How Microsoft Teams can help you work more collaboratively

In a world where businesses need to be more agile and connected, platforms like Microsoft Teams are key to working more collaboratively.

Gary Luther

24/11/2020

Microsoft Teams now has 75 million daily active users, and that number keeps growing.

In a world where businesses need to be more agile and connected, tools like Microsoft Teams are more valuable than ever. These cloud-based solutions combine features like video and audio conferencing with team chat, file sharing, and so much more.

Tools like Microsoft Teams are rapidly replacing email as the go-to solution for digital teams. Rather than sharing ideas and files through a cluttered inbox, users can have an immersive environment where they’re connected to their colleagues.

By logging into a shared office environment through the internet, Microsoft Teams users can transport the traditional “workplace” into the cloud. Work becomes more than just a “place you go to”. Instead, businesses can support productive employees anywhere, and any time.

Here’s how Teams can help you work more collaboratively.

1.   Improves group participation

For a while now, companies have been investing more into concepts like remote and mobile working. When every employee doesn’t have to come into the office every day, companies save cash on things like real-estate and overheads. However, this also means that the team is a hybrid thing that’s neither entirely online nor offline.

According to a study in 1939, employee participation improves job satisfaction significantly. Since scientists discovered this, businesses have been working hard to find new ways of helping teams participate. Microsoft Teams helps with this through features like “Together Mode”, where employees located in locations all around the world can sit together in the same virtual space.

2.   It makes teamwork more efficient

Working with colleagues in a digital environment often means sending endless emails that get lost in inboxes and junk folders. There are more than 3.9 billion email users worldwide, and these people are constantly inundated with messages. Email isn’t the most efficient way to connect with colleagues anymore.

Tools like Microsoft Teams provide an all-in-one environment where people can share files and information in real-time. Integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, and other tools also speed up the ability to search for and find files. Companies can turn Microsoft Teams into their repository for critical information, so everyone has the data they need immediately.

3.   Ensures accountability

For a team to be successful, everyone within the group needs to take responsibility for their own tasks. On Microsoft Teams, supervisors and managers can @mention the people that they want to get involved with a certain project or place them into a channel of their own.

Users can pin important information and documents to the top of a page, to ensure that they don’t get lost, and integrate apps like Trello and Asana to help everyone keep track of deadlines. There are even bots for Microsoft Teams that keep everyone informed of what’s needed at certain times.

4.   It shows who’s available

When you send an email to a colleague, or pick up the phone to call them, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to be available to answer you. Most forms of professional communication are asynchronous, meaning you need to wait around until someone else is available.

However, with a tool like Microsoft Teams, you can check who’s online in an instant and contact the person most likely to give you the information you need fast. This reduces the amount of time that colleagues spend waiting around to access crucial information and complete a task.

5.   More methods of communication

Just as people have different styles of learning, they can also have different methods of communication that work best for them. For instance, some people might prefer to chat about a project through an instant messaging service. For someone else, it might be easier to set up an audio conference with a screen-sharing component.

With tools like Microsoft Teams, there’s no limit to the ways that people in your team can communicate. Employees can easily move from a chat conversation, to a phone call with a solution like Teams Talk, to an immersive video conference.

6.   Encourages more interaction

When employees have to deal with complex email threads every time they want to reach out to a colleague, it’s less tempting to chat and engage with members of the team. In a world where remote and distance working are becoming more common, this sometimes means that certain members of staff lose their connection to the rest of the business.

With a tool like Teams, employees can be involved in a constant conversation that’s happening with all the people in their workforce. This supports better connections between colleagues, and stronger overall feelings of comradery. You could even set up a “watercooler” room, where people chat about non-work issues.

7.   It’s an all-in-one environment

A study by Forrester Research suggests that information workers use an average of eight applications every day to do their job. That’s a lot of different tools that people need to constantly jump between to stay productive. The American Psychological Association also says that switching between tasks and tools cause mental blocks that reduce productivity by around 40%.

Fortunately, with Microsoft Teams, users can have a more complete environment for all the tools that they need in one place. Microsoft Teams integrates seamlessly with the Microsoft 365 productivity tools that many people use every day, like Word, and Outlook. It also integrates with third-party tools, to provide a more comprehensive environment.

8.   Makes Teams More Productive

Ultimately, we’re living in a world where employee engagement is struggling. With 70% of people not engaged at work, it’s no wonder that productivity is hard to come by. However, with tools like Microsoft Teams, employees can not only work better together – they can become more productive too. Microsoft Teams strengthens employee relationships, so staff members know where to turn when they need help with specific products.

A study from McKinsey and Company also found that implementing processes and networking tools improved productivity by up to 30% in software development teams. Individual tasks are easier to handle quickly when you don’t need to waste time waiting for an email response or searching for information. This means employees finish their projects in less time.

9.   It opens the door for optimisation

Finally, tools like Microsoft Teams provide business leaders and supervisors with helpful ways to track the outcomes of collaborative working strategies. Rather than just hoping that your workplace processes are working well for your employees, you can track how their efficiency and productivity levels are improving with analytics and workflow management tools.

By getting a closer look at which strategies work for your team, you can determine which parts of the business processes you use every day may need to change. Employers can even use apps on Microsoft Teams to ask for feedback from employees about what they think they need help with. This allows for better growth planning in the long-term.

Ready to evolve as a team?

We’re living in a world where the workforce is constantly changing. Employees aren’t always sitting together in an office space and discussing projects anymore. Remote and mobile work means that we need to embrace new, more digital styles of work.

Solutions like Nice Network Teams Talk – which brings a mature Cisco Cloud PBX and Microsoft Teams together as one combined solution, allowing users to use a familiar platform to communicate internally and externally – ensure your staff don’t have to compromise on great collaborative experiences, just because they’re not always in the same space. Teams Talk eliminates the complications of in-person meetings and emails and provides an all-in-one space for productivity.

To learn more about using Teams Talk in your business, reach out to Nice Network today!