Aug 28

Teamwork made easy: how to use Microsoft Teams to improve team collaboration?

In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing, digitally-driven world, effective communication and teamwork are crucial for any large or small business that wants to see future growth. 

According to an article from Inc, over 50% of tasks are accomplished through collaboration, and over 80% believe that teamwork is needed to complete their tasks. It is quite evident that, from their research, successful work is closely linked to how well your team collaborates and communicates at work. 

But many organisations that have employees in more than one office, especially if those offices are located in another country or city, know that it is difficult to find a collaboration tool that fosters enhanced teamwork. 

That’s were a workspace tool called Microsoft Teams comes in. It’s a communication hub teamwork tool on office 365 that integrates all people, content, and tools that your team needs to become more efficient.

To help you transform teamwork and workflow in your business, we provide you with tips so that you can get the most out of Microsoft Teams.

Use SharePoint for sharing files with Teams

One way to make file collaboration and teamwork more effective is to use SharePoint – an app that many companies use to store and secure files. The good news is that it is already integrated with Microsoft Teams so you should be able to get accustomed to it quite quickly. 

Users can integrate with SharePoint in any of Teams’ channels, and share files directly with team members. To find SharePoint in Teams, just click the File Tab on the channel, to view the list of files that have been shared with you within the channel.

This improves team collaboration and, if it’s used properly, and everyone’s goals are aligned, it will help you stay on top of your deadline or due dates.  

Integrate with Microsoft Planner to manage tasks & enhance teamwork

One perk that Microsoft Teams has over Slack, is that users can set up integrations with other Microsoft products and services. One of those apps happens to be Microsoft Planner, which is an app that can help you manage tasks within your organisation. 

To help you get started with using Planner, you’ll need to add it to a Tab on within a team channel. Just like adding other apps like OneNote, you can do this by adding “+” alongside the top bar. Then, in the dialogue bar that pops up, select Planner. You can then create a new plan, or choose an existing plan. All the members in that channel will then have access to view the plan form the top bar. 

This not only gives teams the chance to organise their own workload, but it also reduces the chance of duplicated work within your organisation. 

Name chat exchanges to collaborate on projects

Channels tend to contain many conversations that might not be related to the project that you’re currently working on or one of your scheduled meetings. To help your conversations stand and to make it more searchable, give each of your conversations a title. 

For instance, if you’re chatting to another team member about organising or planning a meeting, you can name the conversation “shipping and scheduling meeting”, and it will pop up in the search results when your colleague searches for those keywords. To give your conversation a name, all you have to do is click on the pencil icon at the top, next to the individuals’ name, and then type the name of the conversation that you want. 

It is also possible to ‘pin’ the Planner app on top of a channel so that members of your team can view their individual ‘OKRs’ or see where they stand with certain projects.    

Forward emails and items into Teams

Although some smaller firms tend to use chat tools instead of using email, Microsoft is well aware that several different teams, including multidisciplinary teams, still depend on email. Fortunately, you can send email messages to any channel from Outlook, which is always helpful when you need to send a specific document to one of your team members.  

All you have to do is just click on the ellipsis (…) next to any channel name and select “get email address.” It will then generate an email address for you. Copy it, and then you can use the address to forward emails, documents, and messages to the channel. 

Once you have sent an email to Microsoft Teams, you’ll be able to search for that specific email in the search bar. The number of emails that you have in your inbox not only reduces the amount of time you and your team spend mindlessly dealing with a bunch of emails, but it also helps your team collaborate and focus on tasks that require their attention. 

Call to action

Here at UpSkill Digital, we understand that it can be difficult to come to terms with a new collaboration like Microsoft Teams, but using it can clearly boost business communication and teamwork. 

That’s why we provide in-house Microsoft Teams training to help your team learn how to collaborate more efficiently at work. To find out more about the training we provide, please get in touch, or if you want to learn more about Microsoft Teams as a platform, have a look at our comparative analysis of Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Written by Islam Soliman