“The way we work has changed but for many we are working at home in a crisis rather than remote working” said presenter Sean Brady from CloudAssist reflecting that many people now find themselves forced into working from home rather than a planned transition.

The webinar entitled ‘Tips and Tricks for Remote working with Microsoft Teams’ looked at some of the collaboration basics of Microsoft Teams including chat, meeting, file sharing and task management along with tips to assist people who may be new to the platform.

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft Teams  is a hub for teamwork in Office 365 with an all-in-one workspace which brings together your meetings, chats, notes, documents, calendars, tasks and even dashboards. 

Sean’s first tip was for people to get used to turning their camera when using the meetings function as this creates the human needed human connection and adds greatly to the level of interaction and engagement.

According to Sean the four cornerstones of remote working regardless of platform are:

  • Team Communication
  • File Sharing
  • Task Management
  • Documenting Teamwork

While demonstrating the over structure of Teams Sean’s second tip was to remember to hover over the screen to see the control ribbon which opens up additional functionality. This ribbon disappears when not in use.

Within Teams one of the key features is Chat, which also contain a range of functions many that mirror the master Team structure. His advice on this was sometimes setting a chat was enough for most projects rather than establishing a new team and utilising the file sharing, video meeting and other capabilities that are built in by default.

Sean explained the difference between chat (could be between two or more people) and posts (previously called channels/conversations) and posts advising to treat them differently. For most people posts represent group wide broadcasts.

“Files are not stored in teams but rather One Drive or SharePoint, depending on your configuration and where you put them” added Sean advising people to think carefully about how they structure the files within teams.

“While many capabilities of teams are set by default many more are available such as Planner for task management” pointed out Sean while also suggesting that people use this in conjunction with One Note to really experience the rich functionality available and making the documentation and management of projects are simple as possible.

Finishing up the presentation Sean emphasised acting deliberately and in a planned fashion when using teams and to avoid setting up new Teams when not necessary as this can lead to avoid ‘Team’s Sprawl’ which can make the experience confusing for users.

“Once you are using Teams, stay within the platform and avoid sending emails about Team activity if you wish to get the most out of the platform” commented Sean, although he did accept that this was a hard to break habit.

A particularly useful tip was to use /keys in the search bar to uncover all the shortcuts key strokes which as he pointed out is invaluable especially for the zoom function when discussing smaller items on the screen.

Sean’s final points were on the adoption journey and the need to approach teams in a planned way that ensures everything from structure to security and championing are thought through from the start. “Start small and empathise with people who are new to the technology” he added.

About CloudAssist

CloudAssist is a Microsoft Gold Cloud Partner since 2010 that specialises in Microsoft Teams adoption for enterprises using change management frameworks to assist users with this new way of collaborating. CloudAssist is a remote-first organisation with team members located in Ireland, UK, US and now Australia and has been 100% remote working for the last 2 years while assisting their customers to adopt Microsoft teams for improved productivity through more effective teamwork. See website for more details  www.cloudassist.ie 

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