Microsoft Teams is a popular collaboration app built for hybrid work so you and your team stay informed, organised, and connected — all in one place.
In this article we explore a wide range of advanced features, applications and tools available in Microsoft Teams.
Hosting a live event
Taking part in a live online event adds so much more to your learning experience and collaboration opportunities.
Microsoft Teams live events are an extension of Teams meetings that allow you to coordinate materials, activities, keynote speakers and demonstrations to a live audience in real time to 1000s instead of 100s.
Set up and attend live events
To setup a live event you go to schedule a meeting in Teams in exactly the same way as a regular event. Click the ‘calendar’ icon and select ‘live event’ from the dropdown menu.
From here, you can add key details such as the event title, date, time and a full description using simple formatting options to highlight information and add visual media.
Invite people who will help you to facilitate the live event at this stage, including external collaborators who will be presenting or supporting its production. Keep control over the event by assigning specific permissions.
There are three ways to broadcast your live event:
- To invited people, contact groups or Microsoft 365 groups using up to 150 email addresses
- To everyone in your organisation, including their guests using a sign-in feature to gain access
- To anyone as a public event where no sign-in is required
Once all details have been completed and the event scheduled, you will have an online link generated that you can issue by email, a calendar invite or a post within your Teams channels.
Explore apps and tools
Gain great benefits from using apps from right within Teams to enhance communication and progress projects.
Apps can be accessed from several places within Teams and used in multiple channels and chats. See a personal view of your apps by selecting ‘more options’ on the left-hand side of your main Teams window. Frequently used apps are visible from within your channel on tabs at the top of your Teams window.
Manage Rota’s & Shifts
You can now set up a staff rota and keep track of department or organisation time logs using shifts inside Microsoft Teams.
This super helpful schedule management tool will enable you to create, update and manage schedules to assign shifts to team members. Schedules can be created from scratch from within Teams or imported from Excel. Once the schedule is complete and saved, it can be exported if required.
Organising Shifts & Rotas
Organise Shifts in minutes by creating a job function, department or location group and add all relevant staff to the schedule. Create shift slots, assign them to individual staff members and add ‘day notes’ to share news or important reminders.
If you manage multiple teams, create numerous schedules by copying an existing rota to change the necessary details. Switch between schedules and view, or shift time mode with ease from within your main Teams window.
Manage Training & Events
Add training events or specific tasks as an activity to the schedule and copy to a new date range to save time and effort. Staff will only be informed of the new rota or see changes once the schedule is shared, and by downloading the mobile app the schedule can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.
Manage Employee Requests
Team members can request open shifts or time off as well as shift swap requests or offers, which can be reviewed and approved by you first.
Clock In and Out in Microsoft Teams
Turn on the ‘time clock’ feature to enable staff to clock in and out using their mobile phone and include location detection to guarantee they clock in from a designated site.
Keep the sales pipeline and customer projects flowing with Teams Approvals and have all your proposals, client agreements and authorisation documents in one place.
Approvals can take the form of an expenses report, time off request for a staff member or a project sign off, discount or report from a supplier or client. Send new documents, file received documents and review all records across your systems, including Power Automate, SharePoint, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Approvals can be requested, approved or rejected from within chat boxes by selecting the approvals card in your conversation. The person requesting and signed in will be logged along with the time and date for complete traceability.
Upload and find files
Share a single file or multiple documents with team members by initiating a conversation and attaching them. Upload from your computer or One Drive and select the people who need to receive the file by typing and selecting their names.
Every Teams chat and channel has a files tabs at the top of the window so new files can be added at any time based on projects, groups or departments. Everything is stored here, so it’s really easy to find what you need – even from the mobile app as the files sync in real time as long as you have Wi-Fi access.
3rd party apps and tools
Explore Microsoft Teams apps and integrate partner or custom apps, bots, automated workflows and dashboards.
Approval & Management of applications
Some apps will already be built into Teams whereas other external apps can be approved and added (or removed) when needed by searching and uploading. You can even chat with a built-in app bot to keep things simple and follow instructions.
App Features & Requirements
Depending on the type of app and its functionality you may need to sign in to use its features. Apps can be inserted directly into the content of a chat when creating a message and a neat feature called ‘connections’ will allow you to view and respond to notifications and information sent from the app itself.