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We don’t need a training course to learn Microsoft Teams, surely? Wrong! Here’s what I learnt.

It's been a couple of months of home working now, and I'm getting pretty smug at how I can use Microsoft Teams. Video conference calls no longer suffer from fumbling around for the unmute button; exchanging emoji messages is a doddle, sending files is a cinch. So it came as a surprise...

...when Crimson asked me to attend a Teams training course and pull together a document outlining Crimson's new Microsoft Teams training service. Isn't this stuff is so easy that the last thing our clients need is formal training? After all, Microsoft Teams works like Facebook, a platform that needs no instruction manual.

It turns out that, however intuitive Microsoft Teams is, the reality of business is far from as straightforward as sharing your latest social media meme. Effective collaboration between colleagues with different working styles and – dare I say it, less organised ways of working as you, dear reader – is actually a big pain in the derrière.

And while we have learnt from each other ways to use Microsoft Teams – like adding that cool penthouse apartment background on video calls – without a Highway Code to guide us in tried and trusted ways to work together, things quickly unravel.

Take document collaboration, for example. Behind the scenes, Microsoft Teams works with SharePoint, the powerful document management platform. Today we might typically work on a draft document, send it on email to colleagues for feedback, and then lose track of which draft document, in which email, is the final, final, FINAL.doc. All of this unnecessary toing and froing could be a thing of the past if everyone spent a bit of time learning about document version control.

There are hundreds of other little Teams hacks I could cite that, collectively, would free up our time and keep us all a little saner. As we learn to collaborate digitally using Microsoft Teams, our productivity chain will only ever be as strong as its weakest link: it only takes ignorant Darren in accounts to start the draft-document-on-email palaver for our neatly manicured lawn to start sprouting weeds again.

The beauty of teaching everyone how to get better at using Microsoft Teams are the marginal gains we earn. Because Teams is a tool that can form the hub of all communication across an organisation, a small 'aha!' moment across, say, fifty staff using it day-in-day-out can lead to a lot less friction in how we transact and share ideas. We all know this COVID-19 craziness is lingering for a good while yet – those that crack how to thrive in the new-world blend of remote working and in-person office check-ins will eat the competition for breakfast.

All of which brings me shamelessly to Crimson's Microsoft Teams training. Run by the same Microsoft Certified professionals we have to implement Teams; there's no one better to dive into the wonders of, what on the surface is, a deceptively simple platform.

Crimson's Modern Workplace team have already trained thousands to use Teams and other Microsoft tools successfully. Teams training can last as little as 90-minutes or run a full day – there's plenty of flexibility to accommodate your culture, working style and ambition. Naturally, online training is the order of the day at the moment.

You can learn more about Crimson's Teams training by downloading our fact sheet. Crimson is all about ensuring clients get the most from their investment in Microsoft and, I humbly suggest, Teams training is an investment at excelling at what should be considered the very fabric of how your business now communicates.