With the increases in employees working from home and students distance learning, Microsoft Teams has become a pivotal tool in the new world. In the last few weeks there has been a huge surge in usage, and this is expected to increase with new measures in place.
So, what is Microsoft Teams? Teams is a workspace app that enables businesses to perform many day to day tasks remotely. Using Teams, you can virtually chat, collaborate on documents and meet with other colleagues, customers or suppliers – all remotely. Ultimately, it brings a whole bunch of our everyday tools into one place and provides users with that single pane of glass for productivity.
The current situation has made us look differently at doing our jobs. In this blog I wanted to share with you some useful insights to help everyone work more efficiently, whilst staying connected and productive by using Teams during these challenging times.
1. Host your meetings – virtually!
Communication in business is key, both internally and with your clients, suppliers and partners. With the inability to physically meet in a conference room or coffee shop, bringing people together can feel like a challenge. By using Microsoft Teams, you can facilitate online meetings.
To really get the feel of everyone being together, encourage everyone in your meeting to turn on their video. You can even turn on background blur to keep the focus on you rather than what’s behind you.
With Teams, you can also enjoy features such as sharing your desktop, uploading files and instant messaging. If like me, you live in your OneNote, then you will be pleased to know this fits nicely into Teams. You can combine the power of Teams and OneNote to share important task lists, drawings and notes.
Just because everyone is not in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t brainstorm on a whiteboard together. A handy tool called Microsoft Whiteboard is integrated with every Teams meeting, enabling meeting participants to contribute with digital ink. Whiteboard sessions are saved as part of every meeting and available for future use and reference.
If you’re not able to make a meeting, or you’re running a few minutes late, you can simply record your meeting, which saves someone else bringing you up to speed.
2. Chat more, email less
Typically in Outlook you spend lots of your time searching through old emails, needing to switch your brain back and forth between conversations with people, projects you’re working on and companywide announcements. Teams isn’t going to help with your workload, but having your work already divided up into Channels around a particular topic can help you work more efficiently as related discussions, files, tasks and meetings are on all one place.
Within Teams everyone can comment on the same chat thread, which puts an end to those frustrating ‘reply all’ emails. You can even attach documents and files in a chat, making it easy to send immediate to all team members.
3. Replace your business phone with Teams
With many of us suddenly working from home, it’s important to continue having frequent get-togethers with colleagues to keep things as normal as possible.
When working in the office, I’m sure like me you took five minutes to go and make a coffee with colleagues and have a little time out. Taking little breathers like this is still important, so schedule a virtual coffee break with your co-workers and recreate the sense of togetherness and familiarity. .
What you may not know is that you can even use Teams as your traditional PBX system, so that you can also make external calls, all out of the same application. Teams is just like any other phone system with voicemail, transfer, call forwarding, the ability to answer for other colleagues and more!
To conclude, Teams has minimised the back and forth from different applications used by individuals and teams which sees immediate increases in productivity as well as increased user satisfaction with the ease of accessibility of their work tools. Out of the box Microsoft Teams already comes readily available with integration to your favourite everyday apps, as well as third party and even custom built apps.
Whilst there may be lots of uncertainty at this time, one thing you that you can be certain of is that you can still get your work done efficiently wherever you may be with Microsoft Teams!
Core can identify opportunities for better teamwork and collaboration in your organisation and enable it through the deployment of Teams. Offering ongoing support as you implement and get used to using Teams, we can enable and empower you on your journey to better collaboration.
Our Teamwork Assessment can be performed remotely, and Teams deployed rapidly to help you work smarter, more quickly. Contact us for more information or if you're ready to get started, click the link to book your Teamwork Assessment now.