Remote work is the new normal in our workforce today. Thousands of organizations have millions of employees working around the world, amplifying the need to use online tools to synergize collaboration and productivity. While working remotely may be new for many of us, employers and employees need to mutually implement, understand and master online collaboration tools to optimize overall communications and results.
That’s where Microsoft Teams comes in.
How to use Microsoft teams for Remote collaboration
Microsoft Teams is a powerful all-in-one messaging platform that transforms the way we do business. Teams enables organizations to communicate via instant messages, video meetings, file sharing and app sharing modules.
MS Teams provides several useful features that you can use to enhance collaboration with peers, superiors and even customers. The options are many. Let’s take a look at a few of the more popular tools we use internally at Vortex, as well as recommend for our clients.
Utilize Microsoft Teams Channels
Teams Channels are where remote collaboration and teamwork happen. Within Channels you can send messages, share files and use a plethora of interactive tools. It’s easier than ever to stay in touch with your coworkers, edit documents in real-time and view apps like Microsoft Planner to stay better organized.
Teams Channels only take a few minutes to set up and customize, enabling you to build specific channels for projects, departments or topics depending on your needs.
While the features and benefits are many, we’ve highlighted three cool features you may not be familiar with, yet should definitely try out.
#1. Save Messages in Channels
You can save messages in Microsoft Teams’ chats and channels. It is a useful feature when you need to revisit a message later or save something important.
Just click the ellipses at the right-hand corner of the message, then select ‘Save this message’. You can access your saved chats by clicking your icon at the top right-hand corner of Teams and selecting ‘saved’.
#2. Add Polls to Channels
Microsoft Teams makes it easy to add polls into your chats and channels too. This allows you to quickly gather feedback from your employees.
All you need to do is start your conversation, click the ellipsis, and select ‘Forms’. From there, you can create your Poll in a matter of seconds and post it to your channel.
#3. Post Announcements Across Multiple Channels
Another great feature of Microsoft Teams channels is the ability to post announcements across multiple channels. Simply select ‘format’, then ‘Announcement’ at the top left, and finally ‘post in multiple channels.’
This is a useful feature for big announcements or information that needs to be shared across multiple departments.
Communicate with Chat and Instant Messaging
Chat and Instant Messaging are ineffable features in Microsoft Teams designed for remote groups. They allow for quick communication with your coworkers about projects, tasks or even just an occasional check-in.
You can share documents, link tools and edit deliverables directly in Teams chats as well, making it easier than ever to collaborate remotely.
Here are three chat and Instant Messaging features in Microsoft Teams you need to know.
#1. Email Chat Messages
There may be times when you need to email chat messages, and there’s an easy way to do that! Simply click the ellipsis next to the message you need to email, then select ‘Send to Outlook’. The email will populate in Teams. Just fill in the recipient’s email address then select ‘send’.
#2. Filtering Your Activity
Another way you can streamline your workflow is by filtering your activity. Navigate to the activity section, select the ‘filter’ icon and then the ellipsis. This will narrow down your activity review and keep things moving.
#3. Pin your chats
If you have important conversations that you need quickly access, pin your chats to the top of your Teams’ view. You’ll be able to easily find chats to collaborate with your colleagues.
When you find the chat, select the ellipsis then select ‘pin’. You’ll see the chat appear in the ‘Pinned’ section at the top of Teams!
Use Screen Sharing and Video Meetings
With Microsoft Teams meetings, you can oversee the entire meeting lifecycle from start to finish in one place. You can schedule meetings directly within the app, join a meeting with 1-click and host the meeting.
There are screen sharing options, screen control features, video feeds and participant controls. It’s an excellent way to collaborate with your colleagues in real-time.
Check out these three neat meeting features for remote collaboration in Microsoft Teams.
#1. Unmute/Mute with Shortcuts
If you’re anything like me, you need to unmute/mute yourself during Teams meetings. It’s common and happens all the time.
Did you know that you can unmute/mute yourself using shortcuts? All you have to do is press Ctrl + Shift + M and you can easily unmute/mute yourself.
#2. Download Meeting Attendees
You can also download the list of attendees in a meeting, too! Simply select ‘People’, then the ellipses next to participants, and choose ‘Download attendance list’.
Make sure you download meeting attendees while the meeting is still running. There is no way to download the list after the meeting has ended.
#3. Microsoft Whiteboard
You can also enhance collaboration in meetings by using Microsoft Whiteboard! The excellent, digital method for working on projects remotely with your coworkers.
Whiteboard for Microsoft Teams is easy to set up too. Just share the Microsoft Whiteboard in the Teams meeting with remote workers and you are ready to collaborate.
As you can see, Microsoft Teams is a powerful messaging app that helps enhance remote collaboration and streamline your workflows. You can integrate a variety of applications, post surveys to your teammates, collaborate in meetings by using apps like Whiteboard, and so much more!
With Microsoft Teams’ easy-to-use interface and variety of features, it is no wonder hundreds of millions of users are choosing to utilize Microsoft Dynamics 365 for remote collaboration!