The main purpose of Microsoft Teams is to enable collaboration between the people in your business through impressive video conferencing capabilities, also with SharePoint and OneDrive allowing for effortless file-sharing all in the same place. Teams is the only platform for collaboration you will ever need.
The capabilities of Teams are many, however, a lot of users are not using Teams to its potential and many are overlooking some simple yet handy features. Let’s take a look at some now to be sure you don’t miss them.
There are two different ways to converse with your colleagues in Teams. Firstly you can use the group ‘Chat’ feature which is located on the left under ‘Activity’ and above ‘Teams’.
Secondly by posting your discussion under the ‘posts’ tab of a ‘Channel’ of your choice.
You may ask what the difference is, the chat feature is for exactly that, a chat, and more informal conversation. Channels are used for more project led, sector-specific discussions.
One of the key differences between chat and Channels is that chat sends you notifications and Channels doesn’t. This is worth keeping in mind when you first use the Channels feature, otherwise, you could miss something important shared. If you’re wondering why another team member in the Channel isn’t replying you have to use the @mention feature to get their attention. Group chats also tend to be distracting but can be muted if the chat gets too busy.
Another key difference is that if sharing documents then Channels should be your first choice, chat doesn’t have a SharePoint site associated with it whereas sending a file in a Channel gives you a direct link to the associated Sharepoint location.
Channels offer you the option to reply to specific messages, similarly to comments and replies on social media platforms such as Facebook, permitting your reply to be read publicly, but notifying only the individual you are directly replying to. This is in contrast to chat as it can be very difficult to keep track of and to differentiate between multiple discussion threads.
Keeping these small differences in mind is important to allow you to use your time most constructively, it is also the best way to get the most out of Teams. Remember, Chat for informal friendly team conversation and Channel for the more important, business-specific conversation.
Co-authoring – Live!
An impressive feature, as long as a file is stored in the cloud and permissions are enabled multiple parties can edit a file in real-time! This speeds up the editing process. The feature keeps your files safe in the cloud, avoiding the loss of files through email communications. Co-authoring will completely remove the distraction and confusion of having multiple copies of documents due to constant edits from different parties.
Whilst Teams is a simple easy to use the platform, taking some time to explore some of the useful features and tools designed to make collaboration easier could boost your business productivity and make your team more effective remotely.
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