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. More people are working remotely than ever before and workers are participating in twice as many teams as before.
To respond to these 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 becoming the hub through which users interact with colleagues and core Office applications.
Millennials Continue to Drive Innovation and Change
Millennials have been the driving force behind many of the changes to the way we work. As we have noted in recent blogs, 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 and are in more senior positions within their organizations.
And they expect more than just functional tools. They are 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.
Recent announcements at Microsoft Build and SharePoint Virtual Summit show that Microsoft has 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
For Microsoft customers who have benefitted from Office 365 applications such as Skype for Business, SharePoint, and Yammer, change in the form of new workflows and processes have already begun. For example, today’s Office 365 users typically start the day accessing Outlook, then Yammer or SharePoint. In the future, they would begin within Teams, where they could access other applications as needed for their own team and work.
As it is evolving, Teams is now primarily meant to connect users with the people and work products that they interact with the most. Other applications such as Yammer link users with those whom they may not be interacting with as directly or commonly. As new features and functionality are released, we expect that Office 365 tools will be even more tightly integrated and that Teams will become a vital tool for Office 365 subscribers.
Education and Support for Innovating with Teams
To get the most out of the enhancements to Office 365 and Teams, organizations must not only ensure that the tools are properly implemented, they also need to make sure users know about them and know how to best use them in the context of their work. For many organizations, fully implementing Microsoft Teams will be an evolution rather than a revolution.
For many organizations, fully implementing Microsoft Teams will be an evolution rather than a 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 employees and provide comprehensive support. Adopting Teams can be challenging—having a partner who understands the technology, has experience adapting and developing new workflows, and can provide customizable training and support is key.
As communications champion, Courtney works with Vitalyst’s clients to foster smooth transitions to Microsoft Office 365 and other workplace technology, build excitement among employees to maximize adoption, and help organizations reach a higher return on their workplace investments.