Why Use Microsoft Teams? (Now More Than Ever)

 

Even before the lockdown, offices like Evros were already using Microsoft Teams.

More than just a communications platform, the clue is in the name. Teams is made for people who work together!

Perfect for organising workloads and next steps, use it to access shared files, book meetings, plan, talk, collaborate – whatever you need.

And it’s that fantastic level of integration of so many different Microsoft applications that really brings the platform alive.

However, over the course of 2020, Microsoft has been giving Teams a lot of attention to help give remote workers what they need to maintain their momentum.

More specifically, giving users more control over their online experience as well as how they interact with others.

So, what are the aspects of Teams that are really benefiting organisations right now?

 

No one is left out

Teams is all about facilitating collaboration. And with the ability to set up individual groups with their own chats for file sharing, updates and more, you can ensure fluid communication.

Everyone is incorporated and kept up to date on the latest developments.

And more importantly, it means fewer repeated conversations, forwarded emails, and colleagues left in the dark.

 

Fewer emails

There aren’t many of us who love emails. Return from a two-week break and the first dread is the hundreds of emails just waiting for you, clogging up your inbox.

Teams logs your chats so you can scan through previous conversations to find out what you need. Meetings can be recorded so when you’re back, jump to the link and download via Stream. You can even search the transcript to the part that you’re looking for.

New tasks can be assigned to you via Planner, so you know exactly what needs to be done and when. And of course, there’s the joint calendar.

 

Stay organised

As projects evolve, to-do lists seem to grow and change on a daily basis. And when you’re working on multiple projects, keeping everything siloed and updated for the whole group just ends up turning into an administrative nightmare.

With the integration of SharePoint however, Teams gives you file sharing options with collaborative editing, document creation and a place to keep everything together, hopefully putting an end to any Finalfinalnew.docs…

 

Tailor your Teams experience

Teams has so many features now and the range has expanded hugely over 2020. This has made it accessible for so many specific lines of work such as healthcare, education, construction workers and also more specific roles such as Teams for Journalists.

 

Teams for legal work, contracts and consent

Teams can also now be integrated with Adobe Sign and DocuSign, for allowing legal consent or approval on electronic documents from people inside or outside your organisation.

Additionally, approval flows from across the organisation can be integrated in Teams with over 350 systems using Power Automate, including ServiceNow, Dynamics, GITHUB, and more.

These advancements all further turn Teams into a truly modern workplace, encompassing all of your activities, apps and more.

 

Get creative

You can only get so far when trying to describe an idea over the phone. Teams Whiteboard lets you draw out ideas collaboratively so that you can get a picture of what different people are thinking.

You can also save the drawings in the Board Gallery to access at a later date.

 

Stay focused

Concentration time can be difficult to attain when working in an open office. Similarly, making yourself consistently available on chat and open to calls, can be disruptive when you need to focus.

Presence in Teams allows you to set your status. So, you can be available/green, away/yellow, busy/red or have everything set to ‘do not disturb’. Equally, you can let everyone know when you’re out the office too.

This is not only good for getting stuff done, but it helps your colleagues decide on the best route for any immediate tasks.

 

Secure your communications

One of Teams’ key differentiators is the level of security that is integrated into the platform. In fact, Teams was built with security at the forefront of its design right from the beginning, which is why it’s such a fundamental part of its architecture.

There are lots of ways that Teams can protect you, your communications and your data which you can read about in more technical detail via the Microsoft Teams Security Guide.

 

Host webinars and live events

Teams meetings can now hold up to 1,000 participants for full meetings. In addition, 20,000 participants can attend a view-only meeting experience that includes the ability to use live captions.

 

Virtual colleagues

Teams gives you the option of having conversational bots join your call.

These are artificial intelligence applications which can complete tasks using chat-based commands. You can even create a no code bot in Teams, or elsewhere, without writing a single line of code.

You can also add personality to your bot using pre-built chit-chat datasets – ideal for helping you to get stuff done or simply adding a bit of colour to your morning meetings.

One of our favourites is Secretarybot which will go off and find common free times for a meeting with your colleagues.

 

Support for frontline workers

Microsoft has provided multiple solutions for frontline workers via Teams this year to support them during the pandemic as well as going forwards. We wrote about the benefits of using Teams for healthcare organisations in a recent article.

And there are plenty more updates for various industries including those working in construction as well as hospitality.

 

Stay connected

File sharing, collaboration and virtual team members aside, Teams is a place where you can get together. And when you spend almost as much time with your colleagues as your loved ones – if not more – it highlights just how important it is to stay in touch.

Teams makes it easy to chat to one another, check in with your colleagues and make sure that when you are working remotely, you can still feel like you’re together.

Jump on a call, grab who you need, collaborate or simply sit and have a coffee. Not just a place for work, Teams is a virtual workplace, and you can really make it your own.