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It Is Time to Help Your Colleagues Move Communication Tasks from Outlook to Teams

By Asif Rehmani
Updated October 15, 2023

It Is Time to Help Your Colleagues Move Communication Tasks from Outlook to TeamsCompanies have been using Outlook way before Teams came around. Using Outlook for communication is not just a default approach for most people but a habit. This habit needs to be broken; there is a better tool for the job.

While great for confidential messaging and targeted communication, Outlook is too limited to allow employees to communicate quickly and efficiently.

Moreover, Outlook cannot adequately cater for communication initiatives that extend beyond sending and receiving messages. Document sharing and team collaboration … are all not really practical when using the mail client. In order to take communication and collaboration to the next level, use Microsoft Teams.

Despite the awareness that Teams helps employees communicate better, many companies still lag behind on the user adoption curve. One explanation is the lack of initiative to introduce employees to the tool’s capabilities. It is simply advantageous that you take time and make efforts to help everyone in your organization start and continue using the chat-based collaboration tool.

Here are some proven steps that you can take:

  • Highlight the limitations of using Outlook;

  • Demonstrate the key capabilities of Teams;

  • And, provide feature-embedded help.

Limitations, capabilities, and help

To get the most out Office 365, your digital workplace has to leverage the power of Microsoft Teams.

Highlight the limitations of using Outlook

Put more emphasis on crucial features that Outlook lacks. Get the point across on the following limitations:

  • Working in the dark. After clicking "Send", how do you know if and when your message has been read?  Unless you get a reply, you can't decide on the next step; and the waiting time always affects productivity.

  • No easy way to transition to subsequent tasks. After a few back-and-forth emails, if the need to transition to another application and collaborate on a task arises, co-authoring a document, for example, participants will struggle to make use of what has already been accomplished in Outlook.

  • Document management is too basic. Outlook is useful if the exchange involves sending and receiving a finished document but if the exchanges involve multiple participants, a number of documents or a number of versions of the same document, the mail client quickly makes way to confusion, frustration, and wasted time. Remind everyone how time-consuming it is to search for an attachment buried among threads of emails.

On top of these common limitations, talk about other familiar problems that have solutions in Teams but not in Outlook.

Demonstrate the Key capabilities of Teams

Create demos and use case studies to show employees how Microsoft Teams removes barriers to communication. Focus on the capabilities that solve the most common problems that your workforce faces and then move on to explain the other great ways the tool can help everyone reach new productivity frontiers when communicating.

The first advantage of using Teams for communication tasks is the ability to use a recorded messaging history for any subsequent collaboration initiative. At any stage, anyone can jump into the past conversation threads, quickly get up to speed, and be able to contribute to a project.

Another huge capability that makes Microsoft Teams a communication tool of choice is document management. If documents have to not only be shared but also be edited, forget Outlook. What if you want to co-author and share a library, a chat, or a notebook?

Even though the initial objective is productive communication, ensure that you demonstrate the collaboration and document management features native to Teams.

In your demos, elaborate on the following key capabilities.

  • Instant chat-based communication allows team members to participate in a conversation in real-time using text, audio, or video.

  • Access to communication threads ensures that newly added members make use of the recorded conversation threads and shared files long after initial participants have left.

  • Ability to use third-party integrated applications right within Teams workspace.

Look into other features and, if they are pertinent to your company's daily processes, include them in your demos.

Provide embedded help

Once everyone understands how Teams can solve their communication problems, the next step is to provide a tool that helps everyone use the application without the need for time-consuming training sessions, searching online for tutorials, and the inconvenience of relying on the IT team for guidance.

To help your colleagues understand and continue to use Microsoft Teams, install VisualSP in Office 365. VisualSP is a plug-and-play add-on application that embeds help items into every feature of every Office 365 application.

When using Teams, an end user can view a tutorial, see how to use a feature, and continue with the task at hand, without ever leaving the Teams workspace.

Native tutorials in the contextual help system include tip-sheets, annotated screen-shots, screen-capture videos, and step-by-step walk-thrus. You can even add your own tutorials to the digital adoption tool.

Lead your company to Microsoft Teams user adoption

Anytime that the need for communication arises, before anyone jumps to Outlook by default, it is advantageous that they see if Teams will serve the task better. Help your colleagues develop this tiny habit. In most cases, Teams is the right tool for communication tasks.

Discuss the communication limitations and problems that your colleagues face when using Outlook; demonstrate the solutions available in Teams, and install the contextual help system to expedite user adoption.

As usage of Microsoft Teams increases, everyone in your company will be able to communicate in real-time, share relevant documents, and stay in the loop on collaborative projects. Take steps to help your organization move most communication tasks from Outlook to Teams.

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