If you’ve shifted your organization towards a remote work or hybrid work model, you are likely already looking at technologies and tools that will boost collaboration and teamwork among your employees.
For many businesses, that involves the increased use of video conferencing and collaboration tools such as Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and many others. These tools make it easier for your team to work together, liaise in real time and collaborate on projects more effectively.
In a previous blog, How to Use Zoom Like a Pro: 7 Hidden Features and Advanced Tips to Improve Your Video Conferences, we looked at some of the features of Zoom that can improve the results that organizations realize from their video meetings.
In this blog, we’re going to look at Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is a collaborative app that helps your employers stay organized and communicate on one platform. Functionality includes online meetings, instant messaging and file sharing.
To help your business make the most of Microsoft Teams, Genesis Integration has created a list of 10 handy tips that will help your employees improve how they communicate and collaborate with their peers when using the platform.
#1 - Create Teams so you can seamlessly categorize messages
A Team is a collection of people, conversations, files and tools that are all stored in one place for easy communication, file sharing and collaboration. Creating Teams is a perfect way to segment your messages into different categories for easy access. One of the most popular ways for organizations to do this is to create separate Teams for each department within your business.
#2 - Record meetings
Microsoft Teams users can record their meetings and group calls when using the platform, capturing video, audio and screen activity. This can be incredibly useful if you need to review information from a meeting after it has taken place or if you need to share meetings with team members who weren’t able to attend.
#3 - Name your chats to improve efficiencies
When organizing your chats it doesn’t make sense to create an entire new Team channel for every new chat that is created. Instead, simply rename a chat so you know exactly what that chat is being used for. This is generally a great idea when you are working with other team members on a project that doesn’t involve the entire Team channel.
#4 - Use @ to get a specific team member’s attention
Need to get a specific team member's attention? By placing an @ before typing their name, you’ll be able to see a drop down where you can find a specific team member's name and select it. When someone receives a direct @ message, they will see a notification bubble pop up on their desktop that directs them to that message. It’s a great way of getting someone’s attention when you have a tight deadline.
#5 - Pin your most important chats
It’s likely that you will have chats that you are more active in, perhaps they are the chats that are relevant to your specific department or maybe they are a chat for a project that you are currently working on. These chats are displayed on the left-hand-side of the platform and are ordered by most recent comments. However, if you want a specific chat to remain at the top of the panel so it’s more accessible you can right click it and select “pin”. Pinned chats will stay above all other chats for easy access.
#6 - Use the SharePoint integration
SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that enables companies to manage documents and store files. Did you know that you can integrate SharePoint with Microsoft Teams for improved collaboration. Your employees will now have access to files on SharePoint through Microsoft Teams, and Teams can even be configured to automatically backup files to SharePoint as soon as they are shared in a chat.
#7 - Learn the most important keyboard shortcuts
Using keyboard shortcuts to navigate your way around the Microsoft Teams platform can seriously speed up your productivity. Even learning just a few will seriously impact your efficiency. Here are some shortcuts that could benefit you:
- Ctrl + E - moves you conveniently to the search bar.
- /Files - shows the most recent files that have been shared with you.
- /Mentions - shows any comments where you have been directly mentioned.
- /Unread - view your unread messages.
- /Call - When you type a person’s name after this shortcut it initiates a call with them.
#8 - Mute chats when required
It’s not advised that you mute your chats regularly as you may miss important messages from your team. However, in the event that you are working to a tight deadline and need to concentrate for an afternoon, muting chats can help you to stay focused. You can do this by navigating to a conversation, selecting “more options” and then “turn off notifications”.
#9 - Integrate your favorite applications
Users can use their favorite applications within Microsoft Teams, which can be found in the Apps sections on the left hand side of the platform. Applications, such as Trello or Slack, can all improve project management and communication for your remote team.
#10 - Combine Teams and Outlook
Microsoft Teams gives users the ability to seamlessly combine Teams and Outlook. This means you can easily bring an email into a conversation with a team member by sharing an email directly to Teams. Simply navigate to the “More Options” menu on Outlook and then click on the top to “Share to Teams”.
Want to learn more about effectively using Microsoft Teams, or simply want advice on how to successfully manage a remote workforce using innovative software and technologies? Contact Genesis Integration today. Our team of technology and collaboration experts would love to discuss your challenges.