As companies acclimate to remote working, it’s more important than ever to have functional, well-integrated software that can help co-workers connect with each other and share information — without needing to call a meeting.


Enter Microsoft Teams. Like other workplace integration programs, such as Slack, Teams allows you to easily communicate with your co-workers in one secure window.


Teams, slated to replace Skype for Business by July 2021, is able to do a lot of things that its competitors can’t thanks to its ability to easily integrate with Office 365. So on top of chatting with co-workers and creating chat rooms for smaller groups, you can also use a number of helpful Office applications, like Outlook, OneNote, and Excel.


Here’s an overview of how Microsoft Teams works.


What you need to know about Microsoft Teams

When you create a new Team and add members, they are all automatically added to the “General” channel. From there, you can create new channels for smaller teams or groups, which essentially function as different group chats or conversations.


For example, while your General channel might include everyone in your company, you might also create specific channels for different departments, like marketing, accounting, sales, etc. You could also make a single team for one department, if it’s a larger one, and divide that team into subsections from there. You’re free to organize your workplace however you choose.


These conversations will function as the main method of communication — though you can also message other team members privately at any time. Conversations are easily searchable, and you can even tag specific people if there’s a message you need them to pay attention to.


Within these conversations, you can easily schedule and carry out group calls with your team or channel — so now those midday meetings and end-of-week get-togethers can also happen right in the workspace app.


Microsoft Teams works with other Microsoft and third-party apps

Creating a new Team also creates a corresponding Planner, SharePoint, Office 365 group, and shared OneNote. All of these additional programs can be accessed directly from the Teams window and allow you to work on shared documents and projects simultaneously, without the need to send files back and forth.


These integrated workspaces appear as tabs in the Teams window. The three tabs that thereby default are Conversations, Files, and Notes. Files is a tab where you can open any Microsoft 365 file that you’ve shared in the workspace, so you don’t have to keep switching between windows whenever you want to work on a different project. Notes is a tab where your whole Team can keep running notes, for whatever purposes they deem necessary.


In addition to these integrated Microsoft programs, Teams also lets you add new tabs integrating other third-party software, like Asana or Soapbox. Even if your workplace doesn’t exclusively use Microsoft products for organization, you can still keep everything in one neat, convenient window.