THIS MONTH’S FEATURE: Microsoft Teams – Channels

There are several old-school ways of collaborating with a team online. One of the most common is to create an email thread and encourage everybody to respond to the thread.

Anybody who has ever done this knows the struggles that come with it: disorganization, scrolling through endless text, missing messages, people forgetting to email in the thread and starting a new one, people accidently deleting something, trouble with sharing documents…the list goes on and on. These difficulties are nothing more than trying to shove a square peg through a round hole, and it was the norm for a long time (for many, it still is!).

Microsoft Teams bring order, organization, clarity, and collaboration to this age-old problem. Teams allows you to put people into appropriate groups and create avenues for sharing information in appropriate spaces. The two ways this is accomplished is through “Teams” and “Channels”:

  • Teams are collections of people, content, and tools surrounding different project and outcomes within an organization. Think of a “team” as a group of your immediate co-workers, your department, or your branch, and so on
  • Channels are dedicated sections that exist within a team to keep the team organized around a specific topic, project, discipline, or anything else important to your team. It’s a place to ask questions, share tasks, and communicate ideas.

Channels are great for threaded conversations. This is useful for keeping topical conversations together and organized. Plus, it makes it so much easier to search for previous messages in the search bar at the top by word or topic.

A few other great things to mention about teams/channels within Teams:

  • Teams and Channels are completely customizable to each organization’s needs. The only default team is ALL COMPANY and the only default channel is GENERAL. Everything else can be customized! Simply hit the button at the bottom of the Channel list that says, “Join or create a team”. If the option to create a team isn’t available, reach out to your administrator as certain roles/permissions will need to be granted.
  • Are there channels on your list that aren’t relevant? No need to keep looking at them. Simply hit the three dots (“More options”) and select HIDE CHANNEL.
  • Notifications are easily recognizable and help keep you from missing important information. When a team/channel is bolded, this means there is an unread message. When a red exclamation ! is next to a team/channel, this means somebody has posted something and marked it as important. When there is a red @ this means somebody has mentioned you by name and is probably looking for a response.

If you and your colleagues are currently trying to communicate and collaborate outside of Microsoft Teams, you are most likely losing out on the 10x efficiency the program offers for your organization. Ditch the inefficient email threads and jump into this game changing application. Your time is way too valuable to your organization for you not to take advantage of an application that could revolution your professional culture in such an impacting way!

Want to schedule a one-on-one demo of this month’s feature with your technical account manager? Reach out to your account manager today!

Check out this month’s video!