vintage measurement gauge
PHOTO: Dan Meyers

Microsoft Teams is a big deal. Not only for Microsoft, but for all Office 365 customers. It’s Microsoft’s fastest growing business product ever and has been positioned as the hub for all office collaboration activities.

In this time of coronavirus-forced work from home (WFH), keeping employees engaged in their work becomes even more of a priority. What’s more, this engagement is now becoming 100% digital (at least for the coming months). The whole digital employee experience (DEX) has suddenly gone from slowly growing importance to the main game. And Microsoft Teams is front and center for a majority of larger organizations, with the recent dramatic uptick in online collaboration already testing Microsoft’s engineering resources to keep the platform available.

What Has Teams Benchmarking Got to Do With DEX?

Much has been written about DEX, with CMSWire reporter David Roe writing specifically about the cost to an organization of disengaged employees. Roe's recommendations include: a defined purpose, connected employees, two-way communications, part of the culture, promoting gratitude — all of which feature in the Teams benchmarking report.

Teams benchmarking studies traditionally rely on surveying a sample of individual team members, looking for their perceptions and then reporting on their aggregated responses. The data source for SWOOP benchmarking studies is the raw interaction data from all individuals participating in digital teams. The results therefore are reflective of what employees actually do, more so than what they think they do.

We at SWOOP believe this study of more than 5,300 Teams across 15 organizations covering a period of 12 weeks is a strong reflection of the current state of play within Microsoft Teams, and arguably, employee engagement as a whole.

Related Article: Surviving the Team Collaboration Platform Invasion

What Are the Highlights From the Microsoft Teams Report?

The report includes not just insights from team analytics but also the reports from five Teams implementation partners, identifying both the best and worst practices they have observed for Teams adoption. Here are the key findings from the report:

  • Chat is the most used function in Teams, making up 70% to 95% of all messages. Chat has 13 times the number of messages than Teams channels. Chat is being used to keep local teams connected in real time.
  • Staff, on average, are members of three teams but are mostly active in one. While most employees have a "favored" team, Teams operating as forums or communities were identified to help employees engage beyond their local team.
  • The most active team has 25 members, all active and connected to each other, interacting at the rate of 365 channel interactions/per day or 14 interactions/per member/per day. This does not include chat. How engaged is that!
  • 11% of Teams include guest members from outside the organization, showing organizations can leverage Teams to engage more closely with customers, partners and suppliers. This is how engaged employees can have a direct positive impact on external stakeholders.
  • Teams is being used as a collaboration hub. Almost 70% of Teams have other apps added. Excel is the most popular tab added, followed by SharePoint and Planner. Simplifying the digital workplace is one of the most requested requirements for engaging employees.
  • Interaction data on Teams for measuring and monitoring an operating organizational culture can be combined with Yammer to provide a comprehensive mapping of organizational culture in real time.
  • “Collaborative Overload” is a real possibility for hyper-interactive staff, with the most active messaging and chatting at a rate of more than one message every minute. In other words, overuse of a digital workplace can expose a dark side for DEX. This trend initially surfaced with Slack users, but no doubt is also a risk for Teams.

The full report is available free for download here (registration required).

Feel free to comment and share your own insights and experiences.