What does it mean in practical terms to be more “productive” or to boost “productivity?”
For most businesses it means reducing time that’s wasted during inefficient processes and creating workflows that allow employees to do more in the same amount of time.
Business productivity can also mean improving response times and eliminating unnecessary problems, so more energy can be put into forward motion instead of putting out fires.
An application within Microsoft 365 that offers multiple opportunities to improve processes, streamline workflows, and enhance response times, is Teams.
You may be most familiar with Microsoft Teams because of its video conferencing capabilities, but that’s just one part of the platform.
Between November 2019 and April 2020 Teams daily user count increased by 275% from 20 million to 75 million.
Teams is designed to be a complete workplace productivity hub that can make a person’s workday more efficient in several ways.
Dig into Microsoft Teams for Several Ways to Improve Efficiency
From reducing time spent sorting through email to improving communication security, Microsoft Teams does a whole lot more than just video conferencing.
Here are several ways to deploy the platform to boost staff productivity.
Launch Your Workflows from One Place
During the course of the day, employees open multiple applications, websites, and documents. The time it takes to locate each of these may be a few additional seconds here and there.
But if it takes just 20 extra seconds to locate something on your computer, and a person needs to do that 30 times a day, that adds up to 10 minutes a day, or over 3 hours each month in non-productive time.
Teams has a feature called Tabs that allows you to put shortcuts to applications, files, websites, and more in one place. This reduces the amount of time it takes employees throughout the day to switch tasks and find often-used files.
Tabs can be also created according to department or project (or other designation). So, for example, everyone in your Marketing Department could have quick access through Tabs to marketing reports and resources they use every day.
Reduce Email Inefficiency
Does this scenario sound familiar? You’ve been included on a group email about a customer project, within that email trail was some important information that you now need to reference for a report.
You spend about 45 minutes searching through two weeks worth of emails and “reply all” trails in your inbox trying to track down the specific email you need.
The average employee spends 28% of their day (about 2.6 hours) in their email application. You can reduce a big area of inefficiency by using Teams for office communication instead of email.
Here are a few reasons why Teams is more efficient than email:
- You’re not dealing with duplicate emails in “reply all” trails
- Messages can be organized by department, project, or another subject
- Keyword search brings up messages & attachments quickly
- People tend to be more succinct and less wordy using messaging
Improve Response Times
There are times you need an answer back right away from a colleague to finish a task. When you email your question, you don’t know when someone will see your email or reply, leaving you waiting.
Messaging in Teams has @mention which allows you to alert someone when you need them right away. Alerts can ping an employee’s phone or show a banner on their screen, so they know when they’re needed.
Teams messaging is in real-time, so there’s less waiting in between sending a message and receiving a reply.
Another feature that improves overall communication is the ability to set a status message. If you’re going to be in a meeting or you’re working on a project and need uninterrupted time, you can set a status of “Away” or “Do Not Disturb” to let everyone know.
Streamline Communication Security
When you have some employees using text on their personal phone, others emailing, and some using apps like WhatsApp to talk to customers, communication trails are a mess.
You end up with customer and team communications spread over multiple devices and apps, making it nearly impossible to secure them all properly if sensitive information was discussed.
Microsoft Teams streamlines your communication security and makes it easy to keep all conversations together. You can use Teams to both facilitate and consolidate communications by:
- Voice call
- Video call
Teams can also secure information by department. For example, if you need to ensure confidentiality for items discussed by your HR department, you can create a private channel for it in Teams that only HR staff can access.
Reduce Time Wasted Searching for Information
Teams helps you organize your communications. So instead of searching your entire hard drive for a sales brochure, you can find it much faster by going to the Sales channel in teams.
You can set up channels based on whatever organizational needs you have. You could create channels for:
- Companywide communications
- Team responsibilities
Teams connects natively with Microsoft 365 apps OneDrive and SharePoint, which allows you to share and collaborate on files within the appropriate team channel.
Files are organized accordingly, making information much easier to find and ensuring employees in a certain department don’t miss information they need.
Are You Looking for Better Ways to Run Your Business?
Cloud services like Microsoft 365 can completely transform the way you run your business, helping you make it more efficient and productive. Rocky Knoll Technologies can show you exactly how.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.