Microsoft Teams users in Europe are reporting major issues accessing the service today, at a time when millions of people are relying on technology to help them work and study remotely.
As much of the world turns to home-working as part of social-distancing measures designed to avert a coronavirus catastrophe, cloud-based collaboration and communication tools will prove pivotal to companies’ abilities to continue running smoothly. And that is why Microsoft Teams’ struggles’ this morning could not come at a worse time.
As Europe’s remote workforce clocked on this morning, users from across the continent turned to Twitter in their droves to complain that all was not well inside Microsoft Teams. The company itself confirmed that it was investigating “messaging-related functionality problems,” however reports suggest that many users have also encountered problems creating new teams, modifying members, recording meetings, screensharing, and more.
We’re investigating messaging-related functionality problems within Microsoft Teams. Please refer to TM206544 in your admin center for further details. ^JP
— Microsoft 365 Status (@MSFT365Status) March 16, 2020
While it’s likely that the core underlying issue at play here is the vast increase in the number of people using Microsoft Teams to work from home, the matter will undoubtedly be compounded by the fact that many schools are embracing distance learning throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Indeed, last week Microsoft announced an enhanced version of the free version of Microsoft Teams that removed restrictions on the number of people that can join a team, and offer additional features usually reserved for paid users. Moreover, the company also revealed that it was offering a 6-month free trial to the premium tier of Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams passed 20 million daily users back in November, and alongside rival services such as Slack, it is emerging as a crucial tool not only for those who work from home but the increasingly distributed workforce where team members may be spread across countless offices and locations.
Recent figures suggest that more than two-thirds of the global workforce already work remotely at least one day a week, but with the coronavirus outbreak causing havoc around the world, it’s likely that many more people will be working from home permanently for at least the next month or two.