What would we have done without the support of our teams over the past 18 months? We couldn’t have survived without dedicated and committed people, but in addition Microsoft Teams has been there for us. 

Microsoft Teams has helped to keep us connected and working. By February 115 million people were using Teams each day! We’re seeing monthly updates by Microsoft who are committed to making Teams as flexible for hybrid-working as they possibly can. 

Below we’ve listed a few of the main updates that you can benefit from when you use Teams. You can also find more information on updates here

Meeting management 

It’s now easier to hold a meeting – start it instantly from Outlook. There are also more management options; want control over who can speak and who can’t – you choose. Video can also be managed so that the meeting owner can decide who is allowed to be shown. 

Once the meeting is taking place there are now many options for sharing information such as PowerPoint slide decks, individual windows, or a Microsoft Whiteboard. You can also express yourself using over 800 emojis! 

We want to be Together 

Together mode has added further choice, flexibility and effectiveness. Meeting attendees are sat in a virtual room, allowing everyone to retain the same seat. Research has shown that Together mode helps us to read body language better and is less draining than the traditional Teams view where everyone is in their own rectangle. Breakout rooms can also be set up for webinars and wellbeing experiences. 

As an aside, it’s also recognised that Teams is a great leveler when it comes to meetings – no longer is there a ‘head of the table’ with certain individuals vying for seats around the boss. Whilst we’re not denying that there are plenty of arguments for face-to-face meetings, there are also those that are benefitting from this less-pressurised meeting space where there is less obvious hierarchy. 

Record and rewind 

Another area where Teams is triumphing over the traditional meeting is the ability to replay. Previously most of us have relied on taking scant notes (if any) during an office-based meeting, and rely heavily on meeting minutes as a reminder. Teams meetings offer a recording and transcript facility with content being available to share, skipped through and rewound. 

Global village 

Many of us will have realised the benefit of Teams where long-distance connections are needed. Worth noting is that Teams isn’t just bringing us closer geographically. In an ongoing effort to make the platform more inclusion Microsoft have added more languages to live event captions and translations. Find a full list here. The spellchecker also detects switches in language and adjusts accordingly, defaulting to your keyboard’s language. 

Work life balance 

During the first few months of the pandemic, it became apparent that some of those new to home working were toiling away for excessive hours. Wherever we’re working it’s well recognised that we need downtime. In response to this Teams introduced a Duration setting for your status – choose how long you wish to be Available or if you wish to display Do Not Disturb. It’s also easier to update your status so that you can be ‘out of office’ or ‘appear offline’. 

Make yourself heard 

Whilst hearing a dog bark or a child laugh during a meeting can bring a much-needed dose of realism, it can also prove distracting (particularly if you’re the person with the background noise). The ‘noise suppression’ function quietens background sounds allowing you to be properly heard. 

Scratching the surface 

We’ve covered a few features and benefits of Teams here – there are many more! Microsoft are working at pace to make the platform as flexible as possible so that every industry and every business can use Teams to suit their own specific needs. If you’re not sure how to best use Teams for your business speak to us and we’ll run through the options with you. And if you obtain Microsoft 365 Enhanced Security from Net Primates you’ll also benefit from vital IT Security provision.