Tools and strategies to improve team collaboration

In today’s modern workplace, where flexible and remote working and global operations are commonplace, employees need to be able to connect with teammates inside and outside the organisation for work on critical projects. Having one shared hub for teamwork enables them to work better together and drive better business outcomes.  In this article, we will look at the blockers to effective team collaboration and how Microsoft Teams revolves those challenges.

Teamwork Blocker 1

Too many apps tools, logins and ‘hidden’ project tools

Projects typically have many stages and elements to them. Teams and managers must evaluate how and where the team will communicate and share files, how progress will be tracked and who will manage shared assets over the entirety of the project.  When one individual is accountable for a broad set of tools that everyone needs, team members can be left frustrated by access issues, hidden content and confusion over what to use when. Additionally, waiting on a stakeholder to schedule meetings or provide quick feedback can hinder project progress.

Solution – a shared hub for teamwork

In Microsoft Teams, team members have access to a shared hub where they can find everything they need in one secure location. They can also connect with teammates inside and outside the organisation to work on projects. Teams can locate files using intelligent search capabilities and access them through built-in Office apps. Group or private chat helps team members quickly connect with decision-makers, and they can set up an online meeting where they can co-author and share files to secure immediate approval.

Teamwork Blocker 2

Inefficient virtual meetings, struggling to connect and share files and screens

We have all experienced technology challenges when conducting virtual meetings. Whether it is a poor call connection or someone unable to access a shared screen or see a piece of content. Meeting inefficiencies create barriers for a workforce that is increasingly remote and on the go.

Solution – reliable online meetings with screen sharing on any device

With Microsoft Teams, team members can communicate via shared screens, messaging, voice calling and HD video, on desktops or mobile. Workers can worry less about technology complications and focus more on getting things done. With Microsoft Teams, your employees can:

  • Chat, meet virtually and call across devices with VoIP and PSTN
  • Reduce travel using audio, HD video and web conferencing
  • Engage customers using Teams in webpages and apps

Teamwork Blocker 3

Lack of version control for feedback and revision processes

Using email to share files is inefficient, resulting in multiple versions of the same document with conflicting feedback and changes. Often, the final version gets lost in the chaos, and the wrong version is reviewed and approved. Without real-time file sharing, employees’ workflows are compromised.

Solution – secure, cloud-based file collaboration

Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based tool that empowers workers to collaborate efficiently across desktop and mobile devices from anywhere. Working with Word, PowerPoint or Excel, you can easily co-author in real-time with the rest of the team, from a single version of the file saved to the cloud. Microsoft Teams enables you to:

  • Access documents anywhere, online or offline
  • Collaborate in a single latest version document
  • Share large files easily
  • Use built-in chat functionality to discuss edits
  • Control permissions of contacts inside and outside the organisation

Teamwork Blocker 4

Inconsistent, segmented communication

Geographically disparate or remote-working teams can struggle to communicate effectively, with conversations taking place in small groups in the office or one to one in emails and phone calls. Information is often missed, or key participants are not up to date with the latest plan while working on critical deliverables because they were not actively kept in the loop.  Recorded communications are hard to find, across several inboxes or comments in several versions of documents, creating a chaotic and ineffective method of keeping team members on the same page.

Solution – a set of integrated project communications tools in a single platform

Microsoft Teams is designed with effective teams in mind, supporting the many communication methods that drive projects forward.  From individual and small group chats through to threaded, organised conversations in topic-separated channels, Teams allows quick decision making for targeted audiences to keep everyone focused, gather quick responses and reduce content noise. Chat functions are built-in to both Teams meetings and document co-authoring for fully supported meeting planning, note-taking, collaboration and action.

Robust recording capabilities are available in scheduled meetings, group calls and via the ‘Meet Now’ feature, so absent colleagues can always catch up with the latest decisions and plans.

Microsoft Teams is the central hub for all teamwork, a shared workspace that brings many of the collaboration and communication solutions within Office 365 into a focused workspace.

Read our Microsoft Teams guide for IT Admins to enable you to get started quickly with Microsoft Teams.