The satisfaction from finding easy ways to be more productive in the office can be enormous. Having a snappy unified communications tool like Skype for Business gives me back more minutes every day and it got me thinking – can I be even more productive with it? After a little research I found the answer was yes. So here are the 12 little tricks I found that skim off precious minutes from my workday.
1. Speed up your Voicemails
Voicemails can be unnecessarily long and sometimes you want to jump to a certain section only and replay that part. Luckily with Skype for Business you can speed up your full voicemail, slow it down and jump in and out: simple ingenuity!
Hover over the voicemail icon and click the play button. You'll see an arrow to the right of “1x” button, click on the arrow and choose how fast or how slow you want to listen to the voicemail. There's also a play and pause button to the left and you can drag the cursor on where you want to start and stop the voicemail.
2.Test the Quality of a Voice Call
For important calls you might want to check the quality of the call before the call starts to avoid time wasting if there's a problem. Click on the “Phone” tab and then click “check”.
For more comprehensive company wide testing of the quality of voice calls on Skype for Business IR Prognosis is perfect. It pinpoints exact fail points, saving hours of your IT team's time investigating.
3. One Click Instant Message (IM)
On your desktop right-click and select New > Shortcut. The Create Shortcut window will ask you to insert the location, type in SIP: and the contact's email address, for example, sip:email@example.com.
Name the shortcut; use something you'll remember like the persons name because in the next step we will show you how to add a shortcut key.
Enhance the shortcut by adding a Shortcut Key and unique Icon. Right click on the Icon and select Properties. Hover over the Shortcut key field and press the keys you want to use, this will add them as the Shortcut keys. Microsoft recommend naming it to reflect the keyboard hotkey shortcut you want to use as well as IM to the person's name, so perhaps: Ctrl+Shift+5 Instant Message to John Doe.
Now click on Change Icon and choose the image you want to use.
4. One Click Call, or as close as...
Like one click IM except instead of typing in SIP in the location type in TEL along with the phone number instead of the email address. But you will need to click “Call” to confirm you are starting a voice call – you can't have everything!
5. Sharing a PowerPoint
Within your PowerPoint presentation click on Slide Show > Present Online > Skype for Business.
You can also share it by clicking File > Share > Present Online > Skype for Business. You then select which Skype Meeting you want to share it in or start a new Skype Meeting.
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6. Moving a S4B Call to Mobile
Probably the most useful tip here if you're like me and are happy to continue talking while commuting.
Firstly you must add your mobile number to your account if you haven't already; go to the Settings > Phone and add your number into the mobile number field. Then when you're on a call simply click on the # key, then Transfer and choose your mobile number from the drop down list. You don't even have to have the Skype for Business app installed on your mobile to do it.
7. S4B Meeting in Browsers
Simply add ?SL=1 to the end of the Join Meeting URL.
If you have Skype for Business installed on your computer it will open up a window from there, but if you copy and paste the URL plus the ending above into the browser you will access it from there.
If it's your first time using Skype for Business in the browser you will need to download and run a Skype for Business plug-in, which you will be prompted to do. Follow the steps and you'll be on the call without delay.
8. Contact Timezone Check
Anyone collaborating or communicating frequently in a global business will love this nifty feature. Right click on your contact, then click on See Contact Card and check out their Current Time Zone.
9. Find Organizational Chart
Click on See Contact Card and then navigate to Organization to see their manager or direct reports. Your IT department must have set up the organizational chart for these to be visible.
10. Making Signature Phone Numbers and Email Addresses Clickable
Similar to the one click shortcuts mentioned above you simply add TEL: before the phone number to make it a click-to-dial and SIP: before the email address to make it click-to-IM. It can't get much easier.
11. Using OneNote
To share items from OneNote hover over the Share button in your Skype Meeting and click on My Notes and select the note you want to share. Alternatively click Ctrl+N.
12. Manage Emoticon Settings
Emoticons are not for everyone, while some love the leaping and jumping emojis others are happy with the more subdued plain smileys. So if you want to avoid distracting emoticons or get rid of them completely °here's how to do it. Click on the Arrow beside on your Settings button, drop down to Tools > Options > IM and you can tick to turn off the emoticon animations or switch off entirely.
I hope some of these handy tricks are helpful and improve your productivity while using Skype for Business, please share your own tricks in the comments below and don't forget to share this post with your end users to increase their adoption of Skype for Business.