Chances are, you’re no stranger to Microsoft Teams. It’s a tool that became wildly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for good reason: it’s easy to use, presents a smooth and versatile option for large groups of workers trying to connect virtually, and is priced reasonably and fairly compared to many other platforms. But did you know that there’s another main reason why Microsoft Teams is such a great tool? That’s right — it’s constantly innovating. Microsoft is always adding new capabilities to Teams (as it did when it recently integrated Calendly) and improving itself to provide its users with the best possible experience.
That’s why Microsoft Teams recently added a series of new innovations and updates to address customer feedback and enhance their capabilities. From the introduction of breakout rooms to the integration of Tasks and Approvals, these changes were designed to help streamline the remote work experience and to remove the obstacles that often pop up and make life harder for virtual employees at every level. But what are these new innovations, and why are they so great? Keep reading to learn all about how Microsoft Teams is continuing to evolve and innovate to provide its users with the best experience possible.
Introduction of Breakout Rooms
By far the most requested update to Teams, breakout rooms are a new tool that can be used to turn big meetings into smaller and therefore more manageable and productive sessions. Breakout rooms are simple to use: once they are logged into Teams, a meeting organizer is free to create a series of breakout rooms by manually or automatically assigning all of their meeting’s virtual attendees to as many as 50 different rooms. Once inside their individual breakout rooms, employees are free to brainstorm, debrief, or work collaboratively in small groups.
The use of smaller breakout rooms is ideal for employers who want their employees to get the chance to talk within a smaller, more intimate group instead of struggling to be heard within a much larger crowd; it’s also a great tool for facilitating icebreakers and networking during virtual conferences or meetings. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, the meeting organizer also has the ability to jump into different breakout rooms, cancel the breakout rooms and bring everyone back to the main meeting, and even send announcements to all participants in every room at the same time. Breakout rooms represent a powerful tool that is likely to become extremely popular, and their introduction serves as a timely and welcome update for large groups working remotely during the pandemic.
Use Workforce Management Tools Without Leaving Teams
Another new innovation to Teams is the fact that Microsoft has unified its workforce management tools with Teams. This new development means that employees can now use workplace management tools — i.e., they can look at their work schedules, swap or reschedule shifts, or make a wide variety of other changes — without ever needing to leave Teams. Now, changes in employees’ schedules, as well as other workplace issues, can be discussed and resolved entirely within Teams, without employees needing to track down their information outside of Teams. Although it’s a relatively small change, this development is one that is likely to have big effects on efficiency and productivity during virtual meetings in Microsoft Teams.
Increased Capabilities With Tasks
With Tasks, companies can go beyond simply making to-do lists. Tasks give corporate higher-ups the ability to assign a series of tasks to specific retail stores or locations as well as the authority to monitor them as they’re completed. Therefore, this tool not only provides leadership with an easy way to delegate and supervise tasks but also gives managers and workers a clear, streamlined list of all the tasks they need to do and a handy way to update corporate once a given task is finished.
Task leaders also have the ability to prioritize certain tasks and assign them to managers who can send back reports in real-time, thus ensuring that communication is maintained and efficiency is maximized at every step of the way. As another new innovation in Microsoft Teams, the enhancement of Tasks is likely to improve productivity and efficiency by streamlining communication and delegation, making it just as useful for frontline workers as it is for corporate leadership.
Add the Approvals App
Whether an employee wants to request a day off or a co-worker needs someone to approve a new client agreement, the Approvals app removes the need to waste time hunting down signatures and engaging in an inefficient back and forth to get approvals granted. Instead, now that the Approvals app has been integrated into Microsoft Teams, all a given employee needs to do is create a simple approval request, attach the relevant files, and send it to the approver. Approvals can even be sent directly in a chat or channel conversation, making it easy for workers to get the approvals they need without any unnecessary holdups. The integration of Approvals to Microsoft Teams represents yet another way in which Teams makes it easier for coworkers to reduce inefficient busywork and stay focused on the tasks that matter.
Want To Learn More About Microsoft Teams?
At In The Cloud Technologies, we pride ourselves on being experts at helping companies and organizations make the move to the cloud. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at Microsoft Teams and you just want to learn more about their new innovations or you’re completely new to the world of cloud-based technologies, we’re here to help. We work hard to not only prioritize helping you meet your strategic goals but also make it a point to help keep your cloud costs under control.
If you’re intrigued by Microsoft Teams and want to learn more about whether it might be a good fit for your company or organization, or if you’re ready to begin migrating your data into the cloud today, we’re happy to help. Don’t hesitate to call us at 1-857-321-8458 or visit us online today. We’re excited to help you start making the most out of what the cloud has to offer.