Office 365 photos are critical to success of your digital workplace

Published on: September 19, 2017

Profile photos are everywhere in Office 365, whether it’s in Outlook, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Delve, Microsoft Teams and more.  Seeing hundreds of profile silhouettes with one or two real faces in your inbox reduces the visual impact of these experiences. Results from our free Hyperfish Analyzer show that organizations over 10,000 are missing on average 97% of employee photos.


Photos appear in these experiences to help make you a better digital workplace citizen. We repeatedly asked why photos are so important, so we’d thought we would share these here:

Remember interactions

Having profile photos for all your employees improves the digital workplace experience. We are able to place in memory visual information and recall it much more efficiently than simple written communications. You are much more likely to recall a conversation when in person or over video conference than those just over voice.

Having the profile photos of the people you are collaborating with in email or co-authoring documents with aids in this recall. With an increasing remote workforce spread across home offices and global locations, your profile photo becomes a key digital moniker for employees in the digital workplace.

Finding someone

Most organizations have a corporate directory, unfortunately it is often a collection of faceless names. A very common scenario is to search for the head of Human Resources and then look up their office floor location. Having the photo of the employee helps when you walk around the office floor to go find them.

Who is who in the meeting

How many times have you sat in a meeting in person and wondered who the person speaking is? If you open up your calendar invite and look at the list of attendees, you will see not only their name but also their photo. Hovering over the person, you can see their entire contact card with their job title and where they are in the organization chart.

Recognize people

Although your organization may be working in many different locations, there will be opportunities to meet in person either for social events, training, in person projects and much more. When collaborating in the digital workplace, having accurate photos of your team in your Outlook, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint experiences is critical.

You don’t want to create embarrassing moments where your employees have been working together for months and when they are finally in the same room don’t recognize each other.

Your profile photo is your digital brand inside your organization

The profile photo acts as your digital brand within your organization. Being visible inside your organization is key to being recognized.

As a manager, there are many times you need to celebrate employees, their work anniversaries, achievements and promotions. I’m sure there have been many times you’ve started to scour your file share or jump onto external social networks to locate a photo of your team. You’re probably not even sure whether you have permission to use these or not.

Having profile photos uploaded in the digital workplace, you can comfortably know that the employee is happy with the photo being used within the organization. 

Embrace your organization’s culture and diversity

A big part of the digital workplace is about bringing people together. Having complete profile photos across your Office 365 experience is also a great way to identify and celebrate the people who make up your team. No organization’s people are the same and this uniqueness is what defines your organizations culture. Organizations that embrace this as part of their digital workplace adoption have much more success of bringing people together.

How can Hyperfish help?

Contacting users

howitworks.pngFrom our research, the reason photos are missing is because users don’t know where to go to update their profile photo. Hyperfish analyses your employee’s profiles and contacts them if their photo is missing. It prompts them to upload a photo through the Hyperfish app. The app then updates this photo (once it has been approved by designated approvers) across all the Office 365 services.


It is very common for organizations to prevent users from uploading their own photo. The main reason for this is the organization has no control over the images they upload. Hyperfish provides an approval process for updates before they are available across Office 365.

Company standards

We encourage you to provide guidance on profile photos. Here is an example of some great guidance from one of our customers to their employees.

  • Give a nice big smile
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • We only want your shoulders and above in the photo
  • Taken within the last 6 months
  • Do not wear a hat or sunglasses 

As part of the Hyperfish approval process, the approvers stick to these rules and rejects those that do not comply. Hyperfish customers can take advantage of our integrated artificial intelligence and machine learning to prevent users from uploading photos that have multiple/no faces, cartoons, pets, or nudity. 

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Hyperfish can help maintain your Office 365 photos . Get Started in 3 easy steps!

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