The 10 Best Microsoft Teams Features You Need to Use Now

Most companies are just brushing the surface of what Microsoft Teams can do. Microsoft Teams is pulling ahead in the number of daily active users with 13 million compared to the next in line – Slack’s 12 million. One reason for this success is how Teams integrates so easily with other Microsoft tools.

Microsoft Teams is part of Microsoft 365 and offers chat, videoconferencing, project management, file storage, and much more.

Here are the best features of Microsoft Teams. Five features you may already know about, and five more you may not but should definitely check out.

5 Popular Microsoft Teams Features

  1. Online meetings can easily occur with anyone on your team or outside of your organization who has access to Teams. Use the calendar to schedule and simply toggle the “Teams Meeting” option when sending out the invitation via Outlook. When it’s time to join, just click “Join Teams Meeting” and get down to business. Just like with similar online meeting platforms, participants can use the chat to share links, ask questions, and use emoji symbols to express themselves quietly during presentations. One advantage that Teams has over competitors like Skype and Zoom for this feature is its integration with Outlook email, calendar, and other Microsoft 365 suite tools.
  2. Video calling and online screen sharing come in handy when you need to be on the same page—literally. Start a call or meeting, then select the screen sharing symbol, and you’ll be able to walk through documents, instructions, and anything else you need to view simultaneously for improved communication flows. This capacity is expanding and allows for up to 10,000 people to be on one call with unlimited call time.
  3. Phone calls via Teams are the next level when messaging back and forth isn’t quite getting the point across. A red, yellow, green, or clear dot next to each contact’s name indicates their availability. Or, you can ask them in the chat thread if you can give them a quick call to discuss the matter. There’s no need to look up their phone number or switch devices; simply click the phone symbol and start a call when you’re both available.
  4. Document storage in SharePoint is a handy way to keep files all in one place for other team members to access them and work together. These can be shared calendars, projects that require ongoing edits by various colleagues, and documents that you need to repeatedly reference. While the file organization system should make it easy to find what you need, the search function can also be a backup when looking for important records.
  5. Conversations within channels and team is a highlight of Teams where projects can be made into channels with whole worlds of files, posts, and other interactive possibilities. In this way, there can be oversight into projects when needed, but more importantly, easy and on-going collaboration as milestones are achieved, changes are made to the original plans, and new members are added to existing jobs.

5 Best Microsoft Teams Features You May Not Be Familiar With

  1. Breakout rooms have become an essential part of online meetings. In Teams, a meeting organizer can create up to 50 breakout rooms for one meeting, freely move between “rooms” during the meeting, send announcements that appear in all rooms, reassign participants as needed, and more. Within the rooms, participants can privately share items in their chat that are only seen and accessible by their group and the meeting organizer. Have some fun with this for virtual team building. Imagine teams competing in small groups, then coming back together to share their scores!
  2. PowerPoint grid view within Teams means that you can effortlessly jump from one slide to another in your deck without being stuck in the sequential order as you need to recall or emphasize a particular point. Tip: Always make sure to toggle-on computer sound so that embedded video can be heard by your audience. Additional options ensure that only the host or organizer can move through the slides without anyone else having access. Presenter view shows the main slide, but with grid view, your participants can see the whole deck as you hop from one to another.
  3. Whiteboard in Teams was rebuilt and updated as of spring 2022. There are new customizable templates, the ability to insert images and shapes, and new reactions. Creative collaboration is easy and fun.
  4. Meeting recaps mean that a last-minute change of schedule is a minor issue when the meeting is not only recorded but all chat and shared files are also available. A transcript of the meeting is automatically created so that highlights can be reviewed in a text format alongside the recording.
  5. Live transcription was added to Microsoft Teams in 2021. It is available when recording a meeting, but it can also be used live. The transcript is visible alongside the screen images, much like chat. The advantage to this feature is that it provides inclusivity for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, as well as for those who are new to the language of the speaker and might have better comprehension via reading the words.

Sikich can guide you in getting the most out of Teams. Learn more about our Modern Workplace solutions today.

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