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Shifting to a Remote Working Model: Tools to Enable Your Employees to Do Their Best Work

As the world continues to grapple with the lasting effects of Covid-19, one thing remains clear: the way we work has forever changed. 

Since the workforce has shifted to a remote model, it’s critical that organizations refresh their technology stack to enable their employees to continue to work efficiently and drive value. While there are a number of tools to use to facilitate a remote workforce, today we’ll examine Microsoft Teams.

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft Teams is a collaboration platform for Microsoft Office 365 customers designed to simplify group work. Microsoft Teams easily integrates with other Microsoft servers, which allows users access to shared files, calendars, collaborative editing, and switching between voice, video and text chat.  

Where it Started

In December 2017, Microsoft began to roll out support for advanced calling capabilities, previously only in Skype for Business, to Microsoft Teams. These include providing full featured dialing capabilities, complete with call history, hold/resume, speed dial, transfer, forwarding, caller ID masking, extension dialing, multi-call handling, simultaneous ringing, voicemail, and text telephone (TTY) support. 

In June 2018 Microsoft added support for Direct Routing, enabling customers to use their existing telephony infrastructure for Teams to create a "full voice service", when combined with Microsoft's Phone System for Office 365.  Due to Teams incorporating these new features, support for Skype for Business will end on 31 July 2021, with new Microsoft 365 customers moved onto Microsoft Teams by default from 1 September 2019. 

Secure and Reliable

Microsoft Teams is designed to meet the same security and data protection standards as Office 365 and is Office 365 Tier C compliant. The service enforces two-factor authentication, single sign on through Active Directory and encryption of data in transit and at rest. Microsoft is also adding controls to help organizations protect sensitive information from being shared or leaked. Information barriers allow firms to limit which team members can communicate and collaborate with each other.

Tips to use Microsoft Teams·       

Schedule meeting in Outlook with the Teams plug-in:

  • Leverage the Outlook Teams plug-in to create meeting in Teams
  • The Teams and Outlook calendar will be synced and you can leverage the Teams calendar to start the meeting

Work with members outside of the organization:

  •  Guests, or people outside of the organization, have the ability to use Teams and can participate in channels, conversations, chats, and meetings
  • Guests can share files in channels, add new channels, and user the Wiki
  •  Add Guest in "Add members" and enter the external email address for the Guest

Teams meeting:

  • To view all of the members, select 'Show participants'
  •  In addition, you can quickly add another person that was invited with 'Ask to join'

 Tabs:

  • A must for productivity and ease of access within your working group is taking advantage of the tabs within your Teams and channels
  •  All you need to do to add a tab is click the '+' sign on the right hand side of your Channel and then search for what you want to add in, the main MS Apps or at the top

When it comes to enhancing your organization’s tech stack, it’s vital to do your research and uncover which tools will enable productivity. Let us know in the comments which tools your organization uses or if you have any additional tips related to Microsoft Teams.