During the COVID-19 pandemic, the worldwide workforce faced a stunning and fast shift to remote labor. That change, though, was never going to be entirely transitory. The epidemic intensified a trend toward flex work that had already begun in 2019.
As the epidemic fades, more companies will reopen, but their operations will be drastically changed. Many companies prefer to keep a percentage of their staff remote, according to studies. Others will move employees to hybrid schedules, in which they alternate between on-site and remote work.
What Does Microsoft Teams Do?
Users may utilize a single window to access a range of essential Office 365 programs and features to help them work more efficiently, such as:
- Calendars and meetings (Outlook)
- Create, share, edit and find content (SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote)
- Call and meet team members (Skype)
- Chat and instant messaging (Skype)
Microsoft Teams Perks
- Centralized hub
- Office 365 integration
- Customize Teams through APIs and bot frameworks
- Enterprise security & compliance
- Azure Active Directory integration
- No extra cost to Office 365 users
Once your organization has access to Teams, you can: download the desktop application, access Teams through your browser or download the mobile app.
How Does Microsoft Teams and Channels Work?
When you start a new Team and invite members, they are all assigned to the “General” channel by default. You may then establish other channels for smaller teams or groups, which are basically alternative group chats or discussions.
To start your teamwork collaboration, you need a team. Setting up Teams is easy and done in a few clicks, requiring a Team name and a description; this then allows team members to be added. As mentioned above, a new Team will create a matching Office 365 Group, OneNote, SharePoint site and Plan—so this does need to be done with some caution.
Each Team has subsections, which are called Channels, and a General Channel will automatically be created. You can have multiple Channels within a Team; for example, you could have a ‘Marketing’ Team and then Channels such as ‘Social Media’, ‘Product Launch’, ‘Blogs’ etc. Or a Company could be a Team and Channels can relate to departments – you can choose whatever suits your organization’s way of working. Whenever there is a new notification or activity, the Channel will become bold.
Each Channel all have their own tabs along the top. Conversation (group chat), Files (shared documents) and Notes (shared OneNote) are automatically created and you can then add your own tabs.
One of the most important elements of Teams is Conversations, which allow each Team to have a centralized conversation that is saved and readily searchable.
From file sharing to video calls, conversations are the core component where all cooperation is documented.
The use of @mentions allows you to tag participants or even whole teams to notify others. Users that look at Conversations will easily see where they have been mentioned through the red @ symbol to highlight areas of importance to them. On top of this, your desktop app will notify you through an alert. As well as tagging, users can ‘like’ content and share emoticons or GIFs.
In your Teams window, you can perform a variety of tasks directly within that window or browser, so that you avoid flicking between different applications. These tasks include the ability to delete, download, move files, open, copy, edit or get a link to share with others – giving you all the key features you would get in the native apps.
You can also start a Group chat alongside the file, to allow team discussions while all working on the files – and this conversation will appear in your Conversation thread.
Notes takes you to the Team shared OneNote. Within Teams you can view and edit your OneNotes (directly within the Teams window) or you can click to edit in the OneNote app.
Microsoft Teams is already a robust offering and is benefiting from lots of new features and integrations.
Media coverage and reception has also been very positive with many Slack comparisons. Within these comparisons, Microsoft Teams is often faring very well in terms of features, usability and offering—but what makes it even more appealing is the fact that is it included with Office 365.
If you are using Office 365, then we recommend trying Teams. If you are not using Office 365, then you can sign up for an Office 365 trial (which includes Teams) to test it.
Contact JENLOR today to learn how we can assist in your company in maximizing the use of Microsoft Teams!