In the absence of real, face-to-face communications, Teams has been the next best thing for many. It’s instant messaging and videoconferencing functionality has been a great help for employees during their day-to-day work over the last few years, with Covid-19 placing restrictions on businesses, and making collaboration more difficult.
Lots of organisations to this day rely heavily on Microsoft Teams for their work. One such company is TechQuarters, a provider of business IT support London based companies used a lot when they had to adapt to remote working. When we spoke to them, TechQuarters stated the reason Teams is one of the best remote collaboration solutions is because of how frequently it is updated with new features.
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Microsoft Teams for Hybrid Work
Teams facilitates working both synchronously and asynchronously, which is an important aspect of hybrid working. Colleagues need to have a range of capabilities of communicating with one another. TechQuarters cited examples in their own organisation, where colleagues in different time zones and schedules leverage various features in Teams to convey information with each other, and collaborate as seamlessly as possible.
Teams is constantly having new features for collaboration and communication added to them. So, what are some of the latest collaboration features that are to be added to the platform?
In channels, conversations are usually displayed in boxes. Now, however, the conversation view allows users to open a conversation up into a chat-like pane, enabling a more engaging and synchronous experience.
Channels will also include an Info pane, which will contain a summary of all the important information relating to a channel; including the members of a channel, pinned conversations, shared documents, and more. This means that new users onboarded to a channel can view the info pane to get all the contextual information they need.
As a means of making the experience of using Teams more personalised, the headers of channels will soon be customizable to match the brand of organisations using it.
Speeding up the flow of work is always useful, but especially when remote work can flow it down in other ways. In Teams chat, the new suggested replies feature can make conversations flow more quickly but cutting down on time spend writing simply messages, and avoiding confusing among colleagues (for example, if users forget to send a simple response).
Create Group Chat from Message Box
Creating a group chat with two or more colleagues will be made much simpler, with the ability to create group chats from the message box. Simply @mention colleague whilst you are in a 1-to-1 chat with someone else, and you will see the option to create a group chat with both contacts.
If it is necessary to notify every participant of a group chat to view a message, users no longer need to take the time @mentioning each and every participant individually. Instead, they can mention @everyone, which will send a notification to every chat participant. This is yet another way in which the flow of remote work can be streamlined.
Delete Group Chats
A group chat that is no longer in use does nothing but clutter one’s interface. Soon, users will be able to delete obsolete chats from their chat pane. The chat will not to be deleted entirely, but it will be removed from your recent list.
For asynchronous collaboration with colleagues, the Scheduled send feature allows you to schedule a message so that it arrives within a colleague’s work hours, thus ensuring they don’t overlook it.
In this latest batch of new features for collaboration in Microsoft Teams, there are promises of more streamlined communication and collaboration, as well as both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration being made more efficient. Most Office 365 consultancy professionals nowadays are recommending businesses of any kind to adopt Microsoft Teams for their organisation; hopefully, these new features, and the knowledge that the platform is constantly being worked on, will convince many more organisations that it is the right solution for them.