Getting more out of Microsoft Teams

We all know Teams has been the go-to tool over the past 12 months with many organisations adopting it quickly after being forced to work from home. Now that everyone has managed to adapt and complete tasks remotely there is a misconception that adoption is completed and no more work is needed. It may seem that everyone is comfortable with Teams and its capabilities but often that is not the case, people are using what they can to get their tasks completed. There may be features that could help them become more productive or efficient, but they are unaware of those. There is also the fact Microsoft continuously add new features and improvements which means awareness and adoption is an ongoing task.

There are several use cases for Microsoft Teams above the standard IM, audio/video calling and collaboration features which could improve the way organisations and individuals work. These are just a few examples:

  • Improving business processes with automation and apps.
  • Moving contact centres into Teams.
  • Providing consistent experiences in meeting rooms.
  • Linking learning pathways into Teams.
  • Running large virtual live events.
  • Embedding your Intranet into Teams.
  • Using Bots to help answer common questions.

Recently i have found that organisations want to provide users with a central hub for all things Microsoft 365. These hubs usually include training videos, useful guides, news articles and an event/training calendar. This is helpful for users and provides them a single place to go for any information relating to M365. Microsoft Teams then allows you to pin SharePoint sites into the personal task bar, this means users can access that hub without having to leave Teams. I have seen this really help with adoption and knowledge in organisations. Putting this into Teams encourages people to keep up to date with news on M365 and builds a self-service culture.

When it comes to people using Teams it isn’t always about the tool, it’s how people use it and the culture built around it. As an example, when someone is on ‘Do Not Disturb’ this should be respected, and others should know not to call but to IM so they can pick it up when they have finished focusing. Whilst we think of focusing, we should encourage people to block out focus time in Outlook through My Analytics to allow them that thinking space and that also automatically sets their status in Teams to DND.

Another element is etiquette when communicating with others through digital channels. It may seem common sense, but it is important that etiquette guides or tips are provided to people to help make their meetings, calls and chats more efficient. Simple things like using raised hands instead of just speaking up and saying hello but following up with your question straight after when instant messaging. All of these can help improve people’s experience and reduce the negative impacts people may feel from working remotely.

In summary, Teams is here to stay and becomes embedded into our working life so we need to get the most out of it and ensure it is a positive experience for all. We need to think of the individuals using it and the behaviours not just the features and functionality. People still need that focus time to complete work and should not be expected to spend all day on back to back calls.

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