How to Reduce Email with Microsoft Teams

With Microsoft Teams, you have the ability to improve productivity in a variety of different ways. It’s even possible, in many organisations, to entirely replace the use of internal email with Microsoft Teams. It won’t entirely eliminate the need for employees to use email, of course—but it can definitely help cut down on email overload, and help your staff become more productive at the same time.

What’s So Bad About Email?

Every day, your employees send and receive dozens of work-related emails. Dealing with email, and communication in general, is part of most people’s job description, but the fact is, most of the time spent on email is generally time that could be much better spent on other tasks.

Why is email such a burden? A good chunk of the email that people receive in an average workday isn’t urgent, or even all that important. But the recipient needs to spend time reading and understanding each email before they can decide if it’s important or not. In many workplaces, email is the default form of communication, so employees send off email after email to ask and answer questions and provide updates, whether they’re needed or not. This isn’t necessarily burdensome in one-on-one conversations, but when multiple senders and recipients become involved, it can get chaotic. For most of us, email is time-consuming, disrupts workflow, and can have an overall negative impact on productivity. Fortunately, there’s a better way.

Why Microsoft Teams?

There are lots of great reasons to use Microsoft Teams. For the most part, it can replace internal mail, or at least, help your staff reduce the amount of email they need to send and read each day. But why? What’s so great about Teams that it should be considered a viable alternative to email?

Microsoft Teams Facilitates Discussion

Perhaps the most important reason to adopt Microsoft Teams is simply that it facilitates discussion and collaboration in ways that email can’t. Just like the name suggests, Microsoft Teams is built around collaborative workflows, and there’s a whole host of features that help people connect, interact, and work together more efficiently. Email is a great communication tool, but even the best new email apps aren’t built to facilitate collaboration in the way Teams is.

Of course, Teams can’t entirely replace email. For one thing, your employees still need to use email to communicate with people outside the company. But for virtually all internal communication, Teams can do it better than email.

Teams Provides a Central Communication Hub

One of the biggest downsides of email is that conversations between employees exist in multiple locations, and can exist in multiple different forms. A group email can end up with multiple different conversation forks, making it hard to keep everyone on the same page.

With Microsoft Teams, conversations exist in one central location that everyone has equal access to. There’s just one place to store and find conversations and the information they contain, so it’s easy to stay up-to-date no matter how many people get involved. Conversations don’t split off into multiple threads, as it all stays within the team and can be seen by everyone.

Better Organisation for Information and Files

Why is Teams such a big deal, when you can just send an email to as many people as you need to? One major reason is that central communication hub, but there’s more to it than that.

Teams is also fully searchable. Email is too, of course, but with Teams, anyone in the team can search for any information or attachment that’s associated with it. Everything is stored in one central location, and can’t get lost or deleted.

For instance, let’s say someone emails you a document, but later on, you can’t find it. Now you have to email them back and ask for a new copy, then wait for them to send it. Your workflow is interrupted by the wait, and theirs is interrupted by having to deal with your query. In Microsoft Teams, that document would be part of the team conversation, and you’d be able to find and view it without having to ask anyone else for help.

How to Get Employees Using Microsoft Teams

It’s not always easy to get employees excited about using new apps, especially if there’s a steep learning curve involved. Fortunately, Microsoft Teams is highly intuitive, and easy to learn. Employees can get started using Teams at a basic level very quickly. Use training sessions and demonstrations to show off what Teams can do, but remember that it can take time to get everyone used to using a new tool in place of the old default. It’s important to continually reinforce the preference for Teams over email for internal communication. Over time, Teams can become the new default for most situations, with email reserved for external communication.

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