Reactions in Microsoft Outlook


Microsoft has been quietly rolling out a new feature that I’ve been longing for – for quite some time. What feature is that? It’s ‘Reactions’ in Outlook!

Reactions in Microsoft Outlook - Microsoft Support

microsoft outlook

What does this feature do? What problem is it trying to solve?

Organizations get email heavy… very email heavy. Entire conversations take place over the course of email, even though we all know that budding conversations are best suited for Microsoft Teams. The Harvard Business Review told us this way back in 2015 when they said:

“while email is great for recaps, updates, and other informational exchanges, there are many situations where it’s not the best form of communication.”

Old habits die hard and so people routinely reply back to emails with brief sentences saying ‘Thanks!’ or ‘Great idea! I’m looping in Darren for his input.’ Chatting platforms did not used to be the heavyweights that they are today, so this was once necessary to acknowledge communication or keep a conversation flowing. Those days are gone!

From Microsoft:

“Drowning in your emails becomes a thing of the past. As conversations are now held in a structural way in your Teams, you no longer have all the email-upon-email response, often sent as a Reply All.

And if somebody needs to send you a file, or ask you a one-liner question? That’s what Chat’s for!”

Reactions in Outlook carry on a still necessary need that we should all provide as better communicators – acknowledgement!

What do you do the next time your VP of Sales and Marketing, Darren, sends out an all-company email letting everyone know about upcoming marketing efforts?

Do you…

  1.  Hit ‘reply all’ and say ‘SO EXCITED FOR THIS!’
  2.  Read and pretend like nothing happened?
  3.  Hover over the smiley face in the top right portion of the email and hit the .

Bonus points for you if you choose C. That is the correct answer because you are not spamming the whole company but you are acknowledging an important communication. Darren feels heard and you did your part to reduce inbox sizes. Way to go!

Important: Reactions only work in Exchange Online mailboxes and, by default, only when the person you're messaging with is also in your organization and using an Exchange Online mailbox.

Don’t know if you are on Exchange Online? Did you answer A or B? Going gaga over all the greatness that Microsoft offers, and you are stuck on (gag) Google? FMT Consultants is here for you and can help with all Microsoft needs. React to this article by reaching out and start reacting to Microsoft Outlook emails!


Q: Do companies often use both Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams?

A: Yes! Both technologies serve unique and overlapping purposes. With a well-balanced solution and ongoing training, companies can use both together with confidence and in a way that makes sense for each unique business or communication type.  At FMT we enjoy both along with some custom work with SharePoint to provide broad several different ways to collaborate and work with content?

Q: Does this new functionality cost anything more?

A: Nope. Microsoft provides this functionality inclusive of standard pricing.

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