With work from home becoming the new normal across the world, collaborative communication tools are being used more than ever. In order to continue running businesses, even in the face of a global shutdown, tools like Microsoft Teams are proving to be critical. As a Microsoft spokesperson puts it, Teams is a “digital translation of an open office space”.
For thousands across the world, collaborative work tools like Microsoft Teams are still new, and not many people know about everything it offers. Here are a few excellent features of Microsoft Teams that you didn’t know you needed.
1. Add documents as tabs to the top of your channel
If you and your team refer to a particular Excel sheet or document repeatedly, you can pin it to the top of your channel in Microsoft Teams. This is a great functionality to reduce time spent searching for documents.
2. Get third party apps in your channel
One of the most useful functions of Microsoft Teams is the ability to link several third party apps with your online workspace. If you use Google Analytics, you can have regular reports, with the metrics you choose, scheduled. These reports will then be sent to the channel automatically according to your chosen schedule. Similarly, there are other apps like Survey Monkey, Adobe Creative Cloud and MailChimp which have collaborated with Microsoft Teams.
3. Background blur for individuals on video calls
This feature isn’t supported on all devices yet, but it’s worth a try. Particularly useful at a time when people are working from home, you can blur your background to hide any messes or unpleasant sights showing up on your work video call. Click here to know if your device is compatible and how to use the feature.
4. Integration with SharePoint and Office 365
This is another feature to reduce the time spent searching for important documents. With Office 365 integration in Teams, you can collaborate on Word docs, Excel sheets, and PowerPoint presentations in real time.
5. Record and store your meetings
Sometimes, not all stakeholders can join a meeting at a given time. Or, you may need to take notes to refer to later. To make your life easier, you can record all meetings on Teams, which then get stored on Microsoft Stream. To ensure transparency, everyone in the meeting gets a notification when the recording starts. When everyone leaves the meeting, the recording stops automatically. Here’s how you can record your next Microsoft Teams meeting.
6. Raise hands
In meetings with multiple people, it can get noisy and confusing with two or more participants talking at the same time. However, with the Raise Hands feature, you can send a visual cue to the screens of all participants without adding to the noise. This way, everyone in the meeting will know you have something to say.
7. Schedule shifts
If your team works in shifts, you can also manage the entire roster on Microsoft Teams. You can see who is scheduled to work and what their hours will be. You can also add schedules for multiple teams, if needed. If you have a shift schedule already on Excel, you can export it to Teams. This feature also allows you to clock in and out, request time off, add notes and reminders, and a lot more.
Not everyone can adjust to a remote working schedule easily. If it’s a struggle for you, here are a few tips to help you work more effectively from home.