Working from home has become “the new norm” since the advent of the global COVID pandemic forced many businesses to rethink their methods of operating in a safe manner.
Today we speak to Martin and Simon about how businesses can get the best out of Microsoft Teams, maximising their online productivity levels
MARTIN: MS Teams has become the ‘norm’ for most businesses now, certainly in the last year. Getting the best of it, is mostly to do with the way it is used to collaborate with SharePoint, sharing files, saving files, having file groups, working in real time with people on teams using the same documents. It’s a very collaborative tool now, compared to when it was first introduced.
To Get the best out of it, you need to set up the file structure, set up the training to establish how people interact with each other via that platform, in your business. But also integrated into it are the channels and the chat functions. The video call function has been used more widely in the last year, for obvious reasons and this is bringing teams together across the UK, and across the globe which goes beyond the immediate need to talk to your colleagues in the pandemic, the video function has, and will continue to be a powerful tool in connecting companies and networking for many years to come.
The instant messaging aspect is almost second nature and expected use in most companies, and sometimes is preferable over email, as you can attach files, and change them in real time with your team members, which is something you can’t do with email, for example.
Gone are the days where you store files on desktops and external hard drives. We are into a world now, where Microsoft have facilitated the day-to-day business files stored in teams or SharePoint. We can help any customer set up their Teams for their business, because all businesses are different in the way they want to use it.
SIMON: I think a lot of people are only just scratching the surface with Teams, it’s been designated as the simple pane of glass for people working in collaborate environments, as you can access everything through Teams, if it’s set up correctly. From standard applications such as Word and Excel, right through to newer applications that are being added to it in the background such as Sway, or Projects that will work with teams in this collaborative way as well.
MARTIN: Its Microsoft’s flagship product, so the applications that Simon has just talked about, will soon be integrated into Teams. As Holker, we are learning more, but again, we’ve only just scratched the surface too, and we use Teams internally, quite extensively. We also had some training through a partner, who showed us some of the other components in Teams, this maybe beyond the realm of SMEs, but for larger companies, being able to analyse what people are using it for, exactly, can be invaluable.
SIMON: There’s also a reporting functionality within teams as well. So, you can see what people are doing and looking at within their own departments. For example, are they are using it as just a chat function? Or as a VOIP function? Or to collaborate on documents? And how long they are collaborating for? What is the most popular document? There is a lot of granularity from a management standpoint, when they can see what people are doing in this much detail. With remote working becoming more normal to a lot of people. I think Teams is the way forward.
MARTIN: Microsoft Teams has surpassed skype, zoom etc. in that file collaboration is its biggest plus, it’s a business tool, and I think in the next 2-3 years we will all just use Teams, despite what industry you work in.