Using Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint together for collaborative work

You may be seeing an increase in collaborative workspace apps lately. If you have a Microsoft 365 subscription, you don’t need additional remote working tools. All you need is Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint for highly productive and distraction-free collaborative work at home or in the office.

In this article, we’ll discuss how Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint can help you with task/document management, remote collaboration, and conversations.

Microsoft Teams for Collaborative Work

Microsoft Teams takes a 360-degree approach to collaboration and communication. You and your team can easily take care of many aspects of the project from within the teams. You can have team meetings, one-to-one calls, send messages, keep file access and work on bugs.

Here are the essential collaborative work-centric features of Microsoft Teams that enable remote and hybrid teams to work at their full capacity:

1. Calls, meetings and texts

Microsoft Teams is a robust app for team conversations and meetings. You can schedule meetings in Outlook Calendar for team meetings of a specific team group.

Every member gets automatic notifications so that no one misses important project meetings. Teams also allow team members from remote locations to join the meeting via phone calls.

Microsoft Teams follows the threaded format for group texts. Grab the attention of team members by tagging them with @ sign during messages.

2. Share screen

During team meetings, click the Share content button to share different parts of your computer. With Microsoft Teams you can share:

  • Desktop for seamless collaboration with multiple windows, popups, notifications, and apps.
  • A specific window when you need to focus on one particular content and keep desktop activity private.
  • PowerPoint presentations. The audience can flip through the slides if they want to.
  • Microsoft Whiteboard for collaborative UI/UX design, product design, and more.

3. Public and Private Teams

Public team channels allow you to freely collaborate with external contacts. For example, create public groups for graphic designers, app developers when collaborating with client developers.

When working on something outside the client’s project, it’s better to create a private team channel for team members. You can share files, discuss ideas, and make decisions that are beyond the customer’s control.

OneDrive for collaborative work

An image of the OneDrive app home screen

OneDrive is a Microsoft cloud storage service with excellent data security. The tool makes it easy for team members to access project files and documents from anywhere.

When you set up a team on Microsoft Teams, OneDrive becomes the default cloud storage. You can use the following functions for collaboration within the team or between the teams:

1. Save and sync files

You can create a shared library for any project. Then add the team members who need to work on the project. Now all members can access any files you create or upload in this library.

OneDrive’s apps sync your device with the cloud platform and automatically save the latest file to the local drive. Therefore, you and your team can work on project documents even if the internet is down for a while. However, real-time collaboration is not available when your device is offline.

2. Control sharing and access

A visualization of sharing and access control

You have full control over your data. Unless you share a file in a Microsoft Teams group or OneDrive shared library, your file is completely private. If you urgently need to share a file, simply drag and drop the file into a shared library or Teams group.

You can set different access controls for project files and documents. Let’s assume you’re working on a blog for the upcoming Computer Security Day. You need creative input from the team.

You can manually share the content link with a few team members and not unnecessarily share it with the whole team. Then you can restrict content downloading, grant review-only access, and so on.

3. Tag Contributor

Content editors, publishers and project managers can reduce their workload by implementing document tagging. If you are editing a concept blog and need the writer to add historical data to the content, you can easily include it in the document using the @ sign.

The author or creator of the content will automatically receive an email with a link to the file and a comment. No need to chase the content creator through messaging apps or voice calls. This saves you and your team a lot of time.

4. Editing in real time

You can reduce the time to create and approve content by switching to real-time editing. For high-content projects, your team should follow this approach.

You and your project team can open the same Excel, Word, or PowerPoint file in the browser. All changes made by the content creators, editors, and approvers are visible to all contributors.

SharePoint for collaborative work

You can use Microsoft SharePoint as the default intranet portal for any project. You can securely deploy online tasks, reports, workflows and deliverables of any project without having to manage a backend server.

Here’s a list of SharePoint features that you might want to use for collaboration with an entire remote or hybrid workforce:

1. Content Management

You can effortlessly manage project data such as documents, files, images, design assets, phone contacts, email contacts, and videos on SharePoint. You can create separate segments for each file on a SharePoint site.

You can add a metadata-based search engine so team members can easily access files from anywhere. Users can also access files from mobile because SharePoint is a mobile responsive app.

2. Communication site

An image of a SharePoint communication site

For visual communication you can use SharePoint. For example, create different communication sites on your intranet for audiences such as team members, customers, suppliers, and so on.

Now you can post updates about a project, product or service on the above sites with just one click. You can use communication sites on SharePoint to publish project status dashboards and collect comments from your customers.

SharePoint sites also make it easy to add calendar events, timelines, and project management tasks.

3. Sharing and Permissions Management

You can set different sharing rules and levels on SharePoint. For example, team members can get edit rights, remote employees get view access, and customers get full control over a project site on SharePoint.

There are several permissions on SharePoint sites that you can use for easy access to content with appropriate security. You can choose from Full Control, Design, Edit, Contribute, and Read.

Productive and Affordable Collaboration

Using all these collaboration features from Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint is a breeze.

Now you can get started anywhere with project tasks, document management, real-time whiteboarding, and team collaboration.

An image to illustrate a productive and happy team
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