The Pros and Cons of Microsoft TeamsReading Time: 4 minutes
If you’re thinking of letting go of Slack in favour the Microsoft collaboration tool, you need to consider the pros and cons of Microsoft Teams. Driving adoption of a new tool can be a daunting process. Therefore, before you undertake that kind of challenge, you need to make sure that you are making a decision based on facts.
If you are already a user of Office 365, then you might already have Teams in your applications. However, you might not have started using it. Why is that?
It might be that Slack just has better name recognition. It’s the most well known tool for team collaboration. Yet, it’s definitely not the only tool out there.
Thus, let’s take a deep dive into the pros and cons of Microsoft Team, to figure out once and for all if this member of the Office Suite can replace Slack.
Pro 1: Increased Focus on Work
It might be a placebo effect, but users of Microsoft Teams report being more focused on their work. On the one hand, having a discussion via Teams surely eliminates a number of back and forth emails. Which, in turn, definitely keeps your mind on the task at hand.
Yet, it might also have something to do with the way Microsoft Teams helps to distribute information into channels. This way, important messages don’t all flow through one’s email. Instead, it gets organized into different channels. This streamlines employee focus and keeps information organized. Each channel can contain conversations, meetings and documents related to the topic of that channel.
However, the increased focus might also be a result of Teams having a more professional interface. Of course, team members can still enrich communications with gifs, emoticons, links and link previews. Yet, the functionality of Teams might make users less prone to being side-tracked by random messaged, be it email or other.
Pro 2: Increased Team Productivity
The increase in productivity that a team might experience when switching to a new software is hard to quantify. However, having one location for everything surely has its benefits. There is no longer any wasted time spend looking for a document or for information. In fact, the current generation of workers expect to have everything at their fingertips when they need it.
Therefore, with a single interface to manage all of your communications, it would be possible to see team productivity rise. All apps that are used daily by your team can also be added to Teams. New integrations are becoming available weekly, if not daily.
Of course, all of the tools offered in the Office 365 suite integrate perfectly with Microsoft Teams, but also have other developers creating tools to make your Teams interface into the ultimate management tool.
Here at Vacation Tracker, we are working on a Microsoft Teams integration. This way, your Teams will soon be able to book their vacations, log their sick days or plan any type of leave, without ever leaving the collaboration tool.
Sign up to be the first to get notified when Vacation Tracker becomes available for Microsoft Teams. Users who help us test our integration help to shape the software, and in return, get to use it for free for 3 months!
Pro 3: Easy Implementation
If your greatest worry is that it might take your team a while to adjust to Teams, do not fret. In our list of pros and cons of Microsoft Teams, implementation is definitely a “pro”.
Like most other Microsoft tools, this software is super user-friendly. Moreover, it is completely cloud-based, so the processing power is vast. This power is always at your fingertips. Your team members will be able to access information from anywhere and on any device.
Now that we have seen some of the pros, let’s take a look at the major “cons” of Microsoft Teams.
Con 1: Confusing File Structures
As mentioned above, modern day employees, mainly Generation Z and Millennials, are not accustomed to waiting. They can’t be bothered to know where a file is stored. Therefore, online filing systems need to be easily searchable.
Although you can search for a file in Microsoft Teams, the way files are stored in this application can be confusing. Here’s how it works: every channel has a root folder where all files uploaded to the conversation are stored.
Unfortunately, links from the Teams conversation to the file can break as the folders in this root file are moved around and organized, . It’s a tricky design problem that requires a creative solution. It might also just require that we forget about arranging files perfectly into categories, and therefore change the way we organize our internal filing systems.
Con 2: Different Online Meeting Experience
When speaking of the pros and cons of Microsoft Teams, we can’t help but compare it to Slack. Slack was the original remote team collaboration tool. They also perfected the team call feature before other contenders.
Indeed, when it comes to the online meeting experience, it is a bit less intuitive than group calls on Slack. This might hinder adoption with some users. However, Microsoft has been working on including Skype of Business meeting functionality into Teams. With this integration, the calling feature will hopefully become more intuitive for users.
Nevertheless, Teams offers other great capabilities for online meetings, such as taking notes in OneNote during a group call.
Con 3: Limited Flexibility
Every time you create a new Team on the platform, you start a new structure from scratch. Unfortunately, Teams doesn’t offer much flexibility in terms of replicating structure.
For instance, you cannot move a channel or replicate a Team. When you do need to replicate a Team, you need to do so manually. This can feel a bit counter-productive, or like a waste of time.
Then, even though a key benefit of Teams is that it simplifies information sharing, it is sometimes tricky to change permission settings. It’s another reason that Microsoft Teams might lack flexibility for certain types of users.
In a nutshell, everyone who is on a Team has complete access to all of the channels and all of the files in that Team. If you want to keep certain permissions to just the managerial level, you cannot do that on Teams, at least not for the time being.
In the end, employees don’t like to be pushed into using a new tool, unless they understand the benefits. Microsoft Teams is still growing and improving its offering. Therefore, it is important and wise to consider all of the pros and cons of Microsoft Teams before jumping ship.