teams or any other MS Office apps will be visible to your employer. From the moment you log in, your employer can keep track of your calls, meetings, chats, etc.
They can also see the time you have spent online and the time you have spent away from work. This is how employers keep a report of the work you are doing in remote jobs.
Let us do a deep dive into what your employer can see on Microsoft Teams.
In This Article
Things Your Employer Can See On Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams hosts excellent visual meetings involving the members of the team. It is easy to start a meeting. The meeting host doesn’t have to send the links individually. With a single click, all team members are immediately notified of a meeting.
Microsoft Teams has an admin center, from where the admin can access and extract information about your activities on the apps. Your employer will have to sign in to office.com to do that.
Only the administrator can access this data, and even higher privileges for admin roles are needed to access some reports.
In the Microsoft 365 admin center, click on “… Show all” in the left-hand side menu. Among the options that appear, click on “Compliance”.
In the Microsoft Purview (formerly called Microsoft 365 compliance center), the admin can look through everything that Microsoft has to offer, including Teams, Skype, emails, etc. The content of any private channels you form within teams and even the direct messages you send are accessible by the admin.
In the “Content search” option under Solutions on the left side, the admin can search for anything across all Microsoft 365 apps. The search can be optimized by specific keywords or adding conditions such as message type, sender/author, subject/title, date, location, and much more.
Your employer can see when you send a message on a channel and the contents of those messages. The contents of a chat you deleted are also visible. So, be careful not to say anything malicious or unethical, because your employer will have a record of it.
Microsoft Teams Admin Center
To go to the Microsoft Teams’ admin center, in the Microsoft 365 admin center, click on “Teams” in the left-hand side menu and go to “Analytics & reports”.
Your employer and admin can view several types of reports here and filter them by date range as well.
Each report can be exported to Excel for better analysis and can be filtered for specific teams or users.
Let’s take a look at some of these reports:
In the Apps usage under usage reports, the admin and employer can see the different apps used by teams, whether they are Microsoft apps or other third-party apps.
The Teams app usage report in the Microsoft Teams admin center provides insights about which apps users are using in Teams. The employer and admin can gain insights into the app activity in your organization for different Microsoft like (Viva learning, Shifts, PowerPoint, Project, Power Automate, etc), third-party (Polly, Trello, etc.) & Line of Business (LOB) Teams apps.
The app usage report can be viewed for trends over the last 7, 30, 90, and 180 days.
The employer and admin must be either a global admin, global reader, or Teams service admin to view the reports in the Microsoft Teams admin center. But please note that this report shows only the Apps that are available as part of Microsoft Teams (provided by your organization) and not the Apps installed on your device.
The Apps installed on your device can be tracked by Intune, for example.
If you are on the company’s calling plan, then the admin can also view your calling history. They can see how many minutes you spend on calls and how much each of these calls costs the company.
Teams Device Usage
In the Teams device usage report, your company can see which type of device you used to log into Teams, such as Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, Web, etc.
They also have access to more technical details, such as the IP address of the device you are using and its brand and model number. The type of microphone and speaker you use during meetings is also visible.
In the teams’ usage report, the admin can see the list of teams and a detailed account of all the messages posted in team channels. The employer can see the active users, active channels, replies, channel texts, urgent texts, meetings organized, mentions, reactions, and even memes!
Admin can click on a team to see what each member has been up to, from the meetings they attended to their call history. The call duration and participants of the call are also visible.
Teams User Activity
With teams’ user activity reports, the admin can analyze each user’s activity.
They can get an overview of the total channel messages, reply texts, posts, chat messages, total meetings, organized meetings, one-on-one calls, audio time, video time, screen sharing time, and the last date the user was active.
Apart from Analytics and reports, some additional user-level information can also be viewed by selecting “Users” in the Microsoft Teams admin center menu.
This will display the names of all the employees at the company along with their personal information such as username, location, phone number, online/offline status, policies assigned to them, etc.
By clicking on each individual, the admin can see the number of meetings and calls someone has been on and the quality of those calls in the last 7 days. A detailed account of the employee’s call history and policies is also available to the admin.
Back at the Microsoft 365 admin center, there are some additional higher-level reports available.
Go to “Reports” in the left-side menu, the following report options will appear:
This report scores the productivity of your organization based on how much use you are getting out of the tools offered by Microsoft 365. People’s experiences are based on how much they are communicating, the number of meetings they are having, and how much the teams are collaborating.
Microsoft 365 usage report shows how different users are engaging with the Microsoft apps and services. A graph will appear with the number of aggregate active users for a particular app or service.
Down below, there will be the usage report for each service and app. Even the number of emails sent and received is visible. Microsoft Teams activity and OneDrive files are also available for review.
Can the Employer see if I share my screen on Teams?
No, the organization cannot see if you share your screen with whom and cannot see the remote session. They can only see and export the screen-sharing time spent by employees in minutes that follow the ISO 8601 duration format.
For example, they can see: Screen share time (minutes) = 1,644 per employee, and that’s it.
Can the Employer track the status of an employee on Teams?
The short answer is, No. The employer cannot track the status of an employee on Teams (available/busy/in a meeting/away/offline) over a longer period of time.
Microsoft Teams does not include a report to track the status of an employee’s availability status. However, there might be other third-party tools out there that could do this.
Can the Employer see when I was online even if my status is set to offline?
So, you set your status to offline after work, but from time to time you open Teams from your phone after work hours.
In this case, the employer will see when the user last time was active in Teams on Windows PC, Mac, phone, etc… However, the employer does not see if you open Teams after work hours and check messages. They can only see the last date you participated in a Team activity.
Can the Employer read deleted messages on Teams?
Yes, the employer can read deleted messages by using the compliance portal (Content search) feature. You can check the following table that shows the content types that employers can search for, by using Microsoft eDiscovery tools.
However, if you delete a message in Microsoft Teams chat, the members who were part of the meeting won’t see or view that you deleted a message.
Can the Employer see if I communicate with another organization?
Yes, the employer can search for the messages that you communicated with another person in a different organization. All Microsoft Teams 1:1 or group chats are journaled through to the respective users’ mailboxes.
Please note that as a customer of Microsoft 365/Office 365, you (or your employer) own and control the data. This is important in terms of security, compliance, and eDiscovery.
Can the Employer see the GPS location if I log into Teams?
The short answer is, Yes. The employer can get the location of the user from where he is connecting but not directly through MS Teams reports. They can monitor the users’ IP addresses and locations by using Microsoft Entra (Azure AD) Sing-in Logs and then filter by Application (i.e. Microsoft Teams), and they can export the report and audit.
The default reports that are included in MS Teams do NOT show the GPS location of the user. They can see the breakdown of device usage by the user which includes how they connect to Teams from which OS (i.e. Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.).
Can the Employer view Microsoft Teams Chat History?
The short answer is, Yes. Nevertheless, this functionality is typically only used when an employer has a reason to do so, and more often than not these reasons tend to be extraordinary. These could include investigations into unethical behavior, reports from whistleblowers, allegations of harassment, or similar circumstances. It’s worth mentioning that this has been possible to audit email for a long time already.
Can the Employer Track what buttons are used?
No, the employer cannot track what buttons are pressed or used inside Microsoft Teams.
Can the Employer Track the names you search in Teams?
No, the employer cannot track the names typed in the Microsoft Teams search box, even if the person you searched for is not contacted. Microsoft Teams does not log this activity, so if you view the associated organizational chart under the Organization tab after typing in a name, neither the employer nor the user will be notified about this activity.
In this article, we discussed all the different things and reports that your employer can see on Microsoft Teams.
The answer to what your boss can see on Microsoft Teams is everything! Every time you click on something, a report of it is recorded and can be accessed by your employer because it is the company’s intellectual property. But don’t be alarmed because your employer cannot get access to your activity without going through a long line of formalities.
First of all, they must have good reason to see someone’s messages or calls. Then, they would have to work with HR, Security, and the IT department to gain access to employee data. It is important to have a record of this data in case of a lawsuit or an investigation.
> Learn more on how to run Azure Cloud Shell in Microsoft Teams.
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