Top 8 Tips for Using Microsoft Teams to Boost Productivity
One of the most powerful, yet often underutilised programs in Microsoft 365 is Microsoft Teams.
The use of Teams has exploded during the pandemic to help keep remote employees connected and to facilitate video meetings with colleagues and clients.
When providing Microsoft 365 support, we often find, they’re only scratching the surface of what Teams can do. Once fully optimized, many companies find they can reduce cloud subscription costs because Teams can do so many things. They also can increase productivity when using the platform to its fullest.
Teams is much more than just a video conferencing tool. Teams is designed to be a virtual work hub that connects employees to their workflow, their co-workers, and to others outside their organization.
Some of the key features of Teams are:
- Structured and channelled team messaging
- Video and audio conferencing
- Launch pad for apps, files, websites, etc.
- Company Wiki and information resource
- Alert and status system
- Secured file sharing
- Collaborative work platform for Office and other non-Microsoft apps
- VoIP phone system (with the Microsoft Business Voice add-on)
To help you get the most out of Teams, we’ve gathered several productivity tips below, including those for both basic workflows and “super users.”
The Best Tips for Using Microsoft Teams
Translate Messages in Real Time
When the translation feature in Teams is enabled, you can easily chat with people in other countries, everyone using their native language, and Teams will do the translation for you.
Admins can enable this in the Teams admin centre:
- Go to Messaging Policies
- Choose to edit a policy or create a new one
- Set the Translate messages slider to the “On” position and press Save
Set Up Department Resources/Assets in Tabs
Each channel in Teams allows you to create tabs for often used resources. This can save your team a considerable amount of time and allow everyone to learn from a ‘collective knowledgebase.”
For example, Tabs could be used for your customer support team’s channel to put all these resources into a single, quick to find place:
- Company’s CRM app
- Link to Product FAQ
- PDFs of often asked questions and responses
- Found resources on how to handle difficult customers
- Word doc of the company’s employee manual
Tabs allows each department or team to have their own library of shared resources, improving productivity and onboarding processes.
Send Emails to Your Teams Channel
A great part of Teams is that all communications are kept in one place and they’re able to be searched, bookmarked, and easily located to form a complete communication trail.
Ensure emails are captured to by using the email address that’s available for each Teams channel. Just send emails there and they’re automatically added to Teams.
Click the three dots to the right of a channel name and choose “Get email address.”
Use Filters and @Mentions to Prioritise
If everyone is using text messages at your office, you can be interrupted several times a day, never knowing which are the most important until you look at them.
Teams has filtering capabilities that allow you to prioritise your alerts so you know when you’re needed immediately and aren’t interrupted for less important messages.
For example, @mentions are used as a virtual “tap on the shoulder.” You can set your alert to only give a sound and banner alert for @mentions, but not other conversions. You can also keep certain important channels tagged to the top of your messages.
Use Status Messages to Make Remote Working Easier
One of the frustrations and growing pains of implementing a remote workforce is not being able to see when someone is at their desk or on the phone. One employee may message another and not hear back right away and wonder, “What are they doing?!”
Status messages in Teams are customizable, allowing you to add “At lunch until 1pm” or “On call with a client” so everyone knows what’s happening and can feel connected even if they’re not in the office.
Collaborate on Word, Excel, & PowerPoint Documents in Teams
Did you know that you can open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint without even leaving the Teams interface? Those programs can open right inside Teams, allowing you to dynamically collaborate by video, voice, or chat at the same type as you’re co-authoring a document.
This is a faster and more productive way than going through a series of tracked changes and having to email files back and forth.
Invite Guest Users to Collaborate More Easily
Teams allows you to invite guest users, and this isn’t only convenient for video conferencing. You can set up a project channel in teams and invite all other stakeholders outside your company (contractors, clients).
This can make it much easier and more efficient to collaborate, file share, and keep all conversations in a single place, rather than having them spread out over multiple SMS or email messages.
Energize & Connect by Getting a Jump on New Microsoft Teams Features
Microsoft is at the forefront of the move to more remote teams, and they’ve planned several new features for Microsoft Teams to make the platform even more engaging and productive.
Here are some of the features that have recently been announced:
- Together Mode: Provides a single shared background for video calls to make everyone feel more connected
- Dynamic View: Gives you more control over how user video feeds are viewed along with shared desktops
- Video Filters: Can help improve dark room conditions and more
- Live Reactions: Adds something similar to the hearts, smiles, and other emojis used on Facebook Live that show during a video conference
- Speaker Attribution for Live Captions: Makes it easier to keep up with who is speaking during large group meetings
- Tasks App: Gives a unified tasks view in Teams that integrates Microsoft To Do, Microsoft Planner, and Outlook tasks in one place
Get Microsoft Teams Customized for Your Business Today!
GKM2 can help your business take full advantage of all the collaborative and efficiency-boosting features of Microsoft Teams to power your workflow. We also offer Microsoft Teams as a fully fledged Phone Calling Solution that can replace your current PABX.
Contact us today for a free consultation and to find out more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.