How to utilise new features on Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is now a staple part of the day-to-day running of many businesses, and it’s not going anywhere for a while yet!

While companies may now feel they have a grasp of how to use Teams, especially with the increase of employees working from home in recent months, are they tailoring it to their business and making the most of teams’ key functions?

So, what are the newest features that could benefit your team?

What are the latest updates?

Breakout Rooms have recently been added into Teams. Similar to Zoom, this gives you the ability to hold large team meetings and allow your team-members to breakout into smaller discussion groups.

These intervals can be assigned a time limit before returning to the larger meeting.

This is an excellent tool for brainstorming and discursive tasks, while it allows the manager or creator of the meeting to drop in on individual groups for feedback and discussion.

Find out how to use this new tool here.

Automated Recaps were introduced on the 23rd of September this year and provide a team with a recording, transcript and shared files from a meeting, meaning annoying minutes shouldn’t need to be taken!

So, get on top of this brilliant brand-new feature right away!

Virtual Commutes are also being introduced after Microsoft decided to partner with Headspace, the meditation and mindfulness app.

This feature is designed for employees to wind down at the end of the day and unblur the lines between home and work which have proved negative in the quick transition from office to working from home.

Max participants are also planned to be expanded to 1,000 for Teams meetings.

How can you improve collaboration?

Use the Calendar function to create recurring meetings which can easily be joined by clicking on the event. This will allow regular catchups and debriefs, thereby creating clear and structured lines of communication.

The Chat function is great for avoiding long email threads. There is nothing worse than trawling back through countless emails to find a nugget of information. Instead, Teams chat can be scrolled through easily and messages can be archived in one place for later.

Ironically, the Teams function in Teams is a good one for department-based chats and information sharing. This means wasted time is minimised by cutting out larger group chats that may be sharing irrelevant information for some members.

Ensure your team are using the Status function to show when they are available. This means important work should not be interrupted while also giving team members more confidence to approach a senior member with questions if they are marked as ‘available’.

For further information about maximising your use of Microsoft Teams, or perhaps you’d like to speak to one of our experts about implementing it into your working life, get in touch.

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