Due to the quarantine caused by the global pandemic, nearly everyone had to start studying from home or working from home. Despite the need to remain locked down, work has not stopped for many of us, with a new normal taking over.
Collaboration and video conferencing platforms started gaining more attraction thanks to the need for remote communication. One of these tools that have increased popularity after the pandemic is Microsoft Teams.
Yet, even with the fact that more and more people are using Microsoft Teams, there are quite a lot of underutilized features, which can help you maximize the program’s utility. Let’s take a look at what the most often overlooked Microsoft Teams features that boost productivity are.
1. You Can Use Microsoft Teams as a Softphone
Most of us who are using Microsoft Teams grew up in an age when we had actual telephones on our desks, or at least we had one in the house. Yet, many think of Microsoft Teams as nothing more than an instant messaging platform.
However, if you want to maximize your use of MS Teams, you might want to look into using it as your virtual softphone. You can use it to make or receive calls from your computer, and with Microsoft Teams direct routing, you can receive unlimited calls directly, whether they be domestic or international.
This is a convenient feature for those who find themselves constantly switching between MS Teams and a desk phone. You can now integrate both needs into one program, and you only have to use one piece of software and one headset for both these needs. However, you’ll need to add a Session Border Controller (SBC) to work with direct routing.
2. Marking Certain Chat Messages as Important
While it is easy to let the other people know of urgent matters in an audio or video conference, the same cannot be said about chat messages because they are all just lumped together in groups of text.
However, Microsoft Teams’ chat interface has a unique feature: you can mark particular messages as urgent or important to draw others’ attention toward it. So, when you want to highlight something, you can do it even if the other person is not online and reading in real-time.
3. Filter Your Chats
With everyone going online nowadays, it’s not uncommon to be drowning in a barrage of chat messages from different people. These messages usually range from the trivial to the urgent, and sometimes it’s hard to know which is which unless you take the time to read through each message.
Microsoft Teams’ solution to this problem is simple yet quite effective: you can filter all your chats through keywords that you select. Simply put, you can type a keyword or a set of keywords, and Microsoft Teams will give you only the messages that contain those keywords you typed.
This can be pretty handy for those times when you can’t remember where a specific important message was located, but you can remember what that message contained.
The program’s filtering option allows you to sort according to different categories, such as unread messages, messages that mention you, missed calls, and the like. With a messaging organization feature like this, it’s not hard to see how productivity can be boosted with just a few clicks.
4. Record Your Meetings
While group conferences are an excellent substitute to in-person meetings when working from home, sometimes there’s just that one piece of information brought up in a meeting that you need to recall word for word.
It can be difficult to bring this up with in-person meetings without interfering with someone’s work. Still, Microsoft Teams prevents this entire issue from coming up by allowing you to record your meetings to view them later.
That way, you can be sure that any referrals you make according to the discussions you made with your colleagues are always done within the proper context. It also allows you to be more confident with the information you bring up as it’s particularly useful when writing down meeting notes.
There are tons of online programs that we use for our conferencing needs, but Microsoft Teams takes all these up by a notch.
By including a lot of convenient — but often overlooked — features along with the well-known ones, those of us who regularly use Microsoft Teams can stand to benefit by so much if we learn to use these features and integrate them into our daily routines.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the best features that Microsoft Teams can offer. We recognize the importance of boosting one’s productivity even when at home, so why not go ahead and give some of these a try?