Over the past few years, the way people work has changed quite a bit. For the first time, we now have members of five different generations together in the workplace. Plus, more people are working remotely than ever before and are participating in twice as many teams.

So, when you have employees from various generations working from different locations on separate devices, how can you make collaboration simple?

To respond to these workplace changes and better support customer needs, Microsoft has evolved the ways we work with Office 365. One of the major changes is the way employees use Microsoft Teams. Previously, Teams was used primarily for meetings and chat, but it is now becoming the hub through which users interact with colleagues, clients, and core Office applications. Here a few ways how.

Millennials Continue to Drive Innovation and Change

Millennials have been the driving force behind many of the changes to the way we work. While they want to work remote and have the flexibility to use their own preferred devices, they also want to stay connected. After all, they are the generation that was raised on social media and hyperconnectivity. In response, the top collaboration and group chat tools continue to integrate functionality from social apps to appeal to Millennial workers.

But it is important to note that Millennials are no longer just younger workers. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, while the youngest Millennials are just turning 21, the oldest are approximately 40 years old. This means they’re now at the point in their careers where they’re stepping into more senior positions within their organizations.

They expect more than just functional tools—they’re looking for technology that enables transparency, better support for teams whose members increasingly work remotely, and faster access to the data, content, and tools they need to be more agile.

Microsoft has certainly been listening to their demands. By positioning Teams as a hub—and adding major integrations with third-party applications and improved connection between the core Office 365 applications—Microsoft aims to help organizations move beyond just improving collaboration and progress with their digital transformations.

Teams as the Hub for Collaboration

Microsoft Teams provides your employees with a secure place to brainstorm, create, collaborate, and keep projects moving forward as a cohesive unit. Having this hub for teamwork is a best practice for any organization in today’s modern, digitally-driven workforce. With so many employees working remotely and using their own hardware thanks to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, having a place to come together as a team has never been more vital.

Having this communication hub doesn’t just make your employees feel more connected socially—it drastically improves productivity. With built-in Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, your employees can work together on files simultaneously—even from different devices and locations. Suggestions and edits can be made in-real time, then Teams’ task management capabilities make files easily shareable with decision-makers who can then add edits and give final approval with just a few clicks.

This is a powerful alternative to lengthy email chains and third-party messaging platforms where important information can easily be missed. Your employees will always be working on the most up-to-date version of a document and won’t have to waste time searching for a file—meaning they can focus on tasks that generate value for your business.

Education and Support for Innovating with Teams

To get the most out of the enhancements to Office 365 and Teams, organizations need to ensure that the tools are properly implemented—but also need to make sure users are actually aware of their valuable features and know how to best use them in the context of their work. For many organizations, fully implementing Microsoft Teams will be an evolution over time rather than an immediate revolution.

Users need to understand the full breadth of Teams’ integrations—with both third-party and Microsoft apps— to achieve productivity gains. Users will also need to learn how to best employ integrations to improve their own workflows. This is harder than it sounds—in many organizations, the variety of applications being used can vary by team, department, and functional role. In addition, individual departments and teams typically have their own workflows.

For these reasons, to help get the most out of their investment in Office 365 and Teams, organizations should find a partner who can help them deploy the technology, educate their employees, and provide comprehensive support. Adopting Teams can be challenging—but having a partner who understands the technology, has experience adapting and developing new workflows, and can provide customizable training and support can transform this process into one that is simple and successful! Protected Trust is ready to be this partner!

For more information on the capabilities of Teams and what they’ll mean for your business,  check out this video overview. If you determine Teams is right for your business, reach out to one of our experts today to start a valuable partnership that will provide your teams with a new way to collaborate.

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