As the exodus from in-person delivery to online delivery of services continues there are two companies in huge demand.

One is Zoom, the video and audio conferencing app. The other is tech giant Microsoft, home of Office 365 and the provider of the increasingly popular communications and collaboration tool Teams.

Both companies have seen steep upward curves in demand and sales. You can see my blog which compares Zoom and Teams here.

The numbers for Microsoft are pretty staggering.

In their latest analysis report, they announced a new daily record of hosting 2.7 billion meeting minutes across the planet in ONE single day. This figure trebled their previous record of 900 million.Online Delivery – yes please!

Students and teachers are also turning to Microsoft Teams for distance learning. It’s being used in 175 countries around the world to keep education going.

Obviously we, as humans, love face-to-face contact. We prefer to communicate in person with other people.

Microsoft have been researching the way we are all interacting now to uncover some new trends. It makes for interesting reading.

Because we love face-to-face, it’s no surprise that the use of video in Teams meetings and conferencing is on the rise. Global video calls in Teams rose by more than 1,000 per cent during the whole of March. Users in Norway, Australia and the Netherlands were the most active with video communication.

Microsoft Stream, which powers live events and meeting recordings in Teams, has also seen a huge upsurge in activity. A five-fold increase took place in just one month.

With the increasing use of the platform, Microsoft is making changes to make using Teams an even better experience for people. These include:

  • Custom backgrounds – which means you can replace a cluttered or dowdy space with a fresh, new office backdrop. A neat way to create an even more distinguished and professional look.
  • Raise hands – a function which allows participants on a video call or in a virtual conference meeting to indicate they wish to speak.
  • End Meeting For All – The host of a meeting is now able to end the meeting for all participants with a single button click.
  • Participant Report – Meeting organisers, especially teachers, can see who joined, at what time and when they left the meeting.
  • Real-time Noise Suppression – a feature on its way to reduce distracting background noise, such as loud typing or a dog barking.

Different working hours

Online Delivery – yes please!Microsoft’s research also suggests that people are adjusting their working hours while they work more remotely, typically from home. People are logging on earlier and logging off later.

This, say the researchers, does not mean people are working longer hours. It means they are breaking up their work day into different chunks. This may be to work around family, household tasks or caring for others.

You may have found you have had to make some adjustments to your working day or week, too.

What is clear is this. More and more companies and individuals are turning to Microsoft Teams. They will expect employees and external people they work with to know how to use the application.

For the motivated VA, now really is the moment to get your teeth into Teams and make sure you know it well enough to serve clients with calm and confident efficiency.

If you know you need to get up to speed, take a look at my online course on How to Use Microsoft Teams. It covers all the essentials. That means you can worry less about working out how to do stuff and focus on delivering superb service to your clients.

Don’t get left behind. Microsoft Teams is here and only going to be more popular. I’ll show you step-by-step all the clever stuff it does so you can handle it like a dream.

To Your VA success!

Shelley Fishel

P.S. Microsoft Teams is already part of your Office 365 Business subscription. My online course on how to use it is available to you now with a time-limited 25 per cent discount.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes