10 Best Microsoft Teams Features For Effective Collaboration in 2023

Are you looking for an online platform that lets your team chat, interact, and collaborate effectively? Slack and Microsoft Teams have been the most popular and powerful tools for collaborating at work. Microsoft Teams features, however, make it distinct from Slack.

Teams can automate workflows, and it includes many other features that make it a robust solution for team collaboration compared to Slack. Microsoft Teams’ powerful features will engage and drive productivity within your team.

So, whether your business is planning to migrate from Slack to Teams or new to Teams, know these important features that make collaboration easier, effective, and productive.

1. Teams Connect Shared Channels

From April 7, 2022, Teams Connect shared channels are completely available in public preview. And it is available for Office 365/Microsoft 365 Business, Enterprise, and Education subscriptions.

Teams Connect Shared Channels

Team Connect lets you share channels with anyone within or outside of your organization. Using these shared channels, different organizations can collaborate in a single environment. You can share and co-author files, participate in discussions, plan meetings, and collaborate on apps without changing tenants.

2. Custom Tabs

Each conversation comes with a Tabs feature that lets you easily access your most-used tools, services, and files. Two types of tabs are available: static tabs for individual users and configurable tabs for group chats in Teams channels.

To create a new tab, click + on the tab bar, select the app you want to add, give it a name, and save it.

Custom Tabs

3. Inline Message Translation

Microsoft Teams’ inline message translation feature allows users to translate Teams messages into their preferred language.

Over 60 languages can be translated within Teams, including English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, etc. Translating messages in channels and chat will allow people speaking different languages to communicate effectively.

Inline Message Translation

4. Guest User Access

Individual users from outside your company can be added to your Teams and channels in Microsoft Teams using the secure guest access feature. As a Teams guest, anyone with a corporate or personal email account, like Outlook, Gmail, or others, can have full access to team discussions, meetings, and files.

Admins can restrict which features guests can use in Teams, such as deleting or editing messages, using memes, stickers, Giphys, etc.

Teams Guest User Access

5. Slash Commands

The slash commands in Microsoft Teams make it easier to speed through common tasks faster. By typing a slash (/) in the Command Box, you may get a drop-down list of all available commands in Teams, some of which can help you execute your most common tasks faster and more successfully.

Microsoft Teams Commands

For example, you can use a slash command “/away” to set your status away. Similarly, you can use other slash commands to join a channel, mark your status as away/busy/available, invite other users to a channel, and more.

6. Pinning Apps

Using the Teams App Bar, you can pin personal apps to the Teams. Locate the app you want to pin for quick access, right-click on the app icon, and select “pin.” The app icon will stay on your Teams app bar, allowing you to access it quickly.

Pinning Apps

Microsoft Teams also allows you to pin apps to certain channels or chats for quick access. Locate your app, right-click, and choose “pin.” The app icon will remain even when you navigate away, so you can quickly return to it.

7. Microsoft Immersive Reader

Any text within Teams can be read aloud by the Immersive Reader at various speeds. As a result, you can use it when you can’t focus or are unable to engage with the information on a screen. Furthermore, you can listen while focusing your attention elsewhere and give your eyes a rest from constant screen use.

To use this feature, select the immersive reader from the drop-down menu by clicking on the three dots next to the message you want to read aloud.

Microsoft Immersive Reader

8. Meeting Recaps

A group chats with a summary of the meeting will be automatically created at the end of the meeting. Click the Chat icon in the left sidebar of the Teams app. You can now here find and click on the finished meeting’s title.

The recap windows displays chat messages, notes taken during the meeting, documents shared, and video recordings. Also, it includes an attendance report that the meeting organizer can download as a CSV file.

Meeting Recaps

9. Virtual Whiteboard

The whiteboard feature in Teams enables everyone in the group to contribute their ideas and comments, which is great during remote and hybrid learning. Using the Whiteboard app, meeting attendees can sketch their ideas, erase them, and exchange content in real time. Microsoft has added 35 new features to the whiteboard to enhance collaboration that lets users add images, color, stickers, and other elements.

10. TellMe Bot

TellMe Bot, released in June 2020, uses Artificial Intelligence and Microsoft GRAPH to collect and relay information from Microsoft 365 products. It can be easily deployed from the Teams app tab and provides users with rapid and easy access to critical information about the entire company. Here are some questions that a TellMe Bot can answer:

  • What are the dates of my upcoming meetings?
  • Find out experts with [job title].
  • Find out if [name] is available.

In addition to the TellMe Bot, Teams offers the Polly Bot for polling staff and StatsBot for delivering scheduled reports.

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