Microsoft Teams for Office 365 is a nifty little tool. Actually, it’s not a tool and it’s not so little anymore. It’s a pretty robust platform for collaboration, and anyone who has even had a chance to tinker with or use it productively would probably say there’s a lot this platform can do. And the tool continues to grow at a dizzying pace. Even just recently, Microsoft announced a slew of new updates including an updated app gallery, the ability to retrieve content from an app and discuss it with the Teams chat function, and a better search bar experience. It was not long ago that, among other things, Microsoft announced that Teams will succeed Skype for Business as the main communication hub for Office 365 customers.
Of course, with all the new bells and whistles, it might seem a bit overwhelming, especially for casual users. Change can be a tough pill to swallow, especially as it relates to technology. Office 365, let alone Teams, is not an exception to this rule.
Turning to new technology is not easily done, like turning on a light switch – people get used to having their content in particular places, knowing the core features of their document areas, and having an information architecture that aligns with the daily business (Internal Communications, I know how valuable news feeds can be!)
Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring some of that familiarity to your new tools? Especially if what you had before isn’t exactly “broken?”
I found that one of the best features of Teams was adding tabs when in a Teams Channel (e.g. General).
Tabs allow organizational teams or groups of users to add the right content they need to see. Conversations, Files, OneNote, etc. And there is a lot of different kinds of tabs available to add, and that list is constantly growing.
One neat – and useful – tab is being able to add your SharePoint team home page as a tab itself.
I’m not talking about a SharePoint document library, which is what the “SharePoint” tab makes you pick. I’m talking about the page that everybody has eyes on when they visit their team site in the morning. Newsfeed, document libraries, lists, calendar, etc. The “dashboard page” of your team, so to speak.
To do this, just add a new Website tab, then add the URL (website address) of your team site. Provide a name for the tab too. The main Teams panel will then render the team site home page – the same one you would find in your Office 365 SharePoint site. The page browsing experience stays within the Teams main panel as you would expect (unless the link goes to an external site). You can also adjust it’s position in the tab row (drag-and-drop).
One thing to note, you’ll have to go the actual SharePoint site to edit the page or content of the home page shown in Teams. Also, links to external websites will open up a new browser session.
You may get prompted to login to Office 365 for the first time accessing the tab (especially if you’re not on the company network at work or at home). However, just put in your username and password like you would normally log into Office 365 (make sure to click Yes on the Stay Signed In message).
Admittedly it is not the most intuitive experience by having to pick the “Website” tab rather than the SharePoint one. However, perhaps Microsoft will fix this up in the not-to-distant future.
This is simply one method to begin bridging your team into the Office 365 juggernaut that is Microsoft Teams – if you can provide a familiar experience for your users, the pain points in adopting Teams as a go-to tool can be assuaged.
For more information on Teams features and updates, I recommend visiting the official Microsoft Teams Blog.