How Microsoft Teams can help you work remotely
As things stand, there is no prospect of the UK’s workforce returning to their mass-occupancy offices any time soon. Lockdown has led to a new normal for many people. Many firms are already looking at remote working – helpful to both their cost base and the environment – as a good option for long after the crisis has passed.
As we acclimatise to working from home, we’re all looking for ways to make it easier. Getting to grips with new technology and different ways of working is tough enough in the workplace. At home, it can be daunting not to have the IT team at the end of the corridor. Or that helpful tech-savvy new guy at the next desk. It’s also difficult for managers – how can they set deadlines, organise workflows and supervise their staff effectively? Maybe Microsoft Teams can help.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Teams is a cloud-based collaboration platform designed to make it easy for people to work together, whether they are all sat in the same room or spread across the planet.
It houses files, organises tasks and allows several people to work on the same document simultaneously, wherever they are. Teams links up seamlessly with other Office 365 platforms like Word and Excel. It also ties in with external platforms like Facebook and Twitter easily.
Microsoft Teams stands out because it keeps everything – processes, documents, invoices, messages – together in one place. All the work associated with a project is kept secure, with the ability for the project leader to allocate permissions for who can see what. Team members jump in, do their piece of work, whether that’s updating a chart, messaging a colleague or hosting a 20-person webinar, and jump out again.
How can it help teams work remotely?
If a system was designed with the current pandemic in mind, it was Microsoft Teams. The concept of remote working is intrinsic to its functions, solving many of the problems that go with spreading a workforce over a large area.
For a start, staff can use the messaging system within Teams just like email. The benefits to remote workers are obvious, giving people quick answers and authorisations throughout the working day.
Team members can get at all the documents they have authority to view whenever they want, from anywhere with an internet connection. With automatic syncing, all edits are saved in real-time. This means no-one has to worry that they might be looking at an old draft of a press release or sales figures that have not been updated.
It’s a great online meeting platform
Many companies are now adopting Microsoft Teams purely for its conference call capabilities. It has all the functionality you would expect from a top product in this increasingly competitive market. Meetings can be one-on-one or between big teams and they can be audio or video streamed. Also, you can record the meeting for people to listen to/watch later. Participants can share their screen for better discussion of a document or chart.
The organisational powerhouse of Teams is its channels feature. Channels are portals within a team where conversations can be divided up by tabs. You can use these tabs to hold files, web pages, Excel documents or anything else you would find useful to divide into its own, easy-to-navigate section.
The benefit to the remote worker is that they can find things quickly and know exactly where to put files without the need for a face to face discussion.
The standard version of Microsoft Teams, boasting enough functionality for most businesses, is free. It has a number of in-built security features including secure guest access, auto-encryption of data and multi-factor authentication.
Allteks can provide remote support for your business, including the integration of Microsoft Teams. We offer fully managed IT solutions, IT consultation and IT project-specific reporting. If you have furloughed your IT support staff, we can provide IT support to ensure your business remains safe and secure.
Allteks specialises in creating and managing bespoke IT infrastructure. We support solutions to businesses across Kent, London, Surrey, Essex, Sussex and the rest of the UK. Allteks is a market-leading managed IT service provider. We offer IT support and solutions to businesses large and small.
Contact us today for a free two-hour consultation.