Optimize Microsoft Teams with These 3 Simple Rules

Pictured: The Microsoft Teams icon on the menu of an iPhone. Other apps, like Gmail and Signal are visible around it.

If your organization has just switched to Microsoft 365 to transform digitally, Microsoft Teams will be your new bread and butter for communication.

How your organization uses Microsoft Teams will determine how far your Digital Transformation efforts may go.

We talk about Digital Transformation here at TechHouse because we think it’s important.

The Benefits and Pitfalls of Digital Transformation

Successfully moving your organization to the Cloud can provide many benefits, some of which are:

A chimp bashing a stick into a tree. Is this how the reader's organization uses Microsoft Tools?
How does your organization use its tools?
  1. Increased Productivity
  2. Easier Collaboration
  3. Improved Security of Organizational Assets
  4. Improved Data Analytics

As a Cloud-based messaging app integrated with the rest of Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams can help with productivity and collaboration, but that doesn’t mean it will on its own.

Microsoft Teams is only a tool, so its impact depends on the knowledge of the group using it and on the person or team responsible for implementing and managing it in an organization.

Does your organization have guidelines for using Microsoft Teams, or will your team have to find their way on their own?

Failure to implement guidelines and best practices can lead to decreased productivity, hinder collaboration, and even create frustration amongst users and resentment towards the technology and management itself.

If this is the case, your organization may miss out on digitally transforming.

How TechHouse Uses Microsoft Teams

TechHouse has been remote for the last ten years, and we’ve been using Microsoft Teams since its inception.

Many of our employees live and work in Florida, but we also have employees in other states.

For all intents and purposes, Microsoft Teams is our “office.”

We can successfully work together because we follow our best practices for internal and external communication.

Our 3 Simple Rules for Microsoft Teams

We follow three rules when communicating internally:

  1. If it’s super urgent, call in Teams.
  2. If it’s urgent, message in Teams.
  3. If it’s not urgent, send an email.

These three rules may seem simple, but they’re important for our business.

For example, if an engineer is working on a project for a client, we don’t want them to be disturbed by a message that isn’t urgent. When that happens, the engineer has to take their time and attention away to address the internal concern, and then it may take up to 15 minutes just to get their head back in the project after the disturbance.

We also use our calendars intentionally, trying to be mindful of others’ schedules.

Organize Contacts by Skill Not Department

Another way we optimize Microsoft Teams is to organize contacts by skill, not departments.

For example, creating a group you can message anytime can be effective when you reach out for a specific recurring need.

You will also want to control the creation of Teams, especially if your organization is larger. If you don’t, you could end up with a proliferation of Teams which will confuse employees and hinder collaboration and productivity.

Valuing Work-Life Balance

We’re also aware here at TechHouse, that our employees have lives and responsibilities outside of work.

Work/life balance is essential to us, so we do our best to let Microsoft Teams provide our employees with more flexibility.

With Teams on their phone, employees can still attend meetings in the car, waiting room, or wherever.

A Few Examples:

Our employees who are parents can go drop off and pick their kids up from school during the day. Or, if our employees have a contractor coming over to work on their house, they can let them in and have Teams in their pocket if something urgent arises. Similarly, employees can go to dental and medical appointments during the week.

Okay, maybe if you have a meeting, you can attend in the waiting room, but I wouldn’t recommend speaking while a hygienist is drilling into your teeth.

Example of the flexibility Microsoft Teams can provide when used correctly
Or sneezing in your mouth… In which case, you should probably find a new dentist.

Is your organization providing flexibility or rigidity with Microsoft Teams?

Nobody enjoys being chained to their desk all-day

Management of organizations that have always worked in an office building may be uncomfortable providing this level of flexibility to their employees. Still, if your new tech guidelines are creating more rigidity, flexibility can be what your organization needs.

Keeping your employees well-being top priority, permitting a level of flexibility for them can help increase the level of trust within your organization.

The truth is many do not operate well in relationships that lack trust. A lack of trust in your employees may build resentment and cause churn, becoming more expensive for the business in the long run.

Continuing to trust your employees by investing in the technology that can create room for them to work without their hands tied may assist your organization in thriving sustainably.

Need More Help with Microsoft Teams?

If you have just switched to Microsoft Teams and aren’t sure how to use it to maximize your organization’s productivity and streamline collaboration, we hope you now have a foot in the right direction.

Feel Free to Download this Infographic as a Reminder

We are here if you desire further Teams coaching, customized training, or need help with configuration. Contact us to learn more.