Microsoft Teams brings together communication threads, chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Like many Microsoft products, it is available cross-platform (Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, and web), and integrates with an Office 365 subscription. Organizations have started adopting Microsoft Teams to improve collaboration and communication, using the free and/or paid versions of the software, depending on the features that work for that organization. Let’s take a deeper look at the collaboration and communication features of Teams.
Collaboration to the Max
Users can create a team within Teams, and then create channels within that team. For example, if a group of employees is working on ABC project, they might create a team called “ABC,” and then create channels such as “Marketing,” “Finance,” and “Operations” to organize their collaboration efforts.
Because each channel has its own file storage, the team can keep relevant resources neatly organized.
Files stored in Teams are built for collaboration. With any Microsoft Office file, you can choose to edit in Teams, Office Online, or an Office desktop program. Keep in mind that, depending on the local version of Office you’re using, there might be different co-editing capabilities between online and desktop application editing.
Each channel also includes a Conversations page where users can post comments, updates, or even GIFs. Using @mentions is a great way to call attention to someone when you are making a post. The person you mentioned will receive a notification that they’ve been mentioned, and that channel name will appear in bolded type, indicating there is new content to view.
When it’s time to have a project meeting, you can have an audio and/or video call right within Teams. You can share screens, and with a premium subscription, you can record meetings.
Communication is Key
Staying in frequent communication with a group can improve efficiency and reduce missed information. With so many communication methods available, we can sometimes fall victim to information overload. Rather than send an email to a project group, you can use the Conversations page of a team channel to communicate. This will act as a central resource hub for discussions about the channel. Additionally, the search bar at the top of Teams allows you to use keyword searches to easily find posts. Chats are built into Teams, where you can instant message a colleague or create a group chat.
Teams offers various tabs that can be added to team channels. Any Office file, PDF, or website can be made into a tab for quick access, and Teams offers a selection of third-party integrations, such as Cisco WebEx and SurveyMonkey.
Groups that use Microsoft Teams have found that they work better together, and communicate more effectively. Because Teams is available on all of your devices, you can stay in the loop on your projects with centralized, organized access to necessary resources.
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