About half of the U.S. workforce (60 million people) say they can perform their job from home at least part of the time. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, only a small fraction of workers were working exclusively from home. Now, fully remote or hybrid positions are commonplace. The last few years have shown that a distributed workforce can be just as effective as a fully on-site one—provided the right communication tools are in place. 

But still, with the pandemic dangers in the rearview, many companies are urging or forcing employees to come back to the office. Many employees are resisting, preferring a commute-less arrangement that offers greater work life balance. 

Many employers say the key element they are missing out on from having employees stay home is “collaboration.” There is incredible energy with face-to-face communications, and many important ideas are born from it. The question is: can technology make communication between onsite and remote employees more effective? With Microsoft Teams, the answer is a resounding yes.

How does Microsoft Teams improve collaboration?

Microsoft Teams is a suite of communication and collaboration tools launched in 2017 as a direct competitor to Slack. One of the core features of both is the ability for employees to message each other across multiple devices and share information in real-time. 

A major benefit of Microsoft Teams is that it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and Outlook, so if your organization is already using these products, it is an easy choice to opt for Teams. 

Teams is also a platform for virtual meetings—an essential feature for remote workforces. Virtual meetings can be enhanced and made even more collaborative through innovative hardware like speakerphones, web cameras and interactive displays. 

Let’s take a deeper look into how Microsoft Teams can increase collaboration at your business:

Streamlined Meeting Rooms

Setting up meeting rooms with a mix of different services and hardware components can be a nightmare. With Microsoft Teams, everything is designed to work together. This streamlines the set up process considerably by avoiding compatibility issues. This streamlined process makes it easy to scale up and add as many virtual meeting rooms as you need, or reconfigure an existing set up to meet your changing needs.

Enhanced Collaboration Features

With Teams you can go beyond the basic chat and video functionality with advanced features that empower greater collaboration:

  • Screen sharing: Easily share screens with coworkers for training or presentation purposes.
  • Virtual whiteboard: Team members can use Microsoft Whiteboard to plan and brainstorm visually in real-time using connected devices.
  • Presence indicator: Use of presence indicators when instant messaging allows employees to see who is immediately available or who may be busy. 
  • Document collaboration: Shared workspaces allow team members to co-author and edit documents simultaneously. This ensures everyone is on the same page while reducing version control issues.
  • Channel-based communications: Conversations are organized into channels, which allows team members to follow topics and projects that pertain to them and mute others. 
  • Third-party apps: Integrations with popular apps such as Asana, Salesforce, Trello, and others make Teams even more effective at boosting team productivity.

Teams meeting rooms also offer crystal clear audio and video clarity that makes every interaction, from 1-on-1s to all-hands, as real to life as possible. 

Yorktel’s expert IT Consulting team draws from nearly 4 decades of experience helping our customers achieve their strategic business objectives. From hardware to software, from the customer premise to the cloud, Yorktel has earned a reputation as a top IT Consulting firm with intimate knowledge of how to roadmap innovative IT solutions and the expertise to bring those solutions to life.

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Intelligent Meeting Room Automation and Management

Collaboration tools are highly customizable, and adjustments can be made to optimize the experience. Many of these settings can be centrally managed and monitored by your IT team, or for even greater flexibility, a manages services provider. Furthermore, many settings can be automated or adjusted using voice controls such as lighting, volume, brightness, and so on. This intelligent control capability allows users to focus more on collaboration and less on wasting time manipulating settings.

Unlocking Productivity Gains

Ultimately, Microsoft Teams opens the door for you to unlock reservoirs of hidden productivity within your organization. Microsoft Teams allows for robust collaboration amongst a distributed workforce, eliminating many of the concerns with allowing remote work in the first place. By being able to confidently shift to a hybrid or remote working model, your firm can attract top talent regardless of location. 

With reliable technology behind Teams, meetings of all sizes can be held at a moment’s notice, saving time and eliminating travel costs. Employees can interface with each other or clients across various platforms without dealing with technical issues or embarrassing glitches. 

Find Out How Microsoft Teams Conference Room Solutions Can Transform Your Meeting Experience

Going hybrid doesn’t have to feel like you are losing an essential element of business success. When the collaboration problem is so easily solved by tools like Microsoft Teams in combination with A/V connected conference rooms, the benefits of enabling remote work far outweigh the negatives. See how easy it is to implement a conference room solution for Teams and contact a Yorktel representative today.