How Microsoft Teams May be Slowing Down Your Productivity

One of the major talking points in the industry was when Microsoft launched its unified communications channel — Microsoft Teams. As part of the Office 365 suite, Microsoft Teams pulls together several functional tools from Office 365 to produce a distinct and capacitive collaboration hub for teams.

Microsoft Teams is simply the collaboration app that brings together all the diverse functionalities and tools in one place for a simple communication, fast collaboration and widespread integration with external apps and bots.

Deciding which communication platform to adopt for your organization is a major business decision as this could make or mar your productivity.

For those that have adopted Microsoft Teams, its capabilities are no doubt amazing but for users who love a hundred percent effectiveness, they might not find full joy.

Several users are considering the adoption of Teams, whether it’s a good investment or not.

When Microsoft discontinued their investment in Skype, it was a strategic decision to provide a better utility to users but there are several drawbacks in Teams.

These following are notable aspects to consider when opting for Teams

Unification of product Search

Although Microsoft recommends Teams for unique team-related conversations as well and Yammer for general company circulars, both are still being used by people interchangeably.

The absence of a unified search tool for all office 365 conversations constitutes a considerable level of difficulty especially when you are trying to locate a particular chat.

Absence of such chat tools is also a crucial shortcoming that is evident in the office 365 suite.

Insufficient Notification

One of the major drawbacks of Microsoft Teams is that sometimes, it fails to provide sufficient notification.

For instance, if you try to create a new group with an already existing label, the Teams app wouldn’t call your attention to it. The result is that you end up with two groups with identical names which could lead to time and resource wastage when searching.

The solution to this particular issue is that before creating a new group of team, you can check for the availability of the character or label to see if it doesn’t pre-exist. Entering the name in the search bar provides a drop-down list of all the existing teams.

File structure confuses users

Modern day PC users do not necessarily bother about the physical location of files, they just pull up a search for what they need.

Lots of users still like to know where a file is located and prefer going through a folder to access it. In teams, this is a bit difficult as the file structure lot complicated.

Everything uploaded to conversations is heaped in a channel root folder. Any attempt by a user to organize the files and move them accordingly into labelled folders leads to the file links in the conversation breaking.

Non optimal online meeting experience

This to a large extent makes it somewhat difficult to integrate some other apps.

Microsoft has invested a lot of resources into including Skype for Business Meeting functionality into teams and the result has been good. New capabilities that were previously absent have been included.

However, the meeting experience still lags, lacks intuition and fails to promote some great features available in Teams for meetings i.e., note taking in OneNote.

This is considered as an Achilles heel because for users to adopt something as valuable as online meetings, they need to be overly comfortable with the tool.

Similar and redundant tools

One of the most notable and rather surprising concerns about Microsoft Teams is its efficiency with other Microsoft Tools.

There are so many of them yet users are still very much confused as to which one they have to use in different circumstances.

Microsoft needs to provide a proper organization for these tools and also find a platform to educate users about them.

Limited Storage

Shortage is a key shortcoming in any organization. Since Teams equips every organization with the ability to create a team, this can lead to the creation of too much teams and the result of this is that a large storage will be needed.

On the bright side, there is an avenue to control team creation by restricting the permission only to a set of users but this requires putting in extra work. This creates unnecessary time wasting and also comes at the expense of valuable resources.

The solution is to create unique security groups with people who want to create teams and then run some powershell commands.

Limited Number of Channels

The number of allowed channels has been restricted to just 100 per team. This particular feature shouldn’t constitute any problem for smaller teams but larger teams might encounter a little hassle. As soon as the set limit is surpassed some channels need to be deleted.

PS: Shared files are backed up on the SharePoint site for security.

Limited flexibility

From the word go in teams, users do not have the structure from the start. In most cases you don’t know the channels you need neither do you know which channels you should create.

Users become more accustomed and better in what they do over time. At the moment, the building of Team blocks aren’t all that flexible as you can’t move channels or replicate teams. This often leads to time wasting because manual replications become the alternative.

Transitional Challenge

The best way to move to Teams is for every member to fully quit Outlook and adopt Teams at once.

Since there is still a strong reliance by Teams on Outlook in Office 365, this constitutes a major problem.

After all these talking points, adopting Microsoft Teams for your organization would be very understandable. Skype for business or Cisco may also be considered as an effective unified collaboration alternative.

The limitations of Teams are mostly associated with the app itself, most of which are currently being looked into. Users require a proper guide and consultation to ensure that their organization doesn’t get crippled by their communication solution.

Originally published at on September 18, 2019.

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