Pros & Cons of Using Microsoft Teams for Virtual Meetings
Updated: May 12
With the rise of virtual teams and remote work, digital platforms offer a way for teams to communicate face-to-face without the necessity of being present in the same room, building, or even state. While digital platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, have become the norm, determining which is suitable for any given company is often challenging. However, with Microsoft Teams' background and professional capabilities, it is a leader in the industry.
Microsoft Teams Features
When learning how to use Microsoft Teams, many companies realize how feature-dense the platform is, allowing for several customizations and performance modes. While there are too many features to discuss with any thoroughness, there are four standouts deserving recognition.
1. Breakout Rooms
The primary software includes the main meeting room, allowing all participants video, audio, and chat capabilities. However, in addition to the preliminary meeting space are breakout rooms.
A breakout room is a secondary meeting space for a small or select group of participants. A breakout meeting occurs during the introductory session, making it beneficial to presenters. For instance, if a small group is set to present budgetary findings or a project update, those people can enter a breakout room to discuss their presentation before re-entering the ongoing meeting.
One of the best integrations into Microsoft Teams is the Whiteboard app. The application allows all participants access to a shared digital whiteboard, allowing them to enter notes, pictures, diagrams, etc. While this feature might not be helpful in a large meeting, it is advantageous to small teams, especially when brainstorming ideas and projects.
3. Presenter Mode
For presentations, Microsoft Teams offers presenter modes. The modes allow a presenter to take the main screen with their PowerPoint presentation. The views include Standout, Reporter, and Side-by-side. In each view, the presenter and their materials are visible.
4. Live Transcription
It can sometimes be challenging to hear what participants and presenters are saying. Thankfully, Teams uses live transcription, an AI-driven tool, to create real-time subtitles for participants. The tool can help ensure that everyone remains on track with the meeting's progress.
Pros of Microsoft Teams
All virtual meeting platforms have pros and cons. It is up to the company to select which platform provides the most benefit for continued use. Regarding Microsoft Teams, there are several potential benefits, including:
Chat and presentation features
Microsoft Teams offers both free and paid versions. Teams are readily available for companies that already use Microsoft or Office 365 at no additional cost. For these companies, Teams also integrate seamlessly with their existing infrastructure.
Additional benefits or pros of using Microsoft Teams include collaboration, chat, and presentation features. The software is relatively robust in its features, allowing for multiple team arrangements.
Cons of Microsoft Teams
With every pro, there must be a con. Even the best virtual meeting platform will struggle with potential pitfalls or non-negotiable items. Microsoft Teams is no different from other platforms. Some of the disadvantages of the software include:
The openness and availability of Teams are one of the things that makes it so worthwhile, but it is also one that makes it a potential security threat. Because everybody can create a team, there are few measures to control who can manage or access the collaboration possibilities. Therefore, someone may upload malicious software or content to the primary system, resulting in company-wide damage.
Additionally, many applications and programs can accomplish many of the same tasks as Microsoft Teams within the Microsoft hub. Therefore, companies might clog up their systems with unnecessary and redundant applications.
Finally, when everyone can create a team, it can result in a drain on the company system. Many people may create pointless or redundant groups, taking up valuable storage space. Microsoft seemed to realize this pitfall, incorporating team-creating permissions.
Customizing Your Teams Backgrounds
While there are pros and cons to every virtual meeting platform, one of the benefits of all meeting options is the customization of backgrounds. Backgrounds create the opportunity for cohesiveness and unity. Additionally, they can increase the perception of professionalism, even in more lax environments, such as home offices. Therefore, regardless of the tool you choose, find a way to instill uniformity and continuity in your meetings using backgrounds.
Is your company currently weighing the pros and cons of virtual meeting software and platforms? Is Microsoft Teams a contender on its list? There are many benefits to the platform, but any company debating the merit of the platform should also consider the potential pitfalls of the software.
It is not easy selecting a universal meeting software or platform for an organization. If you or your company need more help weighing the benefits and advantages of any platform, consider talking to a local virtual meeting or tech expert.