Microsoft Teams is quickly becoming the core hub for communication and collaboration in the workplace. Businesses love Teams because it’s accessible, affordable, and easy to use. On top of that, the Teams experience also comes pre-integrated with all the Office 365 tools you already use.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Microsoft Teams has more than 20 million daily active users.
If you’re looking for a way to increase collaboration in your team, open the door for more remote and cloud-based work opportunities, or even just align day-to-day conversations, Teams can help with that. However, just like any tool, you’ll need to make sure that you know how to make the most out of Teams before you get started.
Here, we’ve picked out 11 easy tips to get you using Teams like a pro.
1. Sync Microsoft Teams with Outlook
As we mentioned above, a big bonus of Teams is that it already comes pre-aligned with all the existing tools you know and love in your Microsoft ecosystem.
Teams has an add-in solution available that’s automatically integrated into your Outlook mailbox if you have Microsoft Teams and Office 2010, 2013, or 2016.
The “Teams” meeting button will show in your calendar ribbon if an admin has allowed scheduling for private meetings in the Team admin centre. To do this, go to Meetings > Meeting Policies> General > then allow scheduling for private sessions.
Once the Teams meeting button is in Outlook, click on it and add the people you want to include in your conversation to the “To” field. You can also add guests to a meeting by clicking on… > More Options > Add Member and entering an email address.
2. Expand Your Teams Conferencing Tools
Microsoft Teams is an excellent tool for collaboration and communication, but it does have its limitations. Although Microsoft Teams does have some access to business voice, the features available here are very limited. If you want to expand your conferencing opportunities to include outbound calls to external numbers, then it might be best to invest in a third-party solution.
A tailored solution from Nice Network allows you to access all the functionality of your existing Voice PBX with Microsoft Teams, using direct routing. The same service is available for Cisco Teams too. You can get all the collaboration features you need, and high-level conferencing at the same time!
3. Add Email into Teams
Email is a pretty valuable part of any communication strategy, even in a world where video conferencing, and instant messaging exist. Emails are here to stay, whether you like it or not, so it makes sense to ensure that you can continue to combine your email correspondence with your Microsoft Teams collaboration.
You can forward emails with attachments to any Teams channel from a whitelisted domain. Go to the channel on Microsoft Teams, then click on More Options > Get Email Address. This will give you a specific email address that you can use to send any information and attachments to your Microsoft Teams environment.
4. Upload or Share Files
Remember, you can do a lot more than just send messages or call your colleagues through Microsoft Teams. You can also upload and share crucial files too. To get started, click on the Choose File button with the paperclip graphic under your compose message box. Then, select the file that you want to share and hit send.
You can also upload files to Microsoft Teams by clicking on the Files Tab then clicking Share. Microsoft will allow you to share files either from your computer, or a OneDrive for Business account. Once you’ve shared a file with your team, you can also create a link to that file, so you don’t have to upload multiple copies of the same document in various places.
5. Use Meet Now
You don’t necessarily have to schedule meetings in Microsoft Teams or Outlook every time you want to have a conversation with your employees. You can also use the Meet Now function in Microsoft Teams to communicate immediately. Start by clicking on the little camera icon in an existing or new conversation and choosing Meet Now.
Click on the names of the people that you want to include in your meeting. If you want to speak to people from outside of your organisation, you can add in email addresses and phone numbers too.
6. Record Your Meetings
When you’re hosting Microsoft Teams meetings with your colleagues, you’ll have a number of advanced controls available to you. For instance, you can mute people in your channel if they’re being too distracting or start videos with background blur that keep your team members focused on you. Another option is to record your meetings.
When in a meeting with your team members, click on the icon with the three dots (…), and you’ll see a small pop-up menu that includes options like “Start video with blur”. You can click on start recording to record the video, and get the file sent straight to your inbox at the end of the session. This way, you can share your meeting with other people in your team.
7. Avoid Time Clashes with Schedule Assist
Microsoft Teams users can schedule meetings either using their Outlook Exchange calendar, or their Microsoft Teams app. Every meeting scheduled within Microsoft Teams automatically syncs with your Exchange calendar and vice versa.
To schedule a meeting, click on the calendar icon in your chat, under the box where you enter your messages, or click on the Calendar tab on the left-hand side of the app. Choose a time range within the calendar, and you’ll see a scheduling form like this:
Clicking on “Scheduling Assistant” will ask Microsoft Teams to search through the calendars of the people you’re meeting with, so you can see the times when everyone in your group is available.
8. Try Mobile Apps for Messaging on the Move
As long as you have the right security strategies in place, mobility can be a very valuable thing in any workplace. When your team members are working remotely, or they’re frequently on the move, you can use your mobile apps for on-the-go messaging, providing employees with the same experience they’re used to on their desktop.
The Microsoft Teams experience feels the same on an iPhone or tablet as it does on a desktop, which means that you have plenty of options to keep staff connected.
9. Integrate with Microsoft Planner
Need help keeping everyone on the same page when you’re dealing with a distributed team? Microsoft Teams can help with that. You can use apps like Microsoft Planner within Teams to help with task management.
Planner is a basic task-management tool for small teams that’s excellent for tracking tasks and referencing them in Teams. You can pin your planner within a Teams channel to make it more accessible, and you don’t need a third-party task manager. Planner will show up as a tab located on the top of the channel which anyone can click to assign a task.
10. Explore Keyboard Shortcuts
There are plenty of command shortcuts embedded into Microsoft Teams that can make getting work done a lot faster and simpler. For instance, pressing Alt and A in windows is an excellent way to instantly attach a file to a message. You can also press Command and E to move to the search field at the top of the screen instantly on teams. Other shortcuts include:
- /GoTo – jump instantly to a channel
- #Files – see all your recent files
- /keys – show all the available shortcuts on Teams
- @Wikipedia – do an instant Wiki search
- /Call – Call a college instantly
- /Help – Get guidance from the Teams bot (T-Bot)
11. Try Tabs
Tabs are webpages embedded into Teams that are excellent for improving productivity. Essentially, they place little buttons within the Microsoft Teams interface for your employees, giving them instant access to tools and information.
For instance, a Files tab will house all the files and documents that you want to share with your team so that they don’t need to spend forever browsing through conversations to find a file they saw a few days ago. Other tab options include things like web page tabs, where you can list some of the most common web pages that your employees visit. You can learn more about tabs here.
Ready to start collaborating?
Just like any other tool, Microsoft Teams works at its best when you know how to use all of it’s most impressive features. Taking some time out of your schedule to experiment with everything from keyboard shortcuts, to scheduling meetings from within Outlook could help you to boost productivity and efficiency with Teams in no time.
Need some extra help? No problem, reach out to Nice Network today for more advice on how to make the most of your UC strategy.