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How to Use MS Teams for a More Productive Workflow

strategic IT consulting and project management. Now that many Denton and Wise county businesses have had a chance to adjust to the “new normal,” many are looking at how to optimize their processes for remote workers and remote customers while also keeping things cost efficient. One of the ways to do this is by utilizing the power of Teams in Microsoft 365. MS Teams is an app that’s often overlooked by companies because they don’t fully understand what it does or how to use it. But if you utilize it to the fullest, you can potentially eliminate redundant cloud applications, while giving your staff a more productive workflow. And all with a tool you may already have as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription!

Harnessing the Power of Microsoft Teams at Your Company Cloud spending has continued to increase over the years, and definitely in 2020 when the cloud became indispensable during business shutdowns. The average cost per employee for annual cloud subscriptions for a small business is between $1,371 - $2,163. But sometimes companies pay for cloud subscriptions they don’t need, and a collection of non-connected cloud apps can actually hurt productivity rather than making it better. One of the benefits of using Teams is that it can streamline cloud use and optimize your workflows.

Replace Multiple Applications If you’re using one app for team messaging, another for video conferencing, and yet another for FAQ & Wiki management, not only is that three different cloud subscriptions you have to keep up with, that’s three different platforms users have to learn, log into, and manage data in. Teams combines several communication and productivity tools in a single cloud-based work hub, including:

  1. Video conferencing

  2. Audio conferencing

  3. VoIP phone system (with the Microsoft Business Voice add-on)

  4. Team messaging

  5. Company Wiki/FAQ

  6. Remote tools, like status indicators

  7. File sharing

  8. Workflow organization By using Teams, you can potentially replace several tools you use with one, reducing your costs and making user workflows more integrated and fluid.

Keep Conversations Organized, Cataloged, and Secure When you have team members at an office, on the road, and working from home, communications can become a mess. You can end up with bits and pieces of data on personal phones in the SMS app, in emails, and multiple other places. Trying to find information becomes time-consuming and important details can get missed. Nearly half (49%) of surveyed employees said they have trouble locating information at work. Teams keeps all your communications in a single place, organized by subject. You can set up “channels” or groups based upon things like department, project, customer, or any other designation. Each of these team channels can then be used to capture communication from:

  1. Emails (by using a channel email address)

  2. Messages (using Teams rather than SMS for real-time messages)

  3. Video and audio calls

  4. File sharing When your communications are captured in one program, finding information is easier and you’re also able to secure sensitive data.

Get to the Assets You Use Regularly Faster Every time you search for a file, website, or application that you use regularly in your workflow, it takes time. It might just take a minute but doing that 30 times a day for different files, apps, websites, etc. starts to add up. If your staff spent 30 minutes per day going through that process, that would add up to 2.5 hours/week per person or 62.5 hours/week for 25 employees. The tabs feature in Teams can streamline that process by reducing the time it takes to find and open apps, websites, and files you use regularly. Each channel group gives you the ability to add shortcuts as Tabs to things like:

  1. Websites

  2. Office files

  3. PDF documents

  4. Document libraries

  5. MS apps & 3rd party apps Many of the apps can actually open up within Teams, meaning you don’t even have to leave the interface to use them.

Enable Fast & Convenient Communications Have you ever had one of those video conferences where the first 20 minutes were spent just trying to get people connected? Teams is designed for smooth video conferencing both inside your organization and for customers and other people you interact with outside your business. By using the guest user feature, you can send a link to a Teams video call that someone can simply click to join. The integration of Teams with MS 365 makes it easy to share documents while in a video meeting and click to call someone for a more interactive brainstorming meeting directly from the Teams interface. It also supports all devices.

Looking for Ways to Streamline for Better Productivity? Texas I.T. Pros has our own team of productivity experts that can help you explore ways to streamline your tech while also reducing costs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.

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