Microsoft Teams is a fantastic collaboration tool that very few businesses harness properly. In the wake of new platforms such as Zoom gaining popularity, Microsoft’s far more extensive remote working tool is perhaps not getting the attention it deserves.
Here at Windsor Telecom we love Teams and we want to explain some of the reasons why. We’ll answer your questions and share our favourite tips, helping you get to grips with this great collaboration tool.
Microsoft Teams is designed around team communication and as such, its default mode is to offer 1-1 speaker view where the video feed focuses on the person talking. However, through the use of the ‘pin’ feature you can choose to pin a speaker to your grid and include up to 9 video feeds in total into a 3×3 grid.
To do this, simply right click the speaker’s name and select pin. This will ensure you don’t lose the view you want and can build a more bespoke feed customised around your needs.
You may sometimes find on Teams that the person on the other end may be cropped out of frame and you’re looking at their shoulders rather than their face. There is one quick and easy way to fix this without getting them to adjust their camera angle.
To reframe a video simply right click their screen and select ‘fit to frame’ to see their entire video in your feed, which can help fix the issue and ensure you can see the entirety of the person’s face.
If you need to communicate without voice chat, such as when you have temporarily muted yourself, or you want to share a message that won’t be forgotten, you can use text chat. You can also use text chat to open up a forum for opinions without getting all attendees talking over each other.
Click the keyboard-style icon in the task bar and you’ll have access to text chat. You’ll be able to chat to everyone within the call.
Zoom and Google Meet have not solved the issue of interrupting other people, but Teams has a handy tool that can help. Use the ‘raise your hand’ feature and other users will be flagged that you want their attention – allowing for a natural pause in their conversation so they can address you without you having to interrupt.
As Teams is part of the Microsoft suite, it allows document sharing through SharePoint integration – ideal for companies that already use the Microsoft ecosystem.
Whenever you create a channel in Teams, a folder is created in your SharePoint document library – just click the ‘Files’ tab within a channel and you’ll see the folder, which allows you to drop in documents. All of these sharing methods provide a great way for team members to work collaboratively at the same time on one document, at the same time, during a call.
In your channel conversation, click ‘Attach’ under the box where you type your message. Then select the file you wish to share and then ‘Send’. Alternatively, go to the document in SharePoint, click the ‘Share’ icon, copy the link to the document and paste it within your channel conversation for everyone to access.
One of the things ‘missing’ from a digital meeting is the easy collaboration and visualisation offered by a physical whiteboard. Being able to draw out ideas on the fly is something hard to replicate online. Step in Microsoft with Whiteboard, a great tool for collaboration that will make your meetings better than ever. Whiteboard loads a digital whiteboard space where you can invite Team members or people outside of your organisation to draw and share their ideas in real-time.
When creating a meeting you can open the meeting chat and click on the whiteboard tab to launch whiteboard. It features built in pen tools in black, red, green and blue as well as an eraser. There is no limit to the size of the canvas and therefore the canvas can be zoomed and panned around for easier navigation. Once a member joins your meeting they can open the meeting chat to see the whiteboard.
During a meeting in progress, the whiteboard can be shared using the share button we discussed above – which places the focus on the whiteboard so is ideal when presenting or doing live collaboration.
With so many great features on offer and an efficient video conferencing service that helps your team work better than ever remotely, now is the perfect time to begin harnessing the power of Teams and other Microsoft app integrations. Here at Windsor Telecom we are passionate about Microsoft Teams and SharePoint and can help you build a better, more effective online workspace. Get in touch to learn more.