By Lyndsey Hall
You may not have heard of Microsoft Teams before the coronavirus pandemic, but chances are you’ve heard of it now. You might even be using it to keep in touch with your colleagues, but do you know what the full functionality of MS Teams is and are you using it to the best of its capabilities? Probably not.
For those of you who haven’t come across this popular and versatile communication software yet, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform that provides document sharing, online meetings and more to help your people to work together. Most businesses use Microsoft Office. Microsoft Teams has been designed to work well within that ecosystem.
What functionality does Microsoft Teams offer?
Microsoft Teams is user-friendly and helps to drive collaboration across different offices or between remote workers. The chat-based functionality helps teams of people to work together, share ideas and ask questions without clogging up their email inbox. The system lends itself to online meetings, document sharing and document storage (in SharePoint). Teams is also set up to facilitate online video calling, online meetings, screen sharing and even online training sessions.
How does Microsoft Teams work?
The Teams system is separated into four categories:
- Teams – this is where you find and create channels which are effectively conversations or chats between teammates. You can also share files with colleagues.
- Meetings – this is where you can view your meetings for the day or week ahead. Its calendar syncs with Outlook and you can also schedule a meeting from this part of the system.
- Calls – users can make and receive phone calls using a headset or their computer’s microphone and speakers. Calls to other Microsoft Teams (and Skype) users are free. If you want to be able to make calls to phone numbers, you can purchase a calling plan.
- Activities – users can catch up on their messages, alerts and project updates in the Activities section.
How can you set up MS Teams in your business?
There are two ways you can get a Microsoft Teams account. One is to sign up for a free account, (which requires a Microsoft account), and the other is to have a Microsoft Office 365 Business or Enterprise account, where the app is included.
To sign up for a free Teams account, users can have any kind of Microsoft account or ID, such as a login for Outlook.com.
Do you use MS Teams in your business? What’s your favourite feature? We love the chat function, allowing independent departments to stay in touch remotely and collaborate on projects without cluttering up our email inboxes. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our Linkedin page.