The way we work has changed a lot in even just the last decade. There are more remote workers than ever before, and companies are largely running their most vital processes in the cloud for anywhere access.

The office of the future is run by teams that aren’t necessarily in the same building and services customers that may be countries away. Harnessing the power of the right cloud technology is necessary to operate and communicate successfully across long distances.

4 in 5 Australian businesses say that they’ll continue allowing employees to work remotely even after the pandemic has passed.

Some of the challenges with the office of the future, which is already here, are:

Lack of communication can be a major issue in any organisation that can increase mistakes, cause employee morale to go down, and leads to inefficiencies.

According to “The Cost of Poor Communications,” which cited a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees, monetary losses are significant when communication is poor.

Even small companies experience an average loss of $420,000 USD ($561,648 AUD) per year due to miscommunication.

Microsoft Has Anticipated the Future

If you’ve taken a look at Microsoft Teams lately, it will seem like Microsoft has been looking through a crystal ball into the changes that business has experienced over the last 18 months of the pandemic.

It has built out Microsoft Teams into a multi-functional virtual work hub that can do everything from secure department communications and files to enabling real-time chat and video with important clients.

We’ll touch on several ways that Teams can help your company successfully navigate the new virtual working world.

What is Microsoft Teams?

First, let’s go through an overview of the Teams applications. Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft 365 and available with any Microsoft 365 business subscription. It’s also available in a limited-feature format for free.

Teams is more than just one thing. It brings several capabilities to a workforce, including:

  • Team chat channels
  • Secure file sharing
  • Integration with other business applications (launch apps from inside Teams)
  • Voice and video conferencing
  • Webinar capability
  • Real-time file collaboration and authoring
  • Instant team communications
  • Workspace personalisation
  • Add-ons:
    • Business Voice VoIP phone system
    • Microsoft Viva for employee enablement

Features of Microsoft Teams

#1 Launch Your Workflow From a Single Place

The beauty of Teams is that it streamlines a person’s workflow, improving productivity.

For example, when someone turns on their PC in the morning, they will typically start opening various applications. They may look at email for any important messages, open their task manager, open their VoIP or chat application, etc.

All those various apps take time to open and take the brain time to adjust throughout the day.

With Teams, employees can start their day with much fewer apps to deal with. Nearly everything can be launched from teams (chat, file storage, websites, etc.), so users stay in one interface for a more efficient workflow.

#2 Improves Communications & Reduces Mistakes

Employees can interact through channeled real-time chat. For example, you can have a chat channel for your Marketing Department, another for Sales, and another for company-wide communications.

Mistakes are reduced when people can receive clear direction and feel they’re present with their colleagues throughout the day, even if it’s not in the same building.

Teams enables communication with:

  • Real-time chat
  • @mentions (a virtual tap on the shoulder)
  • Status indicators (at lunch, available, etc.)
  • Pinned conversations
  • Emojis & gifs
  • Company Wikis
  • Voice & video chat

#3 Support for Professional Presentations & Webinars

Teams helps you put on a professional presentation for clients, even if you’re miles away. The application recently added Presenter Mode, which provides a more professional look when giving online presentations than you’ll find in other video conferencing apps.

You can also use Teams for conducting webinars. You can create a custom webinar registration page and keep track of attendees with reporting.

#4 Invite Customers to Connect in Real-Time

Teams is flexible and allows you to invite guests who may be outside your company to collaborate with you. This gives you another way to stay in touch with customers that you may not see often (or at all) in person.

Create a specific chat channel in Teams for your customers to access. The security in Teams is excellent, so guest users can only access the channels and features you allow them to.

#5 Empower a Successful Remote Team

The Viva add-on in Microsoft Teams was custom-created to help companies keep remote teams engaged, productive, and feeling energised.

Microsoft Viva is also designed to improve productivity across a wide range of work tasks, from training to finding files. It includes four key areas:

  • Viva Topics (AI-powered features serve up relevant topic content)
  • Viva Connections (Keeps everyone connected and communicating)
  • Viva Learning (Powers ongoing employee development)
  • Viva Insights (Helps prevent burnout and low morale)

#6 Secure File Sharing

Your Accounting Department may need to share files that you don’t want accessible to anyone else. The same goes for your HR Department.

Teams makes it easy to keep those files siloed according to permission levels. Each Teams group can use its own secure SharePoint site to store files that only those in the group can access.

Learn More About Modern Team Collaboration

NetCare provides a “technology success” approach to a variety of IT management and support needs for a business. If your Sydney area company is looking for ways to improve team communication and collaboration, we can help.

Contact us today to learn more. Call (02) 9114 9920 or reach out online.

And in the meantime, you may wish to download the Microsoft Teams Quick Start Guide or begin reviewing the free Microsoft Teams video training.