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What You Need to Know to Get Started with Microsoft Teams

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 Pandemic, companies have shifted to remote working and collaboration to adhere to social distancing protocols. For many, this has been an overwhelming and frightening change from the normal in-office experience. Luckily, Microsoft Teams launched before the Pandemic hit, allowing users to collaborate better than ever. Teams is an exceptional tool to assist with effective communication, organization of projects, and to find a beneficial process. While remote working can be a challenge, the following guide will help get you started with Microsoft Teams to make for a more efficient and productive working experience.

What Is Teams?

Microsoft Teams is considered the teamwork hub in the Office 365 suite. It comprises several related elements that allow businesses of all sizes to effectively collaborate and get the work done, whether in the office or while working from home.

Collaboration

Communication is simplified with Teams through integrated collaboration and chat features and the capability to share, access, and edit documents. These files can be shared with internal colleagues, external partners, a one-on-one or wider group, and host meetings. You can also schedule meetings with your group or team or move from the chat feature to video calls with the click of a button.

Certain licenses permit users to hold live events of up to 10,000 attendees to bring your community together virtually. Organizations also have the option of adding audio conferences for those who wish to attend via telephone.

Safeguarding Privacy

When you first consistently go remote, some anxiety related to your company’s data — and who has access to it — may arise. Luckily, the Microsoft Teams development group had and continues to have a deep commitment to data security and your privacy, thus protecting all information in the software from cybersecurity threats and prying eyes. To further protect sensitive information, Teams gives users control over who can enter meetings, add and download content, create groups, create teams, etc.

How to Get Started

Teams are included in the Office 365 suite, so all users within your organization must have access. Teams can be found under Apps within the Office 365 interface. Teams can be accessed through any web browser or the downloaded desktop application, which provides improved performance and usability over the browser version.

Once in the program, you can create new channels, tabs, or entire teams. Spend time experimenting with the various options and functions and test it out on a small group of colleagues before inviting the entire corporation. The teams you develop are essentially collections of content, users, and tools assigned to different projects with various requirements. You can create new teams using an organizational structure, groups that continually work together, or a combination of both options.

Next Steps

Once you better understand the basics, set permissions on who can create new teams, what external parties will have guest access, and determine the naming conventions. This will help all users track each channel’s purpose, protect sensitive data, and allow all users to make a smooth transition. To ease your colleagues into using Teams, create one team with the focus of adopting the platform and include a few users who understand the basics.

This is a difficult time for most organizations, small- and medium-sized companies, who struggle to meet more needs while applying remote working tools and strategies for the first time. Teams is an excellent option since the software is already included with Office 365, adheres to security compliance guidelines regarding sharing sensitive data, and is simple to set up and use. To ensure the smoothest transition possible, play with the features, and create tips and tricks that will help you and other users be productive and communicative.

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