Even though the sun is shining, the vaccination programme in the UK continues to be rolled out across the UK, and restrictions are easing a bit, Covid-19 is still changing the way the majority of us do things for the foreseeable future. Maybe you’ve been ticking along but are now looking for more robust solutions to accommodate flexible working, or you’re considering transitioning to flexible working completely even when the pandemic is over – either way, it’s great to have tools that can be perfectly moulded to your business – today we’re going to talk about Microsoft Teams.

However you and your colleagues are working at the moment, whether through necessity or choice, having the ability to work together in real time is so important. How do you arrange and hold meetings? How do you share and work on documents (are there lots of versions of the same document floating around after being saved from an email, and then emailed back?), and how do you keep the close-knit team feeling while people are working from their own homes? MS Teams can do all of this and more, and we’re going to walk you through it.

Downloading Microsoft Teams

If you already have Microsoft 365, then congratulations – all you need to do is download it and you can get going. If you don’t have Microsoft 365, then there’s a free plan that you can use to have a play and see if you like it before you commit to buying it. There’s also a month’s free trial for business users.

Once downloaded, add the Teams app to all of your devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop) and they’ll sync together which means you can access Teams wherever and whenever you need to.

Building your team

Next you’ll need to set up your team. Most likely, this will be the name of your business.  But if you’re a larger business, or are looking for teams to have a certain level of confidentiality so their work can’t be seen by the rest of the company, for example HR or Finance departments, then setting up multiple teams is a good option so you can limit access.

Creating channels

Each team is then made up of a number of channels. Depending on your business, you might have a channel for marketing, sales, design, positive feedback.

Within each channel, you can then keep all of the documents, conversations, apps, and recorded meetings that relate to it – making the information really easy to find for anyone who needs it, while also keeping it together in a sensible order.

Within channels, you can have whole-team conversations, or private chats which can be in quick message form, or audio, or even video. You can also share documents within each channel and collaborate on them – which is great! No more chasing down the most recent version of a document, it’ll be right there!

Another fab thing about channels, is that when you have quite a lot of them within a team, you can pin the channels you use the most to give you easy access – there’s no need to mutter to yourself while scrolling through a seemingly endless list.

Personalise your view

One size doesn’t fit all. That’s true for business software, but it’s also true for individuals. People like to organize themselves in different ways, and Microsoft Teams doesn’t neglect to deal with this. You can easily personalise your view by creating tabs for files you regularly use, and pinning your favourite apps on the left hand view of teams by right-clicking on them and selecting the pin – easy!

Keep in the loop, even when you’re offline

The other great thing about Teams, is that if you’re not connected to the internet you can still see everything that was available last time you logged in while online. This is great for people who work remotely in a bad signal area, or who need to do onsite visits with limited signal.

So there we have it, a brief whistle stop tour of MS Teams and how to set it up. If you think this sounds great but you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with it, then please get in touch with us. We offer training for our customers and their teams, to help you get the very most out of it. Just book a call into our diary – you won’t look back!