Skip to main content


Knowing Your Company’s Working Styles can Help with Teams Adoption


In my last blog post, I highlighted a few key points to consider for your Teams implementation. In this post, I will discuss common working styles with Teams and why it is important to understand which category your colleagues fall into.

Understand your company’s working styles

Not all users will interact with Microsoft Teams in the same way. That is why it’s important for you to understand the different ways people work in Teams, so you can set realistic expectations.

Digital literacy plays a huge part in this exercise. Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, and requires both cognitive and technical skills. This concept dictates how companies use technology as a competitive advantage for employee productivity, collaboration, and communication.

Knowing your company’s working style is an important step toward understanding how your end-users will interact with Teams. Even after you roll out Teams, people still may not utilize it the way you expect. So the real work comes when you are ready to start moving users in a new direction. It takes a lot of work to elicit new behaviors.

Most user interaction is based on the user’s digital literacy level. Typically, they will view Teams as The Good Place, The “Meh” Place, or the Zero-Inbox Dungeon. It’s important to understand how a user’s view of Teams may shape their use.

How Different Users Perceive Teams

The Good Place (Teams)

Some users will more readily embrace this new way of working. They’ll jump on board immediately, collaborate freely, and use all of the tool’s resources. Others will take an interest in how it simplifies and centralizes collaboration efforts. Regardless of user motivation, be sure to capitalize on and enable those who are Teams advocates and champions. They are your best spokespeople!

The “Meh” Place (SharePoint Online)

Some users will interact with SharePoint Online more than others and be drawn into conversations as needed from SharePoint, Yammer, email, or other communication channels. Although SharePoint can be a great platform for collaboration, it often becomes an endless, disorganized storage closet at worst and a cluttered but valuable resource library at best. The goal is to help these SharePoint Online activists understand the difference between the tools and the benefits that Teams can offer.

The Zero-Inbox Dungeon (Outlook and Office 365)

If your endorphins fire when you reach an inbox of zero new messages, this is your place. These users will stay very close to their inbox, receiving messages and information in Outlook, jumping in only when absolutely necessary. They will likely interact more with the O365 group versus the Teams application. This means their experiences will be limited to mostly documents and messages.

Keep it Simple

Don’t expect all individuals to jump directly from the email to Teams seamlessly. With the right support, users can achieve acceptable over the course of weeks or months rather than years.

The goal is to change behaviors and help users see the value it can bring. This will ensure their future engagement.

Data suggests that 70 percent to 80 percent of technology or systems change management project’s ROI depends upon people using the new systems, applications, and tools as desired (Prosci).

I recently co-presented a webinar with my colleague, Joel Oleson, where we discussed Teams migration, consolidation, extensibility, and how to promote successful user adoption. A recording of our Build Your Modern Workplace Hub with Microsoft Teams can be found here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ron Jones, Practice Director, Microsoft Modern Work

Ron is the practice lead for Microsoft Modern Work including M365 security, M365 foundations, tenant -to-tenant migrations, collaboration, and Microsoft-based employee experiences including modern intranets and Microsoft Viva. He is also an active member of the Microsoft community leading the Atlanta SharePoint and Microsoft 365 User Group (ATL365) and speaking at events.

More from this Author

Follow Us