10 Ways Microsoft Teams Can Enable Hybrid Working for Your Organisation

The number of hybrid working organisations is increasing at an incredible pace. In the UK alone, the percentage of hybrid workers increased from 13% in February 2022, to 24% by May.

Over the last couple of years, Microsoft has become the unofficial champion of hybrid and flexible work. The Microsoft Teams platform, built to enable all forms of work in today’s digital age, provides business leaders with an all-in-one hub for productivity and performance.

If you’re planning on joining the hybrid working revolution with your business, Microsoft Teams could be just the tool to empower your new strategy. Here are 10 of the ways Microsoft Teams enables hybrid work solutions.

1. Maintain Compliance

Part of the challenge of shifting to hybrid work for many companies is figuring out how to keep employees secure and compliant in a distributed environment. The cloud working landscape is filled with potential risks and threats which could lead to problems for your company. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams helps to negate these issues.

With an all-in-one environment for communications, your employees will be less tempted to use apps not approved by the organisation to connect with colleagues. Plus, your business leaders will have end-to-end visibility over how data is distributed and shared. Teams even has access control policies, and state-of-the-art security solutions to help minimise risk.

There’s also “archiving within Microsoft teams which stores information securely and prevents certain members of staff from accessing sensitive information. You can set up expiration policies in the Azure AD environment to determine how long you keep your data.

2. Boost Productivity with Microsoft 365

More than just your standard communication and collaboration tool, Teams is part of an entire productivity suite: Microsoft 365. This means users can access Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and share content all in the same place. Plus, OneDrive means users can automatically upload files into the cloud for safekeeping.

With countless tools to make sharing and managing content easy, you can ensure your employees have access to all of the right files and information in one place. Microsoft Teams even allows users to work on their Office 365 files at the same time as their colleagues. This means multiple people can collaborate on a word document or presentation in real time.

3. Leverage AI for Efficiency

When working in a distributed environment, remote and hybrid workers won’t always have access to the dedicated support and guidance they get in the office. This means you need an alternative way to assist your staff and keep them productive. Teams has built-in AI to enrich your team member’s workflows. The solution can use keywords to automatically file documents in the right locations and complete tasks on the behalf of users.

You can also create chatbots and virtual assistants to automatically answer employee questions and help them with common issues. With AI technology to save your employees time and cut down on the repetitive tasks they do each day, you’ll end up with a more efficient and empowered team.

4. Keep the Workforce Engaged

During the pandemic, countless companies began turning to tools like Microsoft Teams not just for productivity, but to keep employees engaged and aligned too. Teams thrive when they can connect in regular, face-to-face conversations and conferences. With Microsoft Teams, it’s easy to keep all of your employees on the same page through intuitive meetings.

You can organise interactive collaboration sessions with your Outlook calendar, and get AI suggestions on when certain employees are available, to ensure everyone can attend. The meeting environments in Teams are also enriched with features like screen sharing, apps, and virtual break-out rooms. You can even create to-do lists directly within your meeting.

5. Improve Communication Capabilities

Communication is at the heart of any successful business, whether you’re running a traditional, hybrid, or remote team. However, different people prefer different modes of communication to connect with their colleagues and partners. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams is flexible enough to support all kinds of crucial workplace discussions.

You can align your employees through instant messaging, chat channels, calls, and video meetings. Team members can choose between asynchronous conversations with people who might not be available at the moment and real-time interactions. Plus, you can pin messages to a channel, @mentions specific employees and even set reminders to boost the quality of your communications.

6. Align Internal and External Teams

Successfully paving the way for the future of hybrid work doesn’t just mean ensuring your in-house employees can communicate effectively. In many businesses, it’s also important to be able to interact with external partners, collaborators, contractors, and suppliers. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams can support secure conversations with anyone, inside or outside of your business.

You can customise guest permissions and options for external contacts within the Teams admin centre to protect your business from accidental data leaks. It’s possible to create private channels where you can talk about specific sensitive topics without having to worry about data leaks too. 

7. Leverage Information Barriers and DLP

Since data protection and security are among the most important concerns for businesses in the age of hybrid work, Microsoft Teams consistently delivers new and improved features to give organisations more control. For instance, administrators can set up “Information Barriers” which prevent certain groups of people from communicating with each other.

DLP solutions are also available to protect sensitive data throughout your documents and messages. This capability allows users to define policies preventing team members from sharing sensitive information via a Microsoft Teams channel.

8. Expand Functionality with Apps and Add-Ons

Part of what makes Microsoft Teams so compelling to a wide range of organisations is its ability to integrate with a huge range of different tools and services. The AppSource market makes it easy to connect the tools you already use to your Microsoft Teams instance. What’s more, you can also make apps and tools of your own using Microsoft Power Platform.

The Microsoft Power Platform integrates with Microsoft Teams to give companies low-code and no-code solutions for workforce automation. You can create all kinds of powerful tools to enhance your team’s performance, and even allow staff to make apps of their own.

9. Make Teams your phone system

Did you know Microsoft Teams can replace your existing phone system? You can extend your audio communications with Teams through direct routing which allows you to bring your UC and business phone requirements into the Teams space. This is a great option for businesses that want a single platform for all business communications.

By embracing Voice for Teams, companies can enable hybrid working further by mobilising their employees and allowing for flexible working, work-from-home or bring-your-own-device scenarios.

10. Create a Safe App Environment

As the world of hybrid work continues to evolve, your employees will likely need access to a wider range of tools and services to stay as productive as possible. Rather than allowing your team members to consistently search for new external apps to add to their toolkits, you can create a safe environment of approved apps within Teams.

The Teams admin environment makes it easier to regulate which cloud services are available to your employees at all times, reducing the risk of shadow IT.

Get Ready for the Age of Hybrid Work

The age of hybrid work has already arrived, and adoption is increasing among businesses at an incredible rate. With Microsoft Teams, you can prepare your employees for the future of the workplace, and unlock new levels of productivity and efficiency.

Need help making sure you get the most out of your Teams initiative? Reach out to Resonate, the ultimate Microsoft Gold partner, for a complete guide to getting started.

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