Ever come back from a holiday to hundreds of emails and had to trawl through them one by one, jumping from one conversation to another? Or been sent a convoluted email trail and expected to be ‘up to date’? Or that you just want to speak to someone to clarify something straight away. Then you’ll be aware that email has its limitations. So is it time to use Teams instead of email?
We’re not saying email is dead or that it doesn’t have its place but if you’ve experienced the above, we’re sure you’ll be keen to hear why a shift from the traditional email to a more collaborative approach in Teams is worth a look at least.
In this new remote world, our desire to collaborate and work in a smarter, more efficient way has seen Microsoft continuously improve Teams for it to become a hub for all work activity.
So, here’s why we think choosing Teams instead of email can work smarter for you:
1. More focused communication
All your conversations are in one place. There’s no need to leave Teams. People chat on one thread so there’s one unified stream of conversation. And the conversation is specific to a topic so you can review your chats by project rather than being constrained by the chronological order of emails and having to read them one after another, all of which may be about different topics.
Outlook has tried to roll up conversations based on their subject line but the moment someone else is added to the conversation or someone uses the same subject title, it becomes a tangled mess.
2. Files are all in one place
Files are easy to find and can be seen and edited by anyone in the Team (who has the permissions to do so).
Email attachments are so last decade. There’s no more sending files back and forth or struggling to edit a document to incorporate various people’s comments. All files can be shared and linked in Teams and even edited while in a meeting.
You simply upload the files into the channels Files tab so all team members can collaborate and co-author on one single version. You can also attach a file to a post, from your PC, OneDrive or other Sharepoint location and it’s automatically copied into the Teams Files tab.
It’s collaboration at its best and promotes a sense of trust and co-creation between team members. And what’s even better is that there is no need to worry about version control, as you’re always working on the most updated version of the document.
3. No more ‘read the email trail’
New to a project and need to get ‘up to speed’? How many times have people sent you a never-ending email trail of garbled conversations and expected you to know exactly what is happening?
Gone are the days of having to trawl through these to make some actual sense of what’s been happening. Add a new person to a Team and they can clearly see all the previous conversations and documents in one place. They can even access call recordings and all important project documentation and decision points in the Teams channel.
4. Targeted conversations
Actions and instruction can easily be missed in emails. In Teams, if you want to direct a comment/question to a particular person, you simply @ mention them.
This will automatically drop in as Activity but also flag as a red @ (as above) in the chat so you know you’ve been mentioned. Other members of the Team can still see this and can add to, like or even contribute to.
5. Efficient working
The inefficiencies of ploughing through emails chronologically and having to switch your brain from one topic to another can have a huge impact on both your productivity and stress levels.
Teams won’t reduce your workload but does reduce the need to go in and out of different applications. By reducing the need to leave the platform, you minimise the risk of being distracted by something else.
Being focused on one topic and having the chat, files, tasks and meetings all in one place means you can catch up all in one go, before moving on to the next project.
With bolt on task management apps such as Planner, you can manage your own tasks as well as those of your team. Planner gives team members a visual and collaborative space to manage their tasks so they know what’s expected of them.
While we know email isn’t going to go away any time soon, we believe Teams can open up a whole new collaborative way of working. One that reduces time spent ploughing through endless emails, reducing inefficiencies and even stress. It’ll take a cultural shift in some organisations that have email ingrained in their way of working but we think it’s worth a try.
If you’re thinking about rolling out Teams instead of email in your organisation, let us help. Changing Social is a certified Microsoft Adoption and Change Management Partner. We specialise in Microsoft Adoption and Change to help our clients adopt Office 365. Email [email protected] or use the form below to arrange a chat today.