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What is Microsoft Teams and How to Use Teams

by | Aug 4, 2020 | MyTek Blog


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Microsoft Teams, referred to as Teams, is a communication and collaboration platform that is ideal for workplaces, especially remote workers. Teams combines chat, video meetings, file storage, project management and application integration all within one tool. It is the teamwork hub in the Microsoft 365 Office suite.

How to Get Started Using Teams

Once you have installed Microsoft Teams, you’ll sign in with your Microsoft 365 username and password. Within Teams, you’ll see a menu on the left-hand side with several options, including an icon for Teams and Channels.

What is a Team in Teams?

A team in Teams is a collection of people, conversations, files and tools that live all together in one location. A team is where a group gather together to work collaboratively across an organization.

What is a Channel in Teams?

A channel in Teams a discussion in a team that is specific to a department, project or topic. For example, within an organization, everyone will likely be on the team in Teams, but only certain individuals will be in different Channels, depending on their roles and responsibilities.

Breaking Down Microsoft Teams’ Features

To fully understand what is Microsoft Teams, it’s a good idea to dive into some of its key features. Within Teams, a comprehensive suite of services exists to support an effective, efficient and economical remote workplace environment. Let’s take a look at some of Teams’ most useful and used features.

How to Communicate in Teams 

Within Channels, posts are organized by date and then threaded to keep all communication related to that Channel organized and in one location. To respond to a thread, simply find that thread and click “Reply,” add your message and hit “Send.” To specifically get a fellow co-workers attention, use the @ symbol then type their name (or select them from a list that appears). To send a message to everyone in the Team or Channel, use @team or @channel and then type your message.

Conversations in Teams

You can start a conversation in teams for the entire team. To do so, simply select the Team and Channel, write your message and click “send.” You can also start a conversation with one or more individuals. To do so, in the “to” field type the person(s) name, write your message and click “send.” Once you’ve started a conversation, all of the replies will stay within that message chain. This makes is useful if you need to go back and find something from that conversation later.

Impromptu and Scheduled Meetings in Teams

Within Teams, you can conduct both scheduled and impromptu meetings. To schedule a meeting, simply click the Calendar icon in the menu, then select “+ New Meeting” in the upper-left corner. For impromptu meetings, navigate to the Channel and click “Reply,” then the camera icon. Enter a name for the meeting and invite others in that Channel to join.

Sharing Files in Teams

Another useful feature in Teams is the ability to share files and keep them altogether in one location. To share a file, click “Attach” (paperclip icon) under the box where you want to share your message, select the file location and then the file you’d like to add. To work with files in Teams, click the “File” icon on the left to see all of the files shared across all of your Teams. You can narrow down by Channel by clicking Files at the top of a Channel.

Adding Apps to Teams

A nice feature in Teams is the ability to add Apps that are used often within the organizations. On the left, select “Apps” to add apps you want to use in Teams. The apps can be made available to everyone, or an employee can set-up apps just for themselves.

Have Some Fun in Teams and Add Personality to Your Interactions

Working remotely does not have to be without humor and fun. To add some personality to your interactions in Teams, you can use the “Sticker” option in the message box to add stickers or memes. You can also add an emoji or GIF.

Next Steps with Teams

We hope this post has helped you understand what is Microsoft Teams and how valuable it can be for an organization, notably one moving to a more remote workforce model. At MyTek, an Arizona managed IT services company, we’ve worked with many organizations to help them make a successful transition to using Microsoft Teams. And, we can help your organization do so also! Give us a call at (623) 312-2440.


Tim - Team

Tim Tiller, LMSW

Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.


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