Using Microsoft Teams – Tips To Increase Productivity
Do you know how much Microsoft Teams could increase the productivity of your organization? If you don’t know the software’s potentials, then you most likely would not be making use of it. However, you will have the answer you need by answering a couple of questions.
- Do you know how much time is lost during the process of scheduling meetings with your remote workers?
- Do you know how much time you lose within sending a mail and getting the response, even within your organization?
- Do you know the amount of time you spend allocating tasks to members of your organization or following up the task?
- Do you know the time you spend in the process of collating and keeping up with the latest versions of your data?
- Do you know how much progress you can achieve if you Channel all “lost time” to more productive activities?
You know the answer to those questions already. Therefore, you should no longer be having any doubt on how Microsoft Teams can improve your organization. The use of collaborative software, such as Microsoft Teams, is changing the future of the business world. And it is only wise that your organization joins the ride. When you use Microsoft Teams, there is almost no room for wasting time because members of your organization remain connected always in the Microsoft Teams rooms.
There is a right way to make use of Microsoft Teams if you want to ensure optimal productivity. And this article would be serving as a Microsoft Teams user guide for your organization.
How to use Teams within Microsoft Teams
The access to Microsoft Teams was initially available to people with licensed Office 365 subscriptions, but a free version has been made available as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the free version has some limitations compared to the paid version. But you can still achieve a lot with the tool without subscribing. The tool can be launched from a desktop application, a web browser, or a mobile app. And the total number of people that can gain access to the full functional Microsoft Teams rooms is limited to the members of your organization that is licensed.
Through the use of Teams within Microsoft Teams, your organization can seamlessly conduct one-on-one audio or group calls. And you also have the option of sharing your screen during web/video conferencing, creating a meeting schedule, and even have the meeting recorded. Likewise, each member of your organization has up to 1TB to store shared files. The information that you share in the Team is very much safe and secure, and newly added members would, by default, have access to all the conversations, files, and every form of information shared since the creation of the Team. That is a good advantage when you are integrating new members into the organization. However, you should only add trusted members to the Teams; to ensure the safety of files.
To share a file in Microsoft Teams, you start by creating a Teams hub, through which a SharePoint site would open up automatically in the backend. The document library creates a document for each Channel. In simple terms, the files shared in the Teams would show up in the Files tab and store in the SharePoint document library.
To share a new file, select Teams from the App bar, then type a message in the Compose box. Select the Attach icon, then browse the attachment location to upload the attachment. Once that is done, click the Send icon to complete the process.
How to use Channels within a Microsoft Team
Within a Team, your organization can create Channels to house specific conversations. These Channels would help your organization to keep your conversations organized. And it would also ensure that your organization has every section handled by the right people.
Upon assignment as a member of a Channel, you are to participate in all conversations. Usually, every member of the organization is added to the Channel that corresponds to the unit or department that they function. The process of sharing files and data within the Channel is the same as with the Teams.
You can schedule meetings either within a Team or within a Channel, and you decide on that based on the intended conversation. You should set up meeting ahead of time such that the participants of the meeting would have time to get themselves prepared. To create a meeting, you will have to fill in details such as Meeting Title, Location, Start and End Date and Time, and the list of participants.
You must stick with the purpose of each Channel, even if you are a member of more than one Channel. There is a ‘General Channel’ on which you can share general information with members of the Team. Therefore, on the Channel, you should only post information that is in agreement with the purpose of the Channel.
How to invite co-workers and non-employees to a Teams meeting
One of those advantages of Microsoft Teams over its competing collaborating software is that it allows the participation of Guest in meetings. Your organization can work in partnership with people from outside of the organization through the use of Guest access. When you add a person as a Guest, they get access to the existing Team and Channels in your Microsoft Teams.
So who exactly would you classify as a Guest? You can define a Guest as any individual that is not licensed as a member of your organization. A Guest might be a partner of the organization, or perhaps a supplier or consultant. And there could be various reasons why you need to have Guests in your Teams.
Does the Guest need any qualifications to join the Team? There is no special requirement aside from the Guest having a business or consumer email account. The email account could be with Microsoft 365, Outlook, Gmail, or other email channels. When you add a Guest, you will give them full access to the chats of the Teams, the meetings, and the files that have been shared. However, as the Team admin, you can limit the access of a Guest. Moreover, Microsoft Teams does not limit the number of Guests you can add to your Teams.
There are various options available for creating the meetings. You could click ‘Schedule a meeting’ on the chat page, or you could select ‘Calendar’ then click on ‘New meeting’ in the top right corner. Otherwise, you can choose a time range in the calendar that will display a pop up of a scheduling form. If you are not sure of the best time for the meeting, you could make use of ‘Scheduling Assistant’. Members of the Team, or Channel, would be notified of the meeting immediately. However, to add a Guest to your meetings, you would need to select ‘Add required attendees’, and then fill in the person’s full email address. By clicking on the invite, the email addresses you imputed will receive a notification about the meeting.
How to set a custom background in Teams
A lot of people now prefer to make use of this feature, especially since the majority of video calling apps now supporting this feature. This feature allows you to put up an image behind you in the video call. Why should you use this feature? Well, the use of background images can help your video calls appear more professional. It is even a more efficient feature when you are working from home since you can add the organization logo as the background image.
Otherwise, if you want the video call not to appear so professional, you can add a relaxed background- it is all your choice. You have the liberty of selecting from the collection of backgrounds already built into the Microsoft Teams systems. Or you can add your custom background.
The latest updates of Microsoft Teams makes it a lot easier to add your custom background. And you can set it up during the video call. During the call, select the three dots that appear to represent ‘More actions,’ then click on show background effects. Click on ‘Add new,’ choose the image you want to use, then select ‘Open.’ To add an image, click on the ‘+’ button, and add the image from your file explorer, then it will be available as a custom background.
How to create announcements
The use of the announcement is a way to ensure that your message gets the desired attention. When you are passing the message to a Team with so many members, there is a possibility of your message getting lost in the ‘crowd’. But announcements will help you to ensure your message gets noticed. The announcements can be about a development in the organization, or to assign a task. Or you can use an announcement to remind members of the Team about a scheduled meeting.
To create a new announcement, you must be logged into Microsoft Teams, then you select the Team for the announcement. You can choose a Channel to make the announcement more specific. Then you make a click on the chat window, the same window for sending messages, then click on the first icon ‘A’ which would be found just under the chat entry window.
Select the drop-down arrow beside ‘New conversation’ which is at the top of the chat-box, then choose ‘Announcement’. You should provide a headline and add a photo to your banner through the picture icon on the left side of the page. Then you fill in the details of the announcement. After all the process is complete, click on the ‘SEND’ arrow, and every member of the Team will receive a notification on the new announcement.
How to create mandatory Org-wide Team in Microsoft Teams
If you are currently running a small to medium-sized organization, then you should be making use of Org-wide Teams. The global admins can create a public Team that would automatically add users from the organization. And it would make it possible to have all members of the organization collaborating in a Microsoft Teams room. That would help your organization keep up with an updated Active Directory or AzureAD with the joining and leaving of users in the organization. However, these Org-wide Teams can only be created by global admins, and the organization must not have more than 5,000 users. Also, there is a limit of five Org-wide Teams per tenant.
By default, the creation of an Org-wide Team is accompanied by the addition of global admins and Teams service administrators as Team owners, while active users are added as Team members.
To create an Org-wide Team, as a global admin, you will find the option in the ‘Build a Team from scratch’ page- as long as you meet the conditions. You can also convert existing Teams to Org-wide Teams by clicking on ‘More options’, then select ‘Edit Team’.
However, you cannot add Guest users, service accounts, and room or equipment accounts to your Org-wide Teams.