(Updated: 11/2/2022)

In 2020, much of the workforce moved to remote work due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many thought this was a temporary shift, there's little doubt now that working in a hybrid or fully remote fashion has become part of our culture and remains popular even after the pandemic has subsided. The truth is, collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams have experienced unprecedented spikes in usage with no signs of slowing. In fact, Statistics show an increase in users from just 20 million in 2019 to more than 270 million in 2022.

If you’re a business that’s new to using Microsoft Teams, chances are you had to transition to using the platform quickly and haven’t had the time to investigate all this powerful platform really has to offer. Not to fear – we’ve compiled a list of advanced features in Teams that you might not be aware of to help you level up your current usage of Teams.

Here are six advanced Microsoft Teams features you may not know about:

1. Centralized document management for a team

Your Teams site is more than just a place for communication. Take advantage of Teams’ centralized document management for your team by customizing your site for file storage and sharing. Combining your use of OneDrive and SharePoint with Teams can create a place for all your documents, contacts, tasks, calendars, and OneNote notebooks to live. Organize your files into document libraries, create lists to organize data, organize sites into hubs, and more. The possibilities are truly endless!

2. Automated workflows

Tired of creating the same tasks for yourself or your team over and over? Create flows that automate those repetitive tasks with Power Automate. The Power Automate app allows you to create and manage workflows, streamline your approval process, and even use a bot to trigger scheduled flows, all within Teams. And, if this is something your team has never utilized before, now is a great time try out these time-saving features.

3. Workload management

If you’re already assigning your team tasks, take advantage of Planner for task management. Start by creating a team channel and then associate a specific planner with it. Your team members can track tasks, receive notifications for new tasks, and more with this plugin.

4. Team-wide alerts

Don’t want to bog down your entire team with another company-wide email? Try creating a channel for that in Teams instead. Team-wide alerts allow you to notify your team of important changes, updates, or news instantly without getting lost in their inbox. Also, your team can always refer to these updates when they’re all in one centralized channel in Teams, rather than searching through their cluttered inbox.

5. Secure collaboration with external users

Teams allows you to invite external users like customers, vendors, or suppliers to join channels and chats, giving them the ability to collaborate with you in real time instead of over email. Anyone with an email account (business or personal) can be invited to your organization and admins can control what features these guests have access to. All Office 365 programs, including Teams, meet a variety of security compliance standards, like ISO 27001, HIPPA, and SOC 2, so you can rest assured that your site will remain protected even when collaborating with external users.

6. Integrations with the tools you’re already using

Your business likely uses more than just Office 365 products to function so take advantage of the full Teams Store to download useful integrations into the platform. The Emergent Software team utilizes many of these integrations to streamline our daily processes with plugins for Smartsheet, Power BI, OpsGenie, and Polly. Integrating the tools you already use into Teams can help to centralize your day-to-day work so you spend less time jumping around from platform to platform and work all in one place.

As you can see, Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool that is built for more than just the basics. Let our team of experts help you and your team unlock the potential this tool has to transform your work not only while you’re working remotely, but long into the future. Contact us today to get started!