In 2017, Microsoft announced the launch of Teams to replace Skype for business. Since its inception till now, Teams have been able to amass up to 145 million active users daily with the figure still rising. Teams has helped generate over 30 billion collaboration minutes in a single day.
Microsoft Teams offers everything teams in an organization need. Ranging from one-on-one conversations, group messaging, video meetings, to audio calls, employees have it all with Teams. Teams is a very important part of the Microsoft 365 environment. The service integrates with Microsoft apps such as Word, Outlook, SharePoint, and many more. If you’re already using Microsoft productivity tools, Teams fits in naturally.
Here are some amazing features that Microsoft Teams possess that can make help improve your experience.
1. Slash Command
Speed is an important asset in today’s agile workplace. If you want to get work done fast, then you need to make sure that you’re navigating Microsoft Teams as efficiently as possible.
One great way to do this is with slash commands. Slash Commands are shortcuts for performing common tasks in Teams. For instance, you can use a slash command to set your status to “online” or “away”. Alternatively, you can make sure you’re not missing out on anything important with /WhatsNew. This takes you straight to the Release Notes tab on the T-bot channel, so you can check out new features.
Some of the best slash commands include:
|/files||Shows the most recent files shared with you on Teams.|
|/help||Delivers assistance via T-bot|
|/saved||Takes you to your saved messages|
|/activity||See someone’s activity.|
|/available||Set your status to available.|
|/away||Set your status to away.|
|/busy||Set your status to busy.|
|/call||Call a phone number or Teams contact.|
|/dnd||Set your status to do not disturb.|
|/goto||Go right to a team or channel.|
|/join||Join a team|
|/mentions||See all your @mentions.|
|/testcall||Check your call quality.|
|/unread||See all your unread activity.|
|/whatsnew||See what’s new in Teams.|
|/who||Ask a question about someone.|
|/wiki||Add a quick note|
Type / into Teams to see other options.
Note that Slash Command is available only on the desktop and web version.
2. Breakout Room
Breakout rooms are simply mini-meeting rooms that are associated with a larger meeting. Each breakout room has most of the usual meeting features including participant audio and video feeds, a chat pane, and screen-sharing capabilities.
If you have a small team that needs to speak and present in a meeting, they could benefit from prepping and conferring with each other in a separate breakout room while the main meeting is taking place. In another scenario, you could put all meeting participants into breakout rooms to facilitate small-group discussions before bringing everybody back to the main meeting.
To set up breakout rooms, you must either be a meeting organizer or a presenter with breakout room manager privileges. During a meeting, you can access this feature by clicking the Breakout rooms icon (a smaller square on top of a larger square) at the upper right of the meeting window. This will open a panel where you can create one or more breakout rooms and either manually assign people in the meeting to them or have the assignments made automatically.
You can also choose to set up breakout rooms before a meeting by opening the meeting invite in Teams and selecting Breakout rooms > Create rooms.
Breakout room managers can also rename breakout rooms, set time limits for breakout sessions, enter and leave various breakout rooms, send announcements to breakout rooms, and more.
3. Teams and Outlook email integration
Microsoft Teams includes features that make it easy for you in your organization to share information between chat or channel conversations in Teams and email in Outlook and to stay on top of missed conversations. From Outlook, you can share an email to chats or channels on Teams. Likewise, you can also share conversation on Teams to an email on Outlook.
Apart from this, you can also view an email in Teams. In Teams, a preview of the email appears as a message in the chat or channel that you sent to. If this is your first time chatting with the recipient, a new chat will be created. To open and view the full contents of the email in Teams, you can select the email preview in the message sent to the chat or channel conversation.
Important: You must have the Share to Teams Outlook add-in. It’s installed automatically for Teams users. Additionally, The Share to Teams feature is currently not supported on mobile.
4. Microsoft Teams Tabs
Tabs in Microsoft Teams allow businesses to display rich and interactive web content to their teams. There are two types of tabs available in Teams, personal and channel or group. Personal tabs, along with personal-scoped bots, makes a part of personal apps and are scoped to a single user. They can be pinned to the left navigation bar for easy access. Channel or group tabs deliver content to channels and group chats, and are a great way to create collaborative spaces around dedicated web-based content.
5. Live Caption
eams can also detect spoken words in a meeting and present real-time captions. And, if you’ve turned on the new meeting experience option, your captions will include speaker attribution—meaning you will see what is being spoken and who is speaking. To use live captions in a meeting, go to your meeting controls and select More options More options button > Turn on live captions.
To stop using live captions, go to the meeting controls and select More options More options button > Turn off live captions.
6. Together Mode
Another awesome feature of Microsoft Teams is the “Together Mode”. This feature is great for making meetings more engaging. Together Mode places every participant’s video feed in a shared virtual background so it looks like you’re all sitting in a meeting room. It is a fun visual feature that replaces the traditional video call setting.
Together Mode can be used between 4 to 49 participants in a meeting. This feature is available in Microsoft Teams on PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android.
“I especially like the Caption feature, and the Together mode feature. The Caption mode feature helps me to read what is being said in the meeting incase I didn’t hear what was said. Just like the subtitles in movies…”Kayode Ojo, an IT expert and Team user at Bytes Ahead Limited.
What’s your own favorite feature on Teams? Comment below and let us know.
For advice on how to integrate Microsoft Teams into your organization, book a demo with us at Bytes Ahead Limited.