We know that working from home is not without challenges. Having adopted a remote-friendly approach in our business over recent years, while also supporting many customers to be more agile, we want to share our experience and insider tips to help home workers get the most from the technology at their fingertips.

In the spotlight today is Microsoft Teams, the business productivity tool at the heart of Office 365. Teams can connect your employees, customers and other stakeholders, enabling better collaboration, seamless communications and effective project management.

If you’re not yet using Teams, there’s good news as Microsoft recently announced that they are running a 6-month free trial of Office 365 E1 licenses for eligible customers, which includes access to Teams. Find out more by visiting our remote working solutions page.

Continue reading for some insider tips from Trustmarque’s own Business Productivity experts.

Microsoft Teams at a glance

Teams can be a great tool, not only for connecting your employees, but also enables collaboration with external partners, customers and stakeholders.

  • Designed for a mobile and modern workforce​
  • Makes unified comms simple​
  • Most deployed business to business collaboration tool on the market​
  • Guest access for better multi-organisation collaboration​
  • Integrated with first and third-party apps​
  • Collaborate with all your productivity tools in one place

New to Teams?

Find out how Trustmarque can help you get up and running as soon as possible.

Teams for better collaboration

Lee Walton, Trustmarque’s Business Productivity Practice Director, comments: “Teams covers the human element of your modern workplace connectivity. When you have a huge cohort of staff working from home for the first time, Teams can bridge a gap – keeping your business connected. It provides an effective collaboration tool to enable people to do their jobs.

“As well as connecting colleagues, you have the ability to set up an externally facing collaboration Team with customers or partners, which is incredibly effective for shared collaboration. It also allows you to be more personable and in-touch with customer needs. They can use Teams to access subject matter experts.”


In addition to core features like instant messaging, calls, meetings and video conferencing, here’s a run down of some useful and lesser known features as identified by the Trustmarque Business Productivity Team:

1. Meet now (or later) – if you need to set-up a quick, instant meeting you can hit the ‘Meet now’ button and dial others in. This of course removes the need for sending an email – hurray. You can also schedule meetings as normal using Outlook or directly in Teams.

2. Blurred background on video – this may come as a relief to those also juggling with home schooling or who have set up office in the garage. With Teams you can blur the background on all video calls and meetings so there’s no need for a tidy house.

3. Mobile friendly for use on the go – Teams can be used on any advice with secure two-factor authentication. With the ability to turn on notifications, you can take advantage of your allocated time outside.

4. Live subtitles – switch on subtitles during meetings for a more accessible an inclusive experience. This can be particularly useful if you’re having broadband connection issues. Be safe in the knowledge that even if you can’t hear, you can still read what’s being said.

5. Meeting recordings and transcriptions –  capture the audio, video, and screen sharing (with Cloud recording) so whole meetings can be shared internally or externally.

6. Threaded conversations – help keep topics together without the need to spend ages scrolling through your inbox.

7. Hello @Mentions – tag your colleagues for a fast response to your queries or highlight useful content, channels and conversations for them

8. Pin the stuff that matters – like documents, folders chats or even whole channels so it is easy to quickly access the information you need most. Similarly, you can also use the activity feed and filter to ignore conversations you don’t feel are relevant.

9. Outlook integration – “It is a pretty basic feature, but integration with Outlook is great for users not used to Teams but who are familiar with Outlook,” says Jordan Berger, Trustmarque’s Fast Track Manager.

10. Just for fun – like other popular social networking and communication tools, Teams allows you to share GIFs so you can keep the workplace camaraderie going, even when you’re working from home.

Responsive solutions to support your remote working

We know that the rapid transition to home working is placing pressure on IT teams, as increasing numbers of employees work remotely – perhaps for the first time.

That’s why we’re offering a range of responsive tactical remote working solutions including infrastructure services, software and hardware procurement and expert consultancy to help get your virtual office off the ground. We can provide quick, secure options to help maintain your business continuity and advice to overcome any immediate issues you’re facing.

We’re in IT together

Online live Office 365 End user training

We are working with some select partners to offer a range of online training sessions for Office 365 users. The workshops are tailored to your organisation to ensure your staff get the training that will benefit them in their roles. The training is hosted live online which, unlike videos, means your attendees can ask questions and get real time feedback.

The workshops can accommodate between 8 and 100 people at a time and comprise of three 1.5-hour sessions during the day. Once the training is complete you will receive recordings so people can refer back to them or use them to refresh themselves.

Complete the form below to register your interest and we will be in touch to discuss your requirements and potential costs.

By Katherine Murphy, content enthusiast