Remote Productivity and Communication with Microsoft Teams
In todays’ working world, we all struggle with working remotely.
It is often difficult to connect with remote team members and collaborating with them on a specific project.
Especially if the team member is newly recruited or transferred.
People often find working together on the same information or document time-consuming and confusing.
These problems can be resolved with Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams resolve this problem using its four main features which are Teams, Meetings, Calls, and Activity.
- The Teams features in Microsoft Teams include creating or joining a team and creating channels.
- These two features can be considered as the heart of collaboration and productivity.
- The action that is granted to you varies depending on the permission or role that was given to you by the administrator, such as a Team member, Team owner, or Guest.
- Anyone in the organization that created a new team will automatically be assigned as the Team owner given them the most actions capabilities followed by team members and guests.
- Inserting specific names and descriptions to the team will ensure better communication.
The description will provide a clear view to new members their responsibility & ease the administrator to place or add new team members.
- Within each team, users can create their channel base on projects or subjects. A channel within the teams helps the user to separate their content and discussion.
- Each channel is separated based on work functions, subjects, and discussion.
- These ease the communication within each channel member and ensure any update to not be lost in the conversation or lose track of the current discussion and responsibility.
- It is also easier for team members to organize and manage the files shared and control the privacy or security of said files.
- Since each channel is more in niche & often smaller than the number of people in a team, members will find that the communication is much fluid and comfortable as most are within the same job scope and the similar management level.
- On another note, include one manager in each channel or allows their communication to be visible to the manager create a professional environment and motivate team members to be more active in their contribution and response to a discussion.
- Besides improving remote communication & productivity through teams and channels, Teams also allows its user to organize meeting with its chosen chat group, channel, or any internal or external members.
- As shown in the figure below, users can choose whether to hold the meeting immediately, schedule a meeting or make a private meeting.
- To schedule a meeting, users can either choose to add new meetings in the calendar or directly to a channel or through the same group of people.
A. Scheduling Assistant
- The highlighted feature of Meetings that improve productivity and communication is the scheduling assistant.
- As shown in the figure above, scheduling assistant helps users quickly set a favorable time & the status of all the chosen members or attendees of the meetings at the chosen date and time.
- Although users can see whether the chosen members are free or not, they are not permitted to view what meetings the others will have at the time.
- After successfully setting a favorable date, an email will be sent to all invited members to either accept, decline, propose a new time or even choose tentative if they were unsure of their availability.
B. Communication Style
- When holding a meeting, users can have a wide range of choices to communicate.
- They can either do a voice chat, video chat, screen sharing or just having a chat in the chatbox.
- Depending on the nature of the discussion, user can choose which that suits them best and maximize the communication and clarity between each member.
- For example, if a user wanted to show a presentation or demonstrate a process, sharing a screen is the best communication style for them.
- In addition to that, the user can also request control or grant a specific person in the meeting control to participate in the presentation or demonstration.
- Recording the meetings or have a written transcript throughout the meeting is also possible.
With these added features in the meetings, members who unable to attend or need some reminder can always go back to each of these meetings and view the recorded video or transcript.
- The organization also could divert or migrate the company mainline or hotline to Microsoft Teams.
- By connecting Microsoft Teams to the public switched telephone network (PSTN), users will have a more unified communication service in its cloud.
- As the telephone network is not restricted by an office premise, a user could connect to all its members in the organization regardless of its country or region.
If the user is connected to the internet, all members can be reached anytime, anywhere.
- The fourth feature that helps improve remote productivity and communication is activity.
- The activity acts as a notification to the users which will be notified for any assigned task, mentioned or the progress of a task.
- To make it easier to catch up on the pending task, users can mark the activity as unread and or use the filter options to search for the latest update on a specific project or task.
To summarize, Microsoft Teams features-set with a simplified user interface and additional group chat capabilities allows its user to quickly adapt and become familiar with the collaboration tools.
As user’s adoption of Microsoft Teams was positive, all members could easily perform the task, communicate, and navigate their way through the platform and manage their work in real-time. In addition to that, Microsoft is continuing to contribute to improve and add more features to facilitate communication and collaboration in Teams.
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