Tech Tips: 5 ways to make Microsoft Teams work for you

By Helena Belcher, CRO at Windsor Telecom

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Everyone’s talking Microsoft Teams right now and with the future of work moving to a hybrid model, it’s easy to understand why. But are you using it to its fullest potential? There are many of its features that go unnoticed, and are underappreciated.

Here are 5 important things to get right that I’d love to share.


Ways to make sure Microsoft Teams works for you

1. Chats and channels

As part of your implementation, set up your Teams’ channels and chats to replicate your business teams, projects and practices so you can benefit from file sharing and collaboration with like-minded colleagues. You can easily talk to people directly within groups by mentioning them with an ‘@’ sign before their name, and they will be notified. Other features include ‘Delivery Options’, for when you’re sending an urgent message, ‘Praise’ for when you want to congratulate a colleague, and you can even send GIFs to lighten the mood after a long day.


2. Teams calling

It’s easy to extend your Teams to call externally as well as internally, either directly or by integrating it with your cloud phone system or PBX for extra functionality, giving everyone one easy place to both collaborate and communicate.

Integrating your cloud phone system with Teams is not only efficient, but cost-effective too. Aligning technologies gives you the full capability of calling and contact features, combined with Teams’ collaboration suite, making it flexible as you can answer calls on any device from anywhere connected to the internet. It also provides access to the robust Teams Apps for both desktop and mobile meaning you can be sure that no call will ever go unanswered.


3. Use the apps

There are some great Teams add-on apps. Use them to manage tasks with the Planner app; create approval workflows; create forms, polls, and quizzes; wikis and more. The richness of Teams’ capability gives one place to work for every need.

You can even extend Teams to support your colleague working patterns with the Shifts app, where employees can clock in and out of shifts from their mobile device, approve time-off requests, and when finished can easily share this schedule with the team. It also gives employees control over their shifts with the ‘Requests’ function allowing them to apply for specific shifts.


4. File collaboration

Embrace the power of file sharing and collaboration with SharePoint which is integrated within your Teams environment. While being protected by autosave and version control, Teams allows you to work alongside your colleagues on the same document in real-time, which can greatly increase productivity and collaboration, especially across people working in different locations.

Seamless collaboration can largely contribute to great customer service, marketing functions, and sales roles. You can share documents via links or files stored within chats and channels with all documents stored in a central hub in the cloud for easy access. Documents can also be shared through the approvals app with approval cards giving real-time updates on approval status, which can be sent through Teams chat, letting everyone in the team know when documents are finalised or need attention.

5. Viva learning

Make every day a school day with easy access to integrated learning modules that can be instantly shared with colleagues via chat, then discuss and learn together. Viva Learning creates a central and easily accessible hub to integrate learning into your daily routine, with personalised dashboards, and courses from many partners such as LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft and Microsoft Learn. The learning tool is great to help develop your internal skills within the business and colleagues can recommend courses to each other.

Teams can be a powerful addition to businesses but can only work to its full potential if you know how to use its features. If you’d like advice on how to make the most of Microsoft Teams or are looking to implement Teams Calling into your business, then get in touch and we can talk you through your options.