remote work

Communication within Microsoft 365 centres around Microsoft Teams. ‘Teams’ has fast become synonymous with remote-working due to its extensive features list and deep integration within the Microsoft product line, and as a result, it has become the go-to communication platform for over half a million companies worldwide.

While its intuitive interface is easy to get to grips with, its simplicity hides several useful and powerful features that users often overlook. Let’s look at a few of these hidden gems and see if they could help to enhance your business’ communications.

 

Inline Message Translation

Introduced in 2019, this useful feature lets users translate received messages into their native language in just two clicks. This feature won’t work unless enabled from within the Microsoft Teams Admin centre. To translate a message simply select ‘more options’ and then ‘translate.’

 

Quick Forms

The integration of Microsoft Forms into the Teams experience lets you publish simple surveys and quizzes within the chat interface. To activate this feature, navigate to ‘messaging extensions’ located below the chat text window and search for ‘Forms.’ The app then lets you publish simple multi-choice questions in the channel for all group members to answer.

 

Email Channels

This is an extremely useful yet often overlooked feature that turns a team’s channel into a destination for emails. By using a channel email address, you can funnel email communication through a channel’s chat feed and ensure that everyone is kept up to date with developments. Also, any email content plus attachments sent to the channel will automatically be saved in an auto-generated folder titled ‘Email messages’ in the channel’s SharePoint.

 

Content ‘bookmarks’

An extremely simple feature that makes retrieving and following up on vital correspondence a breeze. Hover your cursor over a message and select ‘save this message’ from the ‘more options’ menu. This message and any others you choose to save can be returned to via the ‘saved’ section located under your user account icon in the top right.

 

Filter activity using @mentions

If you use teams heavily on a daily basis, you’ll likely end up with a lot of notifications in your activity tab.  Sifting through notifications individually can be time-consuming, but luckily there is a filter feature to let you focus on the content most relevant to you.

The ‘@mentions’ filter is particularly useful for filtering out notifications which aren’t targeted at you specifically, allowing you to filter out the ‘noise’ and focus on what’s most important.

 

Immersive Reader

Often disregarded as a ‘learning tool’ rather than a useful feature for business users, the immersive reader can prove surprisingly useful in various scenarios. If you’re focussed on a task and you receive a lengthy message from your boss, you can have immersive reader play the message aloud while your eyes are focussed elsewhere. To use, simply select ‘immersive reader’ from the ‘more options’ drop-down menu and then press the play button.

 

Work faster with ‘Slash Commands’

Slash commands are simply a range of shortcuts you can use by typing a forward slash into the search bar at the top of the Teams window. Set a status, navigate to a channel, make a call and more with this useful feature that speeds up many of the most common commands.

 

Enjoy some headspace by using the ‘hide’ feature

Avoid a cluttered interface and remove those noisy channels that are distracting you from your work by using the ‘hide’ feature. Simply select ‘hide’ from the ‘more options’ menu located beside a channel and the channel will be removed from your chat feed. Messages in which you are @mentioned will still show up as a notification and you can ‘unhide’ the channel at any time and it will return to your feed.

By diving a little deeper into Microsoft Teams you can uncover these and many more productivity-boosting, time-saving useful features that will empower your team to work more effectively.

 

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