Monthly Archives: October 2023

Cloud Design Box finalists in Hull Live Business Awards 2023

Cloud Design Box is celebrating nominations for two categories in this year’s Hull Live Business Awards.

As a company, we have been shortlisted for Best Place to Work, while our IT Operations Lead Joe Bannister is a finalist for Rising Star 2023.

Hull Live Awards

We are thrilled to be shortlisted for Best Place to Work, as we always say Cloud Design Box is more than just a team, we’re a family.  

With a close-knit group of 19 individuals, compromising both office and remote workers, everyone knows one another, and each member is valued for their unique contributions. 

Cloud Design Box TeamCloud Design Box Team at the Company Conference 2023

Our company is dedicated to improving education. Every member of the team shares the same common goal of enhancing educational and business experiences, whilst simultaneously providing excellent customer service. This shared purpose creates a strong sense of unity and drives the team to deliver exceptional results.  

We place great emphasis on individual progression, and all staff members take mandatory Continuous Professional Development (CPD) time.   

mental health wellbeing

We are dedicated to promoting awareness, and educating staff on the importance of wellbeing, mental health, and self-care. Our Staff Wellbeing Officer ensured that all Wellbeing Champions and Managers are trained to not only deal with matters related to Wellbeing but also to recognise signs of struggle. Additionally, Wellbeing Champions conduct monthly Wellbeing catch-ups with each member of staff. 

We are proud to have achieved Gold Standard in the Mind Wellbeing Index 2023, which is a testament to our exceptional efforts in creating a supportive and healthy work environment. Additionally, our Staff Wellbeing Officer was awarded Mind’s Wellbeing Lead of the year, further exemplifying their commitment to wellbeing. 

James Emmett Wellbeing Lead Award Mind

Joe Bannister shortlisted for Rising Star

We’re equally delighted to announce that our IT Operations Lead is one of three Rising Stars at this year’s Business Awards.

Beginning his journey at Cloud Design Box in 2020 as a Support Engineer Apprentice, Joe’s innovative spirit shone brightly from the outset.  

Joe Bannister Cloud Design Box

After proving himself as an outstanding mentor for new staff members, he paved his way to becoming Deputy Support Manager, making him the youngest manager at the company.

Find out more about the Cloud Design Box team on our About Page

You can see the full list of finalists for the Hull Live Business Awards 2023 here.

HOW TO: Import assignment settings into a Microsoft Teams Class

For educators juggling teaching and administrative tasks, every minute is precious. Microsoft Teams offers a practical feature to streamline your workload: the ability to import assignment settings from one class to another.

Picture this: You’re setting up your digital classroom in Teams for the new academic term. The structure of your assignments largely mirrors those of the previous term or another class – the same guidelines, submission deadlines, and even notification settings. Rather than duplicating efforts by setting up each assignment from scratch, Microsoft Teams allows you to seamlessly import these settings, ensuring consistency and saving you a substantial amount of time. This function is not just a shortcut; it’s a strategic tool to enhance your focus on what truly matters – your students and their learning experiences.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the simple steps to use this feature. Whether you’re tech-savvy or just getting comfortable with digital classroom management, this guide is designed to help you streamline your workflow, leaving you with more time to focus on creating impactful learning journeys for your students.

Find assignment settings

First, find an assignment that has the settings you’d like to copy. Simply:

    Select Teams.
    Choose a Team.

Screenshot of teams window in MS Teams

3. Open up Assignments.
4. Hit the Assignment Settings Cog in the top-right corner of the window.

A screenshot of the assignment settings cog in MS Teams

This displays your current assignment settings. These include:

  • Assignment Timeline – Set assignments for future dates.
  • Calendar – Add future assignments to calendars.
  • Notifications – Receive notifications (e.g. if a student hands in a piece of work late).
  • Parent/Guardian Email – Send a weekly email about assignments to parents/guardians.
  • New Students – Allow new students to receive assignments created before they joined the class.
  • Fun Stuff – Enable turn in celebrations for this team.

You can also view Grade Settings on this page, including:

  • Average Grade – Allow students to view their average grade and trend over time in the Grades tab.
  • Weighted Grading Categories – Establish assignment types and assign weights to reflect their importance.

Import assignment settings

To import the settings from your chosen assignment:

1. Select Import Settings From Another Class.

Assignment settings in MS Teams

2. Scroll down the list of classes and select the Class you’d like to import the settings from.
3. Hit Next.

A screenshot of a list of classes from which to import assignments settings

You can also import settings from a previous year’s class. Just scroll down until you find the relevant class.

The next box will give you a breakdown of the assignment settings that will be imported, including:

  • Assignment Timeline
  • Calendar
  • Notifications
  • Parent/guardian email
  • New students
  • Fun stuff

4. Tap Import Settings.

Confirmation of imported assignment settings

Now, the settings will be imported into the current assignment. Don’t forget to import the settings for all your other classes that have identical assignment settings!


Import assignment settings allows you to easily copy the assignment settings without having to manually set up all of your individual assignments’ settings. This can save teachers a lot of time as educators often find themselves setting up new assignments time and time again. As this is such a frequent task for educators, streamlining this process can seriously save a lot of time in the long-run, allowing teachers to spend more time focussing on creating effective teaching materials and lesson plans instead of administrative tasks in Teams.

Contact Cloud Design Box to find out how we can help you supercharge Microsoft Teams for education.

Cloud Design Box Staff Wellbeing Officer to speak at Mental Health at Work Conference

James Emmett, Cloud Design Box’s Staff Wellbeing Officer and Onboarding and Adoption Manager, is speaking at the Mental Health at Work Conference hosted by Westminster Insight.

James Emmett Onboarding and Adoption Manager and Staff Wellbeing Officer

About the Mental Health and Work Conference 

Taking place on Friday 1 December 2023, the conference brings together employers, leadership teams, managers and psychologists to discuss the vital part employers play in the prevention, identification and provision of support for people experiencing poor mental health.   

The event delves into a range of topics, including the impact of government reforms on mental health in the workplace, legal responsibilities of employers, and strategies to improve disclosure of mental health needs. Speakers will also address crisis response and challenging conversations surrounding suicide and addiction. 

Mental Health at Work Conference

About James Emmett  

At Cloud Design Box, James has played a pivotal role in shaping a workplace culture that prioritises staff wellbeing, creating a resource-packed wellbeing intranet for all staff to access from any connected device, setting up monthly wellbeing chats for every member of the team and dedicated staff training to help managers spot the signs of poor mental health.  

His talk will focus on three key areas: 

  • Identifying trends and changes in employee productivity  
  • Tackling the causes of absenteeism and presenteeism 
  • Monitoring stress and fatigue to reduce burnout rates 

James’ dedication to staff wellbeing has not gone unnoticed.   

Earlier this year, he was awarded the prestigious Wellbeing Lead Award at Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Awards, while Cloud Design Box was honoured with the “Achieving Excellence” in the charity’s Workplace Wellbeing Index. 

James Emmett Wellbeing Lead Award Mind

“For me, the Mental Health at Work Conference is a great opportunity for people to come together and share what works in practice with others looking to improve staff wellbeing,” says James in anticipation of the event. 

“Staff wellbeing is, and has to be, at the heart of everything we do. We can’t succeed and embody our Company Values – one of which is ‘Friendly and Supportive’ – if our staff are not thriving and performing at their best. It means creating a work environment that fosters positive relationships, supports personal and professional growth and provides resources and tools to help our employees manage stress and achieve work-life balance.” 

Book your place at Westminster Insight’s Mental Health at Work Conference today.  

Meanwhile, connect with James Emmett on LinkedIn.

Visit Cloud Design Box at Schools and Academies Show 2023

Cloud Design Box is attending the Schools and Academies Show at the Birmingham NEC on Wednesday 22 November 2023.  

The conference takes place twice a year and attracts over 6,000 attendees, representing Schools, Academies, MATs, Local Authorities, Central Government, Specialist Charities and the wider education sector. 

About Cloud Design Box 

Cloud Design Box will be on Stand A10, and our team of Microsoft Education experts will be on hand to demonstrate how we’re currently supporting over 450 schools, academies, colleges and MATS to: 

  • Encourage communication and consistency 
  • Onboard everyone at your school or MAT 
  • Dedicate more time to teaching and learning 
  • Streamline senior leadership  

As established Microsoft Partners, we help you build a powerful central hub in SharePoint and Microsoft Teams that promotes collaboration and ignites teaching and learning.  

Meanwhile, our experience with hundreds of schools and trusts allows us to create a clear, long-term strategy that maximises user adoption across your entire organisation.  

Cloud Design Box Team Training Session Microsoft Experts

Visit us at the Schools and Academies Show 2023 

We’re looking forward to joining the education community at the Schools and Academies Show 2023, which promises inspiring content and practical resources helping to improve outcomes for pupils and teachers.  


Register for free for the Schools and Academies Show if you work in a school, academy, MAT, local authority, central government or the wider education sector. 

Managing Email Notifications in Microsoft Teams

Some people love receiving Microsoft Teams notification emails. Others prefer them to be turned off all together. Notification emails allow us to:

  • Be instantly aware of updates on Teams.
  • Be updated even if we aren’t logged into Teams.
  • Prioritise messages based on sender, urgency or content.
  • Manage overwhelm by reducing the amount of notifications we receive.

In this blog, we take a look at how to enable and disable this feature within Microsoft Teams. We also look at what email notifications look like and how to tailor them to our own preferences.

What do notification emails look like?

  • The title gives a brief summary of the notification details.
  • A link provides a direct link to the Teams page.
  • Links to the mobile apps are also available at the bottom of the email in case the user wants to see the Teams notification and is using a mobile device which does not yet have the Teams app installed.

Email view of MS Teams notification email

Remember, once you come back into Teams, you’ll see a number of notifications in a red circle on the Activity option. Once you select Activity, you’ll be taken to a feed with a list of previous activity. This means you can still see all of your previous activity history, even if you delete or don’t have access to your notification email.

Find out how to spend less time in your email inbox with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint here.

Set up email notifications

Setting up email notifications in Teams is easy. Simply:
1. On the Teams tab, hit the three dots in the top-right corner.

The three dots in the right-hand corner of MS Teams

2. Tap Settings.
3. Select the Notifications tab.

Notifications setting in Settings in MS Teams

4. Under Email, you’ll find a Missed Activity Email section.
5. Hit the dropdown box.

An image of the MS Teams setting interface where email notification settings can be tailored to your personal needs

Email frequency

1. Choose the email frequency that suits you.

  • As soon as possible
  • Once every 10 mins
  • Once every hour
  • Once every 8 hours
  • Daily
  • Off

2. Hit the ‘X’ in the top-right corner of the window. There’s no save button so your changes will be made automatically.

Appearance and sound

  • Toggle Show Message Preview.
  • Toggle Play Sound for Incoming Calls and Notifications.

Teams and channels

Choose between three options for the following desktop and activity notification types:

  • All Activity – New messages, reactions and all mentions.
  • Mentions and Replies – Personal mentions and replies to your messages.
  • Customised – Tailor the desktop and activity notifications to your personal preference.


Edit whether you want to be notified by email for chat:

  • Messages
  • Mentions
  • Reactions

Meetings and calls

Control notifications and reminders during your meetings and calls.


Keep track of:

  • People’s statuses.
  • People’s online or offline statuses.


Edit the assignment experience for classes.


Get education insights to help learners thrive.


Get recommendations, tips and prompts from Teams.

Find out more info on personalising your notification emails here.


Personalising your email notifications empowers educators to prioritise their work and keep up to date on the latest developments on their Team’s channels. This can be a hindrance for some so others may wish to disable the email notifications all together.

Contact Cloud Design Box to find out how we can help you improve collaboration and communication with an intranet.