(Originally published on LinkedIn)
We all love email, don’t we? It’s such a fast and efficient way to communicate. You can just write your short message in the subject line and the person you send it to will see straight away what you wanted to ask…
Okay, there might be some irony in that part.
Emails are great, but not in communicating “one too few” in 2020, there are so many other great tools. We also have a new generation of workers showing up which don’t really get the whole email thing. We also have this whole thing with crowded inboxes. I’ve met people who have over 10 000 unread emails, and I bet you have too, so how would your email even be found or noticed in that case?
So, what can we use instead?
What if there were a tool which is based on chat, much like text messaging. Were you could easily share documents and you keep all conversation history? Oh, and group chats to include more people would be awesome!
In fact, there are several tools which does this such as Microsoft Teams, Slack or Google Hangouts. But since I’m a strong Microsoft advocate, I’ll focus this article on the Microsoft product Teams.
What is Teams?
There is a lot of buzz around Teams, and have been for quite some time now and if you are not looking into it yet it’s time to get started since Skype for Business is going end of life in 2021.
But what is Teams and how can you make use of it?
Teams is a collaboration platform in the aspect of “one to one – one to few – one to many”, and keeping it focused to your team (virtual or organizational) and not your complete organization, but of course based on size and such. Teams is not a new social intranet; this is where Yammer comes into play if we speak Microsoft terms.
Teams is heavily centralized around conversations and collaboration in different context. Conversations can either be private in chats or more public in a team where everyone in the team can participate (private channels are coming as well as presented at Ignite during Q1 of 2020).
Collaboration can also take different shapes and forms in Teams. But to set the expectations right, Teams is based on SharePoint Online and shares the same access principles and collaboration feature set as SharePoint Online.
Teams shouldn’t be looked upon as “yet another place” to look for news and updates, it should be considered as the hub where you keep track of things. The more conversation you move to Teams from especially email, the easier the transition will be. Also, this is your one stop shop for calls, meetings and chats which means this should be a part of your daily workflow!
And yes, Teams is so much more than what I just wrote. But it’s an easy place to start and an effective way in to using the platform!
So why should you care?
Even if we all love sending email, it’s not an efficient way of communicating since we all know that feeling after a few days of and you have 200 new emails where most of it is “for your knowledge” or just irrelevant. There is also a significant risk that you miss something important and you will need at least a day to go through it all.
Teams can help you gain more transparency and faster collaboration. You also get the benefit of traceability of all discussions you have had either in personal chats or larger forums, and its SEARCHABLE.
Looking at the trend and buzz around Teams, it’s here to stay and is a more modern way to communicate. Emails will still have its place in the world, but not as we use it today. There is also a whole new generation out there who doesn’t really understand why one would use email to communicate since it’s not efficient.
Let’s break the old habit in 2020 and send less email and more instant messages! It doesn’t have to be Teams since this is more a behaviour than a product. I promise you, both you and your users will find it more pleasing to get less emails!