Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, companies have continued to move their employees to work from home or mobile work situations. Some companies have decided not to bring employees back to the office and make remote work a permanent fixture for their staff. One key feature of a successful mobile workforce is communication. Employees need to be able to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, clients and prospects to operate outside of the physical office effectively. The way many businesses have implemented communications and collaboration is through the use of Microsoft Teams.
On March 12th, Microsoft reported it had 32 million users of Microsoft Teams. Fast forward to March 19th, and that number jumped to 44 million. By April 30th, more than 75 million people were using Teams as their collaboration platform. That's a 70% increase in just a month! With so many businesses jumping on the Teams bandwagon, we thought we'd point out some great tools available in Microsoft Teams to make your meetings even better.
- Change your video background. While lots of people are working from home, they may not have a dedicated office space. Often you'll see someone in their kitchen or even a spare bedroom. With just the click of your mouse, you can change your video background to look like you are in an office or a boardroom. Not your style? You can blur your background to eliminate distractions and make the focus solely on you.
- Raise your hand. When we are in person in a large meeting, we raise our hands to let the person leading the way know we have something to contribute to the discussion. In Teams, you can virtually raise your hand. This action allows the moderator to see that you want to say something, and you don't look rude in cutting someone off mid-sentence. If more than one person is raising their hand, a queue shows the order of hands raised, allowing the moderator to maintain control over the meeting.
- Change your view. By default, Teams meetings tend to show up to nine people on your screen. When someone talks, they'll move to one of the nine blocks on the screen, and if they shut off their video, you'll see they're still on the call, but video is unavailable at the bottom. Teams is currently working on creating a 7 x 7 grid so that you will be able to see up to 49 people on a meeting soon. Coming in August, Teams will launch Together Mode. Together, Mode eliminates the grid and puts all participants in a virtual meeting room. This view allows participants to see themselves together in one place. Many Teams users requested something similar to this because people felt disconnected from each other while working remotely.
- Share your screen. When working collaboratively, there's nothing more valuable than a screen share. With Teams, you can share your projects in meetings by a simple mouse click. You can share your entire desktop if you have multiple windows you want to share, or just one window to keep the rest of your screen private. Either way, collaboration is raised to a higher level when everyone can see the same thing on their screen.
- Live reactions. We've all seen the like button on social media, and a similar function is coming to Teams soon. With Live Reactions, you'll be able to non-verbally react during a meeting. The feature will use emojis to allow you to give a like for something you're into, and a thumbs down to something that isn't as appealing. With Live Reactions, you eliminate interrupting someone speaking on a meeting but still make sure your "voice" heard.
The business world, as we knew it in March, has undoubtedly changed. With video meetings, conferences and collaboration now all available through Teams, your business can stay productive and work together. Understanding all of the tools in Microsoft Teams and how they can help you be more efficient helps everyone as we continue to evolve this new way of doing business.
If your business is looking for an effective collaboration solution for employees, client meetings and collaboration, Fraser can help with Microsoft Teams for your company. Already have Teams? Get your staff trained quickly with our KnowledgeWave Training by Fraser. KnowledgeWave by Fraser offers more than 50 training modules on Microsoft Teams, helping your employees become Teams experts.