Using Microsoft Teams when you’re social distancing

Microsoft Teams is a collaboration app to help you and your staff stay organised and have conversations, all in one place.

It’s a perfect solution for a business where your staff have to work from home and maintain social distancing.

When you open Teams you can see a list of all the Teams you are on. Teams are made up of channels which you can create based on Topic, Department or other criteria. Channels is where the work gets done including meetings, conversations and sharing files. At the top of each channel are tabs which provide links to your files, other apps, services and resources.

When you share a file, through a channel conversation, other members can work on it simultaneously and share thoughts. The files tab shows all the files that have been shared in the channel. On the left panel is a File option that shows all the files shared across Teams.

Select the Chat option on the left panel to have a private or group chat with other people. Use the New Chat option on the top bar to add other people for chatting. They don’t have to be people within your organisation. On the top right are options to make a video call or audio call.

The IT Agency is currently working with a local service provider to enable the Calls option on the left menu to function in Australia. This will allow you to call anyone directly from Teams, even if they aren’t using Teams.

The calendar option is sync’d to your Outlook calendar, so you can see what you have lined up for the day or week. You can schedule an online Teams meeting from the Teams calendar or from the Outlook calendar. When the meeting is about to start you get a pop-up asking you to join. In the meeting you can enable your webcam, blur your background, share your screen and record the meeting. You can also invite external people even if they don’t use Teams.

The Activity option in the left menu lets you catch up on all your unread messages, @ mentions, replies, voice mails etc.

Use the Command Box at the top of the app to search for specific items or people. You can even add apps like weather reports.

And how do I access Teams? From any web browser, the Teams App on your PC or MAC or download the mobile app for when you are on the go.