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Transitioning to Microsoft Teams? Here’s what you need to know

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Maybe your company is transitioning to Microsoft Teams in order to boost its ability to work remotely. It’s more necessary than ever to have the right tools for remote workers. Many teams are struggling to stay productive amid crisis conditions, and transitioning to Microsoft Teams might indeed be the answer.

Whatever the reason, Microsoft Teams is a great tool for teams of all sizes. What are some peculiarities of Microsoft Teams? What features does it have and what are its shortcomings? If you are transitioning to Microsoft Teams we have all the information you need to know.

In fact, we are in the middle of a transition to Microsoft Teams as well!

In today’s article, we will attempt to cover the basics of Microsoft Teams as well as take a more in-depth look at what this Microsoft tool has to offer. Therefore, if transitioning to Microsoft Teams seems daunting to you right now, rest assured, it does get better.

What Is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is Microsoft’s answer to competing chat platforms for team-based communications and businesses.

The basic functionality of any of these platforms is that it allows users to set up group chat rooms. These chartrooms or hubs are called channels. In Microsoft Teams, groups of people, obviously named Teams, can have access to multiple channels.

On the different channels, Teams can organize their discussions around specific topics. Within a Microsoft Teams chat channel, conversations are threaded and flow from top to bottom. Team members can get up to speed quickly. They can also get notified when there are updates to the discussion.

Furthermore, it is easy to jump into a voice or video call with other channel participants. Unlike some of its competitors, Microsoft Teams has the multiple-caller option enabled right away. Therefore, with a single click, an entire team in a certain channel can get on a call.

Why Transition to Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams has some of its own peculiarities. It is differentiated from other collaboration tools firstly because it is a part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Therefore, it usually comes with a slew of other useful programs, including a storage and sharing platform.

Indeed, having one location for everything surely has its benefits. There is no longer any wasted time spent looking for a document or for information. In fact, the current generation of workers expects 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 even a remote team’s 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 made a Microsoft Teams integration. This way, your team is able to book their vacations, log their sick days or plan any type of leave, without ever leaving the collaboration tool.

Sign up and check out the power of Vacation Tracker within Microsoft Teams.

What Are Microsoft Team’s Top Features?

First of all, with Microsoft Teams it’s easier than ever to send out an email to a large group. With the distribution email address function, every Group created on Teams has its own email address. Hence, sending an email to an entire group is a breeze.

Secondly, when comes time to schedule meetings with all the members of a Team, it’s super simple to find the right time with the Group Calendar on Microsoft Teams.

Third of all, Microsoft Teams offers a Planner board. This is a perfect place to pin memos and tasks. You could even put a Microsoft Teams checklist right on this tool, to make sure you take advantage of the tips and tricks from this article.

Last but not least, a great feature of Microsoft Teams is that it offers a SharePoint team site. This allows a team to host and organize content in a highly efficient and fully shareable way.

What Are Its Main Shortcomings?

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, Microsoft Teams is a bit less intuitive than Slack. This might hinder adoption by 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.

Another shortcoming may be its 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.

Finally, as you are transitioning to Microsoft Teams, remember that transitions take time. Adoption of new software can take weeks or months. Do not get discouraged and stay the course. It will be worth it in the long run.

Transitioning to Microsoft Teams? Here’s what you need to know

Kristina Ousmanova
Kristina Ousmanova

Kristina recently left behind fast-paced life of Human Resource Business Consulting to freelance as a Content Writer. A regular Vacation Tracker contributor, she can be found working remotely from her home in Montreal, usually while eating a variety of snacks.

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