The sudden switch to remote working at the height of the pandemic transformed the way we work – and Microsoft Teams was the key enabler to the model.
Two years on, and with over 270 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams continues to be an essential tool in many businesses’ workflows. Its features and capabilities continue to shape the way we work. In this article, we’ll discuss how Microsoft Teams changed the way we communicate and how its features can be used to empower your organisation in 2023.
How Microsoft Teams has changed the way we communicate
Microsoft Teams is the most popular unified communications platform on the planet. As businesses transitioned to remote workflows, Teams offered a way to integrate collaboration between employees into one platform.
Teams have changed the default way of communicating internally. We’ve been able to switch from email to an efficient instant messaging (IM) platform. This has had an interesting effect on the way we talk to colleagues digitally. IM leads to more open conversations, with more opportunities for two-way interactions.
A report from Forrester found that 83% of business decision-makers believe that Teams had created more clarity and removed confusion from communication. In fact, 82% believed that open chat afforded by IM has made it easier for employees to understand conversation context.
Teams now enables hybrid work, where employees can continue to work and collaborate, no matter where they’re working from. It unlocks time savings by combining all of your apps into one platform, and 88% of businesses believe Teams improves the efficiency and effectiveness of their meetings.
How Microsoft Teams continues to transform the way we work
Microsoft has continued to build new features and innovations into the Teams platform. Implementing these into your daily workflows can help unlock new time savings and efficiency gains!
Microsoft Teams offers employees a way to have conversations with colleagues and customers at any time of the day. Employees can communicate and collaborate asynchronously – and this has moved the centre of decision-making away from meetings and into messages.
This has led to an increase in the number of “out of hours” communication. While some companies prefer to avoid this practice to protect their employee’s work-life balance, some workers appreciate the ability to spread conversations throughout their day.
Improved Productivity with Teams Apps
Microsoft Team’s integration with other Microsoft apps is one of its biggest advantages. The platform unlocks some brilliant new ways to collaborate using the tools you already use.
A brilliant example of this is the Microsoft Office Live functions. In both Excel and PowerPoint, you can start live sessions and invite your colleagues to collaborate on a shared document in a Microsoft Teams meeting.
Microsoft Teams also integrates well with SharePoint, simplifying the process of setting up intranets and shared folders. In fact, when you create a new team, a corresponding SharePoint is set up for you.
Teams also supports a number of third-party apps and plugins. For example, you can integrate your Trello workspacesinto Teams and configure a bot to send notifications and reminders into Teams chats.
Options for everyone
Part of what makes Microsoft Teams work for hybrid work environments is that there are plenty of ways for employees to interact and collaborate on Teams. It’s a brilliant tool for bridging the gap between remote and on-site workers.
Firstly, you can invite participants to join meetings over the phone if they can’t jump on a video call. Microsoft recently added the ability for phone participants to join breakout rooms. In fact, with Teams Phone, you can seamlessly move calls between devices using endpoint transfer.
A brilliant recent addition is Mesh Avatars. These virtual avatars can be customised so that employees can “represent themselves the way they want to show up” if they can’t turn their cameras on.
Teams is designed to work for everyone, wherever they’re joining in from!
A Focus on Employee Experience
A reassuring trend in the business world is the increased focus on employee experience (EX). Microsoft’s Viva platform is designed to keep employees informed, and engaged and help them track their goals and aspirations.
Built within the Teams platform, Viva is split into distinct tools:
- Viva Connections: Encourages employees to meet new people within your organisation and strengthen existing connections. Communities can be created to provide a space for employees to catch up with each other!
- Viva Goals: Allow employees to set and track goals using the OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) framework
- Viva Learning: Help your employees grow and improve their skills with courses and lessons, and a focus on collaboration with other employees to learn and grow together.
- Viva Insights: Enrich your employees’ productivity and well-being by tracking how they work and giving insights as to how they can improve their workflow.
- Viva Topics: In the style of a forum, your team can easily discuss separate projects and parts of your company. This means the discussion is open, and your team can collaborate and work together positively.
Making use of these brilliant tools can help you foster a better workplace culture and improve cohesion across your organisation.
Learn how to make the most out of Teams with us!
Promoting quick, effective communication between co-workers is the key to a successful business. It ensures that decisions are made quickly, and tasks can be completed collaboratively.
Microsoft Teams is packed with amazing features – and making the most of it can help transform your hybrid work environment. We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with Teams. Want to learn more about how to use Microsoft Teams to its fullest potential? Get in touch with our experts today to see how we can help!