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To watch a recording of our Microsoft Teams webinar, click here. Please note: Due to its size, we recommend downloading the file first.

Whilst many people have been working remotely for years, there are very few companies that have had entire workforces working from home - until now. The current lockdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak has meant that all organisations, regardless of size and sector, have needed to think carefully about how to plan and support team work remotely.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to get a remote working strategy in place for the next few months, but also in the long term too. Knowing what technology is out there and how to use it will ensure that lines of communication are kept open and staff are happy and productive working from home.
If your business uses Microsoft Office 365 products, then Microsoft Teams is your best and cheapest option for collaborative working remotely. This blog will cover the basics of Teams and how to get started so you and your employees can be up and running effectively.
A couple of things first:
  • If you’re using Skype for Business currently, it’s important to note that Microsoft Teams will be replacing Skype for Business (which will be retired 31st July 2021).
  • If you work for a business that isn’t currently licensed for Teams, Microsoft are currently offering a free Microsoft 365 E1 offer for six months. To take advantage of this, please get in touch.
What is Microsoft Teams?
Microsoft Teams brings together multiple parts of Office 365 in a single workplace collaboration tool. It allows you to: 
  • Hold one-on-one or group audio and video calls, or text-based chats.
  • Schedule and record meetings
  • Create a group for a particular project or team and use it to centralise files and chats for that team
  • Share screens during web conferencing
  • Share files
It can be accessed from the web browser, a desktop application, or a mobile app. You can also integrate your other workplace apps, such as Planner, Trello, GitHub, and many more.
The majority of Office365 subscriptions include Teams as standard, so the chances are you have everything you need already to get up and running.
Why use Microsoft Teams?
  • One centralised hub for collaboration, combining elements of Outlook, SharePoint and Skype.
  • Integration with all your other Office 365 products for seamless working.
  • Available at no extra cost to Office 365 users.
  • Exceptional security and compliance.
Setting up Microsoft Teams
To download Teams, you need to have an Office 365 account with the appropriate Office 365 licence plan. You can talk to your company's IT administrator to get an account or sign your company up.
Getting started- setting up teams and channels
Setting up a Team

Setting up a team is the first stage to getting started – this can be done on the Teams page on the left-hand side of the screen.

You may want to set up a team for a variety of different purposes – for example, you may want to set up a team for project or product development, a specific department; or a group of internal and external people.
All you need to do to set up a Team is to create a Team name and a description, then add team
members. Please be aware that a new team also creates a matching groups on many of your other Office365 products (OneNote, SharePoint etc).
Setting up a Channel
Channels are a subsection of Teams where the actual work carried out by the team is done. When you set up your team, a General Channel will be automatically created for you. You can set up as many different channels as your like – one could be created for each department in your company, for example. Whenever there is a new notification or activity, the Channel will become bold.
Holding a Meeting on Microsoft Teams
Remote meetings on Teams can be carried out in several ways, depending on your preference. You can run one with anyone with an email address, inside or outside of your organisation.
Functionality includes:
  • Options to have a voice and/or video call
  • Screenshare with colleagues
  • Record the meeting
  • Share files that everyone on the call can access and amend in real-time
  • Start an ‘instant’ meeting
  • Schedule private meetings
 Scheduling a meeting
  1. To schedule a meeting, click on Calendar in Teams. This is on the left-hand sidebar on desktop, and on the bottom panel on mobile.
  2. Select + New meeting
  3. Set the time, date and location (leave the location blank if it’s an online meeting). You can also add a meeting goal, agenda, and link to a file.
  4. Invite people.
  5. Add a location, or if it's an online meeting, leave the location blank.
  6. Start your meeting. When you're ready, select Join now. If you’re using video, you can blur the background on your camera!
  7. Use the menu bar to select controls to share your screen or mute your microphone.
  8. Once you're in the meeting, click the ‘More options button’ to turn on live captions, show meeting notes, or start recording (make sure you let everyone know first!).
Tip: Scheduling a little bit of time at the start of the meeting to resolve any audio issues is recommended to ensure that the online meeting is a success for everyone.
Understanding the basics how to set up Teams, Channels and Meetings means you’re well underway to having an effective remote workspace for you and your employees.
If you want to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please feel free to get in touch.

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