At easyNetworks we help businesses and organisations throughout the construction, healthcare and education sectors adapt to the challenges of remote working. Read on to find out why Microsoft Teams has become an indispensable platform both during and after lockdown.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Essentially, it’s a virtual workspace: an online collaboration platform offering video conferencing and much more, that runs on any device, from any location.
You use it to hold staff meetings, work together on confidential documents, train newcomers, or have a quick chat with colleagues. When necessary, Teams can replace the workplace altogether, but it can also help recreate the office “buzz” so it’s great for the less serious side of professional life as well.
As part of Microsoft 365, Teams integrates seamlessly with the familiar applications you are already using, such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. Plus, you can easily access other websites and software such as YouTube and Adobe PDF documents without leaving the platform or interrupting your workflow.
It integrates with your phone system and can be the central hub for all communications, as calls, chats, video meetings, emails and documents are all accessed from a single platform. Calls from Teams to UK landlines and mobiles can be free – speak to our technical experts about your options.
How do I use it?
Microsoft Teams could hardly be more user-friendly, and easyNetworks will give you all the help you need to get user accounts set up across your organisation.
Start by joining or creating a team of all the people you collaborate with. A channel will be created automatically: this is where you hold video, audio or text conversations; share files or add apps such as instant survey forms, quizzes and polls. You can chat informally with groups of any size or hold private one-to-one conversations, including emojis and GIF’s for fun or adding links and files to the chat stream for instant collaboration.
There’s a range of other features to explore, including breakout rooms, screen sharing and the option to record meetings (participants are notified). These additional features, the combined workflow with Office documents and Microsoft’s enterprise-level security are what sets Teams apart from other video meeting apps like Zoom. You’ll get the hang of it in minutes and never use another collaboration tool!
What can it do for my business?
Collaboration is key to business success. Whether you need to discuss a document, get feedback on a new strategy, or just bounce ideas around, you can do it on Microsoft Teams. End-to-end security is assured, too.
Streamlining workflows is also essential. Meetings are easy to schedule, and it’s simple to invite people inside and outside your organisation.
Don’t forget the importance of building team spirit and motivation while your colleagues get used to hybrid working becoming the “new normal”. By sending a virtual “thank you” card or just sharing a few jokes, you can give your colleagues a much-needed boost.
How does Teams support hybrid and remote working?
The Teams app works perfectly on your laptop, desktop PC, tablet, iPhone and all Android devices. Covid lockdowns have established a “hybrid working” pattern where your colleagues are just as likely to be at home or on the move as in the office.
Running for a train? Need to collect the kids from school? With Microsoft Teams, the days of being chained to your desk are long gone. You can just switch seamlessly between your laptop and your smartphone without any loss of productivity.
But make sure you’ve got a work-life balance, too. By setting ‘quiet hours’, you’re guaranteed downtime – even if your colleagues in different locations, are hard at work.
What are the best new features?
Microsoft rose to the challenge of lockdown by introducing a range of new features to Teams.
Larger meetings should go more smoothly now you can view nine participants’ video feeds simultaneously instead of just four. There’s a new ‘raise hand’ feature, plus pop-out chat windows.
If you’re hearing-impaired or connecting from a noisy place, you can switch on live captions. And if you don’t want your colleagues to see your messy home office, just customise your background!
Other new features are designed for frontline and shift workers, and security has been given a boost, too.
With Software-as-a-Service (Saas), your subscription to Teams is upgraded automatically, so you never need to worry about it becoming outdated.
Get moving with easyNetworks
We offer subscriptions to Microsoft 365 from just £3.80 per month. Get in touch to start your digital transformation journey today.