As a Certified Microsoft Office Master Instructor and Certified Technical Trainer for more than a decade, one thing that has kept me both occupied and excited during the pandemic, is Microsoft Teams.
Known as the hub for remote teamwork in Office 365, Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based platform that creates a singular hub combining meetings, notes and files with various Microsoft and non-Microsoft apps in real-time. It was designed to create a place where people, conversations and content were bought together to access the relevant tools needed to collaborate with ease. It comes as part of the Office 365 Suite at no additional cost.
In my opinion, every single organization, whether working remotely or not, should incorporate Microsoft Teams into their operations.
Let’s look at a few statistics. According to Microsoft, it is currently its fastest-growing app ever, with more than 500,000 organizations using Teams across the globe. Additionally, 91 percent of Fortune 100 companies use the software.
With lots of information available on the software’s various features and after using it in my own business and training companies on its powerful features, here are three quick reasons why I love Microsoft Teams.
Integration with Office 365
Microsoft Teams is built on top of Office 365, making integration with all Office 365 applications seamless. For example, employees can edit Word documents in Teams without downloading, editing, and re-uploading. Once you are in Teams, you don’t need to exit to take advantage of the full Office 365 functionality.
Additionally, many third-party applications that organizations use can also be accessed when in Teams, meaning your business can continue running smoothly with everything in one place. I have made decisions on applications in my business, based on whether or not it integrates with Teams.
Collaboration made easy
While you would hope any collaboration tool makes teamwork easier, this is not always the case. Many applications have lacked integration with other applications and miss features offered by other tools in the past. Microsoft Teams overcomes these obstacles by bringing everything into one place to make collaboration easier and more organized than ever.
With Microsoft Teams, you can collaborate in real-time. For instance, if you need to complete a PowerPoint presentation with a short deadline that requires input from multiple team members, real-time editing will let edits happen simultaneously and allow team members to give feedback as they go along. This has proven to be quite beneficial for teams that work a lot and work remotely, and saves a lot of time, as copies no longer have to be sent back and forth between staff.
Additionally, all the conversations and files are stored in the cloud in a chat-based location. As a result, a clear message thread is saved, meaning that employees can dip in and out when required, without the worry of confusion upon returning. All chats are public by default with your team. However, you can use the private chat option as well. Furthermore, if you want to get someone’s attention in a specific chat, you can use the ‘@’ symbol, as you do on most social media platforms.
Meetings are more flexible and effective
The ability to meet virtually is an essential and cost-effective feature for businesses today. According to the Harvard Business Review, 71 percent of people in a survey said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. Although the reasons for this statistic vary, Microsoft Teams can help make these ‘unproductive’ and ‘inefficient’ meetings more flexible and effective through audio, video, and screen sharing abilities. Additionally, you can sync the meetings you book with your Outlook calendar, so you don’t have to manually add them. Last year, Microsoft unveiled eight new capabilities with Microsoft Teams, which have helped make meetings more inclusive and effective while adding new compliance and security levels.
These are only three of the many features this software offers that truly benefits teams of all sizes. The thing to keep in mind is: Microsoft Teams is built for today’s diverse and remote workforce.
Teams’ ability to work together productively is one of the most critical functions in any business, and it’s the central focus of the new Microsoft Teams application. The Training Authority is offering a free two-hour Microsoft Teams training session that will help your employees work and collaborate effectively.
To learn more and register for the next Free Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks session, contact us at email@example.com.
• Keshelle Davis works with people who want to start, grow and lead in business. This ranges from the startup entrepreneur to the large corporate organization with a full team. She is former executive director of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, a Bahamas Icon Award Winner for Commerce, and the founder of the Training Authority. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.