Working Remote: Standardize on Teams as your collaboration app

Collaboration is the act of working with someone to produce or create something. In today’s workplace the words “in real time” need to be added to this. Sending emails back and forth is not collaboration, and it is certainly not productive! When working remotely it is critical to standardize on a collaboration application across your organization.

All of our Clients utilize Microsoft Teams as their collaboration platform. Sure this are Slack, Zoom, Asana, and others that are also in this category, but if you are utilizing Microsoft 365 for your email, it makes little sense to not use Teams. Like it or not, it has become the standard collaboration application for businesses. For those of you utilizing Gsuite, well, there isn’t really even a Teams equivalent there….give us a call and we will make your M365 transition seamless!

Implement the whole thing

Whenever someone tells you they are “using Teams” the next question should be, “really, how do you like the Channel, SharePoint, and workflow features?”. Likely you will get a blank expression. This is because many users think of Teams as a video call and screen sharing app and don’t understand how a proper Teams collaboration setup should work.

Teams is designed to be the central hub for all your internal communication, scheduling, and file storage. Yes, it is great for a quick video call, but for true collaboration you need to have a formal Teams structure, all your file data stored here, and training provided to your end users. In the absence of this, you will end up with files scattered across Dropbox, OneDrive, ShareFile, and local computers. You will end up with users on Zoom, WebEx, and FaceTime. In short, you will end up with a mess, not collaboration.

Mobile first and friendly

It does no good to have a collaboration app that only works well on your workstation. The mobile experience should be intuitive and feature complete. The ability to quickly find the file you need to review, and then send a channel message about the latest updates to a teammate should all be handed without leaving the mobile app. Teams handles this well, whether it’s with the mobile app, web application, or desktop client.

Another mobile friendly feature is to add-on the Audio Video Conferencing plan for users that often host meetings that still need a dial-in number available. We also find that often users will dial in for the audio and utilize the Teams client for screen sharing and video. This is especially handy for having meetings OUTSIDE your organization, although anyone can utilize Teams for calls and video for free.

The rapid shift to remote work left many organizations with a grab bag of collaboration applications and tools in use. Now that the dust has settled, it is time to consider a formal Teams implementation to ensure the long term productivity and success of your remote workforce.