Research from Finder.com discovered that over 60% of the UK’s adult population are/have been working from home in recent times, with 26% planning on keeping it that way or at least doing it more often. So, to begin our series of Remote Working blogs, we’ll talk about some features on the increasingly popular Microsoft Teams.
If you haven’t delved into Microsoft Teams yet, it is an incredibly user-friendly platform with some great features. Microsoft launched Teams back in 2017, offering video conferencing, storage for files, chat rooms that are ideal for conferencing, and app integration. It replaced Skype for Business and Microsoft Classroom and has become especially useful during the pandemic. Many schools have opted to use Teams, with its easy-to-use app for parents and children, enabling learners to easily maintain contact and continue their studies, even during lockdown.
But how can Teams help you whilst working from home? Firstly, by very simply providing a virtual office space for you and your colleagues; a place where you can inform each other of times when you’re working, note when you have other business meetings or even just ask that question you may have asked before by shouting across the room, pre-pandemic! You also have access to a shared calendar which gives your business the ability to add any important events and keep an eye on those impending deadlines.
If you need to record your meetings, you can do so easily just by clicking the “record” button when you start; a great feature for those who are unable to join at the time of the meeting so they can catch up later. Of course, the meeting host will have other powers available to them such as being able to remove any participants, mute anyone at any time and even have the option to add joining participants to a “virtual lobby” – ideal for interviews, or 1:1 chat with different employees. And a feature I’m sure all aspiring teachers will love is the “Raise your Hand” button, where if one participant has a question, they simply click (virtually raising their hand), alerting the presenter without having to unmute and call out!
Another handy feature is the ability to send messages whilst being offline. With so many people working from home and dealing with slower broadband speeds – especially in more rural areas – this feature allows you to reply to a message even when offline and once it establishes a network connection, this message will then send automatically. Also, if this message doesn’t send within 24 hours, Teams will notify you, prompting you to re-send it.
A useful tool for managers is the “Approval” feature which can be programmed to send requests to approve an attached document which can then be given various statuses such as “Approved”, “Pending” or “Requested”, without the need for emailing separately so, all in all, Teams offers great virtual office space with some useful tools – are there additional features you would like to see implemented?
Many of our clients have benefited from the use of Teams and Microsoft 10 Pro, amongst other IT solutions we have provided, helping them to overcome some of the challenges that remote working brings. Is this something your business needs? We can help, with a wide range of options to enable you and your employees to work efficiently from home. Get in touch to talk to one of our team about how we can help.