Is Microsoft Teams the Only Option?
When it comes to giants in the IT market, Microsoft is one of the largest. Its tools and products are used widely by both people and businesses. One of the apps that are being used today is Microsoft Teams. This platform combines chat, meetings, notes, and attachments. It also works to integrate Office 365 including Office and Skype along with similar extensions.
Ideally, all of these products would work together to create a seamless organization tool to manage working remotely. However, as many people know, this system isn’t perfect. In fact, it can lead to decreased productivity, difficulty communicating, and many other issues. When it comes to workflow platforms, Microsoft Teams isn’t the only option. In fact, there are dozens of alternatives readily available.
If you’re not sure about the current problems, here are five things to consider as well as a breakdown of alternative platforms and tools that give you other options.
1. Microsoft Teams Offers a Confusing File Structure
Although your own personal file system may have great structure, this is an area where Microsoft Teams falls flat. When you want to know file location to pull up for meetings or collaboration, this is a challenging area. Its file structure can be confusing with all of the conversation uploads making their way into the channel root folder. Additionally, if you try to organize documents by putting them into files that are appropriately named, you’ll find that the file links break. Overall, this makes it incredibly confusing to organize and pull up documents and links when you need them.
One great alternative is a program called HeySpace. This tool is used for collaboration and communication. It’s a great alternative to Microsoft Teams and people often prefer the functionality as well as the simplicity of the design. Additionally, HeySpace is free so you won’t have to invest any funds into this program.
Thanks to the simple design, you’ll open the program and see three boards- your team with various channels, a chat, and a list of cards with tasks. You can also easily convert any conversation into a task to move a meeting into something to do. The board with the tasks allows people to see all of the projects in one place and the tasks can be adjusted easily. You can set dates, add tags and files, and comment. You can also easily share files and keep them organized. This is a great asset for teams who need a little more simplicity for online workflow.
2. Security is Limited
Depending on your company or business needs, security may be a strong need. One of the features of Microsoft Teams is how simple they make it to share relevant files and documents. In fact, it’s so easy that all team members in the business are granted automatic access. This may work for some companies but be disastrous in others. When you want to apply permission settings to certain files, you’ll find that this task is impossible.
For a more secure experience, Wire offers an alternative. This collaboration tool’s primary goal is increased security when working online. The platform allows you and coworkers to share files and information safely, video conference with shared screens, or create groups securely to discuss tasks and progress.
“In a group call, every participant connects to every other participant as if they were in a 1:1 call. Therefore, all legs of the group call are individually encrypted
and encryption keys are not shared among participants” as mentioned in the Wire Security White Paper.
For increased security, use Wire to create encrypted groups and invite clients to them if desired. All of the information that is uploaded to this platform and shared is secured and encrypted. If you need this for your business, then you’ll find that Wire is a great solution.
3. Poor Team Collaboration
When it comes to online workflows, you need more than just phone conversations and email. Microsoft Teams works for some areas but the chat features often run into problems. For example, it’s a common complaint that people don’t receive messages in Teams until hours later. This can be resolved by signing out and then back in but it has yet to be resolved. The end result is poor communication channels with the opportunity for missed messages on a daily basis.
Winio is a collaboration tool that eliminates the need for email. With Winio, users can see what teams are working on and what still has to be completed. This online platform gives you an easy and effective communication channel. You’ll have all of your data and important messages accessible in one location. Create threads and discuss with team members in a group chat about team projects and tasks. If you need, you can also attach files to projects and allow team members to access that.
You’ll be able to share processes, take meeting notes, and even collaborate on the specifics of a project. It’s somewhat similar to HeySpace in that it allows you to keep all of your important information in one secure place. This makes it a great tool to use for increased communication.
4. Limited Ability to Distinguish Clients, Tasks or Businesses
Although you may only work for one company, keeping your tasks separate is a strong disadvantage of Microsoft Teams. They like to advertise that they keep everything in one place but that may not be to your greatest advantage. It’s easy to clump different tasks, teams, and more together. For companies that take on multiple clients or for individuals who are more freelance based, this can actually make completing tasks and collaborating confusing.
Also Read: 9 Mental Health Tips For Working From Home
Most people wouldn’t think about Facebook increasing their productivity, but their newest entry with Workplace may surprise you. This has the same interface as Facebook but it has different features and of course, focus. The common feature with Facebook is that it has chat, groups, audio, and video calling. Workplace also has auto-translate, polls, and powerful bots to speed up things. Keep in mind that your Workplace login is completely different than a Facebook login so this would manage everything separately.
Through the Workplace, users can connect with anyone using Org Charts which shows users and their interests. Document sharing allows people to share through Office, OneDrive, SalesForce, box, and others so it’s easy to share information with people around the world. It also comes with unlimited storage. The groups feature can be used to collaborate, post updates, and assign tasks with multiple separate groups. They can also be open, closed, or secret so you can keep your work private. Additionally, you can have multi-company groups to connect with partners, suppliers, external teams, and customers themselves.
5. Complicated Structure and Manual Creation Required
When you start Microsoft Teams, you’ll find that the setup is a great deal of work. Unlike having any initial structure, you’ll have to figure out which channels you need and which teams you need. Over time, as you use the platform more, this task will be easier but it can be cumbersome at first. Additionally, even when you have the teams set up, you’ll find that the current setup lacks flexibility. They don’t let channels and teams to be duplicated so you’ll have to do this manually if needed.
In contrast, Slack is a great way to liberate you and your teams from endless work trying to set up what you need. Slack comes with a free platform for small groups or individual users. However, it does have a paid tier for larger organizations so this will need to be considered. It’s one of the best tools that speed up workflows for distributed groups.
Slack integrates communication in a way that’s efficient, allowing you to create groups easily and reduce redundancies in your system. Teams usually find that when they unroll Slack, they turn less to email and simply join these threads of conversation instead. Slack has all of the key elements that you’ll find in Teams. They have chat, groups, calling, screen and file sharing, and video calling. However, integration is much richer on this platform and can be done much easier as well. Keep in mind that this tool does come with a cost though so add this into the conversation.
Transitioning from Microsoft Teams
When it comes to using Microsoft Teams, users have multiple complaints from a confusing structure to compromised online meeting experiences and limited flexibility. When working remotely, this lack of features can be a productivity killer from the get-go. This is one of the reasons why companies working remotely find that they need an alternative. When adjusting to Microsoft Teams, most people find a way to make its functionality work for them, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ideal.
When it comes to finding the best option for yourself or your team, then Microsoft Teams may not be it. Although Word and other Office applications are highly used in business, this doesn’t mean that you have to use all of their programs. In fact, most of these alternatives can be used with common applications and offer increased flexibility. This doesn’t mean that each of these programs is going to work for you though. Look at the problems you’re currently experiencing to find one or more alternatives. Many of them are free or low cost so they can be trialed risk-free until you decide that they’re better. Use this guide to review the common problems you’re having and think about the best alternative option.