As Britain begins to adjust to post-pandemic life, many office staff are set to find that work life has changed for ever.
Social distancing will be normal for many months to come and many companies will no longer be able to accommodate all staff in their offices.
We are hearing examples already where companies are preparing for the so-called new normal by splitting their office staff into thirds. For example, a 60-strong staff could be cut into three teams of 20 with time in the office split so that only 20 people are physically in the office at any one time.
This will cause many HR and admin headaches but the good news comes in the rise of Microsoft Teams, a package that UK Business IT customers receive as part of their monthly Office 365 subscription. Additionally because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Microsoft are currently offering Teams free-of-charge to non-Office 365 subscribers.
Microsoft Teams has been hugely beneficial during lockdown and has helped many people working from home.
Released in 2017, Microsoft Teams has become an essential support mechanism for many offices and has grown in prominence due to Covid-19. It stands out from its competitors and is much more than a way to communicate via a video app. Microsoft Teams is the replacement for the hugely successful Skype for Business.
It’s much more than just chat
You can use the chat window in Teams to have quick conversations with your colleagues. But there’s so much more to it. When you need to share a file, just attach it in the chat. Then simply call or video call your colleague to discuss the file straight from the window.
You can schedule a meeting without leaving the chat. Chat’s integration with other Microsoft products means no more switching between apps throughout your conversation. Everything you need is available while you chat.
Getting everything ready for meetings can be a challenge. The agenda is in one email, agreed actions in another and there are usually documents to review before the call.
Meetings in Teams makes this experience easier. As soon as you create the meeting, you can start chatting with the participants about the agenda, share the files that you need them to review, and keep track of the meeting notes and to-do’s. You can even check who those unknown people are that have been invited.
The whole thing can be digitally recorded, so those who couldn’t make the meeting don’t have to miss out.
Because Teams is integrated with Office 365, live collaboration during meetings is easy, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint can be created during the meeting and each participant can have an input.
Teams lets you know which members of staff are available and which are already busy. You can put yourself in ‘do not disturb’ mode so that everyone sees this status and it even automatically puts you in ‘unavailable’ mode which it intelligently gets from your calendar.
The Teams app also gives you these features on your mobile phone so that you can stay in contact wherever you are.
If you aren’t yet using Microsoft Teams, please contact ITexpert@ukbusiness.IT for advice.
Mark Swann, of UK Business IT said:
“Microsoft Teams integrated with Office 365 really does help businesses to collaborate with their staff in many more ways than they have been able to in the past. Covid-19 has changed the world forever and whilst many people have been dragged screaming and kicking into the world of technology, those who have embraced it are flying and these will be the businesses that succeed in the future”