How Microsoft Teams supports multi-generation collaboration


In a previous blog post, we discussed the various Office 365 products that can be included in a Group, one of which is Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s answer to competing product Slack, has been in “preview” mode since 2016. Only recently has the feature been released to all Office 365 users worldwide. 

Mobile support for multi-generational teams

The digital workplace is rapidly changing. Collaborating through email and sending documents as attachments are no longer optimal ways of working. In today’s business environment, many new software tools provide more advanced ways of securely and efficiently collaborating.

As workplace collaboration tools advance, different generations adopt them at varying rates. For example, a 2016 study by Avanade consulting firm found millennial employees to be first adopters of new collaboration technology. Millennials prefer to use cloud-based document storage and teaming platforms and are comfortable meeting with colleagues virtually. Although baby boomers may be aware of new collaboration technology, the study found they still prefer sharing documents via email and meeting with colleagues in person.

Microsoft Teams aims to provide a solution that satisfies the preferences of multiple generations.

Microsoft Teams - Screenshot of example 

A hub for teamwork

Microsoft Teams acts as a central hub that combines the functionalities of many Office 365 programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI, Delve, etc. It’s even possible to customize Microsoft Teams by adding your own applications, such as Asana, Polly, Hootsuite, Zen Desk, etc.  

In Microsoft Teams, existing Office 365 Groups are displayed as Teams in order to denote inclusion of multi-generational preferences. By default, team conversations are visible to all members of a team, and as with Microsoft’s competitor Slack, it is possible to create multiple chat channels (e.g. by subject, geography, project) within a single Team. Skype is also integrated with the tool, which allows teams to instantly collaborate via voice and video conferences. Additionally, it’s possible to email a channel directly and include attachments if needed. Furthermore, features such as emojis, stickers, GIFS and memes add elements of fun and personalization to team interactions.

Mobile ready

Since launching worldwide, Microsoft Teams has added new mobile features, including enabling audio calls from any mobile device and facilitating video chat on Android devices (eventually will facilitate video chat via iOS and Windows devices). But perhaps its best feature is its integration with Office 365, which enables Microsoft Teams to act as the “glue” connecting all of the platform’s applications.