Communication is essential in every facet of our life. How we communicate with our partner, friends and especially our colleagues is important, and a break-down in communication could be detrimental to your business and relationships. So how can we improve communication yet increase overall efficiency, profits and stakeholder interactions? According to a study by McKinsey, an improvement in communication via social technologies can improve productivity by 20-25%. That is a sizeable increase in productivity just by simply streamlining communication and employee interactions. It is therefore vital that businesses implement tools that are easy to use, enable collaborations, are omnichannel by nature and facilitate the sharing of knowledge not only within teams but departments and companies as a whole.
Let us start by giving you some background on Microsoft Teams.
About Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has grown tremendously in popularity since its inception in 2017. Just recently, Microsoft Teams has now comfortably soared to 20 million daily active users compared to its direct competitor Slack’s 12 million daily users – a 50% jump in 4 months. With so many people jumping on board, it is definitely the way of the future. In fact, there are over 500,000 companies using Teams, and that’s including 91 of the Fortune 100. Some large organisations, Australian and International, are using Microsoft Teams such as:
- Griffith University
But don’t worry, it’s not just for the big players; Microsoft Teams is an essential business IT solution for companies of all sizes.
Now, here are some helpful tips on how to get the most out of Microsoft Teams.
Streamline Communications with Channels
Once Teams have been organised, channels can be created. Channels are specific groups/topics that people can interact within and communicate about the relevant channel topics (as seen in the screenshot below). For example, your business could be deciding on a new sales initiative, so you create a channel specifically for that, or you may want a dedicated chat for your sales team. You can tailor your channels, make as many as you’d like and be as broad/specific as you want – Channels also act as blinders and allow you to focus. For example, you won’t get side-tracked by an email, and you can focus entirely on the channel relevant to your current work. In fact, with seamless Outlook integration, you can declutter your inbox and send emails directly to the relevant team channel as seen in the below pictures. Your team can then easily discuss the email in Teams – significantly reducing the number of emails and helping to streamline internal communications.
Additionally, users can @[name] specific recipients in group chats to ensure they receive notifications and even send GIFS to each other to make chats fun. Users can also opt to send each other direct messages over Teams which operate as personal conversations.
Use Office 365 to the Fullest
Teams may seem simplistic at this point, but it gets much, much better. Teams is not ‘just another Microsoft app’; it is the glue that holds the entire Office 365 suite together on a single platform.
Office 365 is essential for any business. It includes the apps we all know and love: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, SharePoint, OneDrive. So, if a team member shares a link to a document or spreadsheet, all team members can access the file and watch changes made in real-time. This allows lightning-fast interactions and collaborations – meaning work is completed proactively, productively and professionally
Organise Meetings from Anywhere with Anyone
Most people know of Teams’ ability for web conferencing. However, Teams has gone a step further, which has made it one of the most innovative platforms for calls and customisable communications. Since Skype for Business was merged with Teams, Teams has become one of the most reliable and versatile business IT solution that can connect 50 to even 10,000 users in a single call.
Avoid Doubling Up
Before creating a new team, check if there’s another team for the same purpose or with the same name as Microsoft doesn’t check for duplicate teams. This can result in great confusion, which can impact your employee’s productivity. To avoid this issue, we recommend only managers or senior team members within the business create teams. For best practices on setting up Microsoft Teams, talk to our experienced IT consultants.
Consider Separate Teams for Projects
It is a no-brainer that employees in an organisation work on more than one project which may not be department-based. Therefore, project-based teams can keep everyone on track and help them to organise documents and locate them when necessary. This is also extremely useful when new members join a team and they find all project details in one place.
If you want to expedite your time in Teams, we’ve discovered some handy shortcuts that allow you to access certain features even faster:
Meetings and Calls Shortcuts
The power of Microsoft Teams is only becoming stronger as time goes on. With a 50% daily user increase in 4 months, it is only inevitable that all communication and liaisons take place over Microsoft Teams.
If you’re operating a business in Queensland, then opt for our IT solutions in Cairns and get the best collaboration workflow in place.