In a blur? Working From Home with Microsoft Teams

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If you are already a user of what has become Microsoft’s fastest-growing app in history, you’ll realise that meeting in Teams is simple and quick, although not always convenient if you’re in a home setting that's verging on disorganised.

So, before you start a Teams meeting, use the blur background function to put you in focus, rather than what’s behind you, be that a child home-schooling at the kitchen table, a stack of laundry ready for ironing, or an interesting choice of reading material on your bookcase.

It’s clear that Working From Home (WFH) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Standard Life Aberdeen has informed 4,900 of its UK employees working from home not to expect a return to the office this year* while Health Secretary Matt Hancock has indicated his hope that employers offer home working as a choice going forward.**

With a record of 2.7 billion minutes of Microsoft Teams meetings taking place in a single day in April***, it has become a feature of daily working life for many.

Microsoft Teams will replace Skype for Business Online which is being retired on 31 July 2021.

All capabilities of Skype for Business are available in Microsoft Teams - like blurring out your background during a video call – but Teams expands on capabilities for communication and collaboration.

Microsoft Teams brings together files, chats, and apps in an integrated app, with functionality that enables organizations to move faster and collaborate more efficiently.

All Office 365 customers are encouraged to use Teams, whether independently or alongside with Skype for Business. However, customers will need to move to Teams before the Skype for Business Online retirement date.

Here’s some advice on how to make Microsoft Teams technology at your fingertips your new best friend.

Don’t leave them hanging

Teams allows you to test your functionality before a video call. This lets you adjust the camera angle, test the audio, sort out any lighting issues or blur the background before you get going.

Cut the inbox clutter

Drowning in emails could become a thing of the past. If a colleague wants you to send a file, or answer a quick query, chats is the answer.

It’s good to share

Using the chat window is an easy way to have a quick conversation with a colleague.

Need to share a file? Attach it in the chat, then call or video call your colleague to discuss the file straight from the window. Meetings can be scheduled without leaving the chat. There’s no need to switch between apps during a conversion as chat is integration with other Microsoft products like Office.

Collaboration and communication

Syncing with Office 365, you can create a Word, Excel or PowerPoint document in Teams, immediately share it with colleagues and then co-write. It cuts out confusion around the very latest version of documents, spreadsheets or power points.

Any time, any place

Teams is a fully cloud-based solution, meaning you can access information from anywhere on any device. Using the Teams phone app gives immediate access to all your apps and documents. You can easily respond to chat and conversations, join meetings with one click and continue to collaborate. So even on the move, you stay in the loop.

Overcoming isolation

Working from home can be a lonely experience but using the Teams internal communications keeps the workforce engaged and motivated and conscious they are working towards the same goal, even when physically apart. It provides scope to check in, not check-up.

Privacy and security

Microsoft Teams comes with security and privacy controls designed to prevent vulnerabilities to hacking, protection which includes:

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) - Users supply added forms of verification to prove their identity, helping protect their accounts from attacks through weak or stolen passwords.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager - To manage devices and apps and enforce conditional access on any device.

Secure Guest Access - Allows users to collaborate with individuals outside their organisation while controlling access to their own data.

Find out more about how Clark IT can support your team working from home. Email us.