Remote Working has become a norm for many businesses since Covid, and with more than 60% of Australians working from home, it looks like it’s here to stay. Thankfully, there are tools that make the shift to a digital work environment virtually painless.

Video conferencing and applications such as Microsoft Teams enable businesses adapting to remote working, to seamlessly communicate with team members from any location and readily resume business operations.

You may be already using Microsoft Teams to communicate within your business but are you aware of all the great features this application offers?

Here are 10 tips we suggest for using Microsoft Teams to increase your productivity at work.

1. Organise Your Teams & Channels

Depending on the size of your organisation, you may have created or been added to a multitude of Teams and channels which can quickly become disorganised and difficult to navigate. To avoid this, we recommend regularly sorting through active and inactive Teams and channels and pinning the most frequently used Teams for easy access and convenience.

Luckily, organising Teams is easy!

All you need to do is choose your preferred order and drag and drop the Teams to where you want them. You can also hide the channels you use less often or archive inactive channels.

2. Use @mention to Send and Filter Messages

Want to quickly send a message to a colleague without having to dig through your Teams to find your last conversation with them? Just type the @ sign and their name into the search bar at the top to send a message from wherever you are in Teams.

Need to double check what time your colleague said to meet? If you want to search for a recent message that was directed at you, you can also filter recent activity and prioritise messages by clicking on the filter button in the Activity feed and choosing @mentions from the dropdown menu.

3. Group Users into Tags

Another way to quickly communicate with a select group of people is to create subgroups within Teams and group users into tags. This can make it easier to @mention or start a chat with those included under the tag – saving time and avoiding leaving any users out of the conversation.

4. Connect to Your Cloud Storage

One of the most useful features from Teams is its native capability to link to Cloud storage such as OneDrive, SharePoint or other non-Microsoft storage locations. This allows users to quickly access all files relating to your Team or Channel from any location and at any time. Cloud storage and Cloud-based services are rapidly becoming a vital and necessary part of all business operations. So, connecting Teams to your Cloud Storage is not only convenient but essential for your business to function efficiently.

5. Use Keyboard Commands

Improve your productivity by using slash commands and keyboard shortcuts. While you don’t need to memorise every single command, remembering the commands for the features you use most frequently can greatly speed up your workflow. For example, you can change your status, start a chat, or make a video call all from the search bar. To check out what keyboard commands you can use, type a ‘/’ into the search bar and the list of options will pop up or simply click Ctrl + ‘.’.

6. Send Urgent Notifications

Have an urgent matter that simply cannot wait? You can get your colleagues attention by marking messages you have sent as urgent. Doing so will make your message appear with a red header and alert the user every 2 minutes with a desktop alert until they finally see your message. This is a great way to cut through the noise and resolve important matters as soon as possible.

7. Turn on Do Not Disturb

In a meeting and the constant ping of messages driving you nuts?

It can be difficult to focus when you’re getting constant alerts of incoming messages during a Teams call. Simply change your status to ‘Do Not Disturb’ to pause notifications and turn off all those annoying distractions. If you’re worried about missing important messages, such as those from your employer, you can set priority access for set users in your privacy settings.

8. Blur Background for Meetings

As we continue to work more from home, privacy can be a big concern for remote workers. No one wants to show off a cluttered or messy workspace. Blurring your background in a video meeting is the easiest way to hide all the mess and keep the focus on you and the matters at hand.

You can blur your background before joining a meeting by turning the Blur toggle to on or, during a meeting, click on the three ellipses on the floating menu bar and select the Show Background Effects option from the menu.

9. Record & Transcribe Your Meeting

Are your co-workers unable to attend an important meeting? You’re in luck!

Teams has the option to record audio, video and screen sharing activities and, during any Teams meeting, you can also start recording an automatic live transcript. Recording and transcribing your meetings can be very useful as:

  • Recording meetings provides convenience. As not all members may be in the same location or timezone, recording a meeting avoids scheduling issues
  • Transcripts make your Teams Meetings instantly searchable (both while the meeting is happening and after)
  • Transcripts make meetings more accessible and inclusive for all employees

The recording will automatically upload to OneDrive or SharePoint and can be accessed by anyone invited to the meeting. Although the recording feature is only available within the desktop version, users can access the transcript via mobile devices.

10. Replace Internal Emails with Teams

Do important emails get lost in the clutter of your inbox? Or are you waiting forever to get an email reply from a colleague? With hundreds of emails flooding in each day, it’s easy to see how some can be missed. Luckily, Teams provides an easy solution for co-workers to communicate quickly and efficiently – without flooding your inbox.

With many collaborative features and the ability to communicate immediately through chat, Teams is the perfect alternative to cluttering and overfilling your inbox with internal communications. Also, as Teams is integrated with Office 365, you can easily access your email calendar and other Office 365 tools through the Teams interface. So, before you hit send on that email, think, could this be a Teams message instead?

Ready to Start?

These are but some of the great features Microsoft Teams has to offer. With employees working more and more out of office, it is so important for businesses to ensure they have the right tools in place. That’s where partnering with experts in managed IT services can help. Talk to us today to learn how we can help your business get the most out of its technology.