Microsoft Teams and its many services exploded in 2020 — and as the modern workforce continues to adapt to an asynchronous work schedule, its supreme reign isn’t slowing down in 2021. But in a battlefield with so many worthy competitors, why is Teams the go-to business communication service?
As a result of the global pandemic that quickly propelled the need for remote work services in 2020, companies such as Zoom and Slack put in their bid to become the go-to communication service for companies across the world. But heading into 2021, Microsoft has emerged as the clear business communication service victor with Teams – the communication platform that combines chat, video conferencing, file storage and application integration into one cohesive interface. As companies transition to more flexible working hours in the COVID working world and beyond, Teams has solidified its place on our desktop (and in our hearts) in 2021.
Teams is more than a chat function or a way to video call coworkers – we have Zoom, Google Chat, text, email, FaceTime, Skype, and Slack for that. In an interview with the Financial Times, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella called Teams an “organizing layer”, condensing all of our methods of file sharing and communication into a single neat app. Microsoft brands Teams as a communication and collaboration service, incorporating its plethora of services into a user-friendly interface.
2020 Teams Boom
Originally launched in 2017, Teams saw an explosion of new users in 2020 thanks to the unprecedented onslaught of work-from-homers. According to the Financial Times, the number of active daily Teams users jumped 784% in a little over a year, from 13m in mid 2019 to 115m by the end of September 2020. And it’s little wonder – with a decrease in face-to-face time as a result of the pandemic, companies had to find a way for employees to communicate with each other effectively – and fast.
According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, human communication is naturally “bursty,” meaning that we speak to each other in the form of sharp peaks and wide valleys; or, periods of high activity, followed by longer periods of little to no communication. The periods of rapid-fire communication foster energy and creativity through a collective brainstorming, while the periods of quiet time give team members the opportunity to form and develop their ideas. HBR reports that this bursty communication behavior is a major hallmark of a successful team.
The study concludes that teams should avoid one-off communication, such as texts or emails, and instead focus their energy on collaborating in shorter, more concise yet more productive periods. Even if team members are not physically in the office, they can create the sense of burstiness by synching up with team members through the use of shared calendars, live documents, chats, and ad-hoc video meetings. A great communication tool that facilitates burstiness? You guessed it — Microsoft Teams and its convenient cloud services.
adapting to a modern workplace
Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has shifted its focus to the cloud — and it paid off. Although Microsoft couldn’t have predicted a global pandemic that forced many to set up an impromptu desk at a crowded kitchen table, it was able to whittle and smooth out an effective remote work system with the help of its cloud services before “social distancing” was even a term in our collective vocabulary. And this new style of remote work won’t change any time soon. CEO Satya Nadella says that going forward, employees will demand more flexible working schedules that require a mix of “synchronous and asynchronous” software tools in one place, allowing employees to collaborate through meetings, shared calendars, and messaging tools. Sound familiar?
Microsoft hit it big with Teams in 2020, and as our fingers warm up to its handy tools by the day, it’s clear that Teams will continue to wear the crown of business communication leader well into 2021 and beyond. Teams allows us to organize our work, condense our multitude of apps, and, perhaps most importantly, replicate the effective “bursty” communication style in a cloud-based, virtual manner.
how can i implement teams?
Adopting a new style of business communication can be tough, but luckily there is training available so your team can easily implement Teams + M365 into your daily workflow. Check out Centriq’s Microsoft Teams Training classes to learn more. Centriq makes incorporating Teams into your business communication structure a smooth experience. Teams has so much potential that many business leaders do not have the bandwidth to research and introduce to their teams. Corporate training takes care of that for you.
There’s a reason Microsoft has hit it so big with Teams — it’s an extremely effective communication tool for businesses. Teams humanizes our remote workstyle, leading to increased productivity and even a sense of normalcy in an otherwise utterly abnormal 2021.