Microsoft Teams: Top features to improve work collaboration

One of the biggest aspects that contribute to the success of any organization is whether its employees can collaborate and work as a team. Considering the growing competition, collaboration in the workplace has become a crucial factor for productivity as well as creativity. While there are several tools in the market meant to enable better collaboration within the organization, Microsoft Teams, which is celebrating its third anniversary, stands out as one of the most powerful and complete software solutions for collaboration. And with remote work becoming essential during the coronavirus pandemic, businesses need a work collaboration platform like Microsoft Teams to keep everyone connected, no matter where they are working from.

Microsoft Teams has a very long list of features and integration options and can seamlessly work with almost any Microsoft Office tool and service. As the name suggests, Microsoft Teams packs in various features such as wide integration options, multiple conversation channels, real-time collaboration, cross-platform and device compatibility, security, and privacy for teams. However, for any organization to get the most out of the tool, they should start using it to its complete potential.

Here are some of the important yet often underused features of Microsoft Teams, which every organization should know.

Collaborate outside the circle

While Microsoft Teams is one of the predominant collaboration tools across enterprises, there are other tools such as Slack, Webex, or Trello, which are also used on a wide scale. Often, enterprise projects need inter-organizational coordination and collaboration to be completed. And if the clients are using a different collaboration tool, communication and collaboration can turn into a nightmare.

Luckily, Mio has launched an integration for Teams to collaborate with other collaboration tools such as Slack and Webex. This will allow companies to keep their collaboration tools and still communicate with other workers using a different tool.

microsoft teams x slack

Using Mio, you will be able to stay on Teams and send communications using different tools such as Slack. And Mio will act as an intermediary to translate these messages across different platforms.

Not everyone is aware that Microsoft also allows guests to connect to Teams. This guest access feature allows business representatives and vendors to connect with people outside their organization. And yes, the guest channel is as secure as the regular channel.

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is a very useful and productivity-focused feature by Microsoft. However, not many organizations realize that this feature can also be used across Teams for convenience.

Immersive Reader is often considered to be a feature reserved only for educational institutions or for learning experiences. But it can help users to focus on something important while listening to the updates or their mentions across the Microsoft Teams’ conversation channels. This allows users to grab the information without actually having to concentrate and read out the conversations or chat channels.

Microsoft Teams- Immersive reader

Immersive Reader can also be adjusted according to the user’s needs concerning the pace or speed of reading.

Filtering messages

Microsoft Teams is meant to increase productivity. However, not every user using the platform is going to use the application for productivity purposes solely. There are often unnecessary conversations or personal messages.

These personal messages when mixed with actual to-do tasks or priority messages often lead to missing out on important information. This makes it challenging to stay productive and too easy to overlook essential communications related to their job.

Luckily with Teams, you can always filter the content or conversational channels using @Mentions. This helps users to easily separate and focus on the messages or to-dos meant for them.

The activity filter ensures that users on Teams don’t miss out on any important information without having to bother about overwhelming information sent over common communication channels.

Slash commands

Microsoft Teams offers several commands to ease various everyday tasks. You are probably aware of the command bar on top of Teams. You can use it to type in various commands to perform specific actions.

These slash commands help users speed up regular tasks enabling better productivity. They also help users navigate across the Teams platform in a much more effective way. For instance, you use a slash command to see someone’s activity or to change your status. You can quickly search all the files associated with the channel or can initiate a call.

Here are some of the most helpful slash commands that every Teams user should be aware of.

  • /whatsnew: To display what’s new in Teams (features, updates, etc).
  • /activity: Lets users view other team member’s activity.
  • /available: Changes your status to “Available.”
  • /away: Changes your status to “Away.”
  • /call: Used to initiate a call.
  • /dnd: Changes your status to “Do Not Disturb.”
  • /files: See your recent files.
  • /goto: Go to a certain team or channel.
  • /help: Get help.
  • /join: Join a team.


Organizations end up spending a considerable amount of time and effort in setting up a system that monitors and records the working hours of employees. This often can be quite cumbersome for both employees and employers. Microsoft Teams has a very simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive timesheet recording feature called Shifts.

Shifts allow users to record their working hours per day, per session, or even per hour, which can then be verified and used by the employer. This helps in transparent payment management, work schedule, work time recording, and more.

Microsoft Teams Shifts

Because Shifts is a transparent system of recording timesheets, it allows organizations to grow a healthy work culture among employees and management.

Collaboration across SharePoint sites

As you can see, Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool for its ability to work with multiple applications and services. Using Teams, an organization can very easily connect with all SharePoint sites across the organization.

With Microsoft Teams, users can easily share SharePoint pages across the teams’ platform, include SharePoint embedded document or files, and even add complete SharePoint sites to Teams.

Apart from these features, Teams offers several other important features such as combining the company information sites, knowledge sharing, email management, and privacy and security handling. And Microsoft has been very active in launching several new features into Teams, making it an even stronger application for collaboration.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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