As the workplace continues to become more digital due to remote work structures, employee collaboration and company culture need to adapt. However, this is no simple task – how do you go from seeing colleagues in-person every day to working remotely, and still maintain interactions and productivity?
Enter – collaboration tools, specifically Microsoft Teams. Last week, NetGain hosted a webinar discussing the benefits of Microsoft Teams, offering an insiders look and live demonstration of the platform. Read on to learn some items we covered in the webinar, including what Teams is, and some answers to Microsoft Teams frequently asked questions.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Teams is a communication platform that serves as a central hub for collaboration in Microsoft 365, integrating people, content, and tools to help organizations become more engaged and efficient. Teams is comprised of five main elements:
- Calendar management
- File sharing & storage
- Project management
- Video conferencing & calls
These tools empower users to coordinate on business projects, interact with colleagues for fun, store and manage files, meet with internal and external individuals, and much more. Within the Teams application, you can create various teams and channels (sub-section of a team), allowing you to focus on different departments. For example, your executive team could have their own team, and channels within it for finance, employee satisfaction, and more. Within these channels you can collaborate on different files, meet about these subjects, and chat about them.
The great thing about this solution is that there are many ways to utilize it! For example, while NetGain uses it for collaborating on projects, we also have a Teams channel called Company Water Cooler for fun items like sharing our work from home setups, recipes, GIFs, shout outs to team members for a job well done, and more. This helps foster company culture even when we can’t all be in the same office.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled these Microsoft Teams frequently asked questions from our webinar audience, as well as client experience.
- Are files accessible to only those members of that team?
They can be. The administrator of your team (see below) has control over these permissions and can alter the settings depending on the sensitivity of the document and your preferences. This can be a setting across a team level or file level.
- If you started using Teams, would you eliminate software like Slack because of the features in Teams?
It depends on your preference as an organization, but you could eliminate other collaboration tools if you preferred. Teams has features of other tools like Slack since it is so robust. Therefore, you don’t need other solutions if Teams fits your business needs. On the other hand, if you would rather keep tools like Slack in your tech toolkit, Teams has many application integrations available. To make this determination for your organization, we recommend talking to a collaboration expert so that you can share your business needs and ensure the toolset you have in place is ideal for your communication requirements.
- Who manages the Teams environment?
Teams is a cloud based solution since it is part of Microsoft 365. As such, it will be installed and managed by your IT department just like any other cloud application. Engage your IT department to understand more about how your Teams in particular will be managed on the backend. For more technical information, visit Microsoft’s website.
On the front end, however, you can have an administrator for each team within the application. This person can add and remove individuals from the team, create new channels, and can manage what kind of visibility is available for files and other items within that team.
- Are the files from Teams backed up anywhere?
If you have a cloud storage service, like SharePoint or DropBox, all of your Teams files will be backed up there. Implementing this kind of sync serves as a good backup option to have in case of errors, and the connection is continuous. Each team in Microsoft Teams has a site in SharePoint, and each public channel in a team gets a folder within the team site document library. Each private channel gets its own, separate SharePoint site, to protect more sensitive files. Permission and file security options set in SharePoint will be automatically reflected in Teams. Files from conversations and chat logs are stored here too, so you can rest assured any information you may need from Teams will be backed up.
While adapting to a complete workplace shift is not easy, tools like Microsoft Teams can help things transition a bit more smoothly, and foster communication and collaboration within your organization.