Microsoft Teams – Calls vs Meetings. Simply Explained

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Is your mind racing trying to find the difference between a call and a meeting in Microsoft Teams?

I can sympathize! Whether you use the platform for work or to attend online classes, it’s undeniable that both concepts seem to be one and the same, and they can get confusing sometimes.

You’ve probably often wondered whether there are actual differences between the two, and if so, what are they?

Well… look no more, you came to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find an in-depth explanation of each one, and some tips to use them right.

The 5 main differences between calls & meetings in Microsoft Teams are:

  1. Spontaneity
  2. Scheduling
  3. Dialing
  4. Call transfers
  5. Voicemail options

Read on to learn all Microsoft Teams can do for you!

#1 Spontaneity

I’d like to start this list off by discussing this, as being spontaneous can not only be an advantage but also save you some time.

Everyday life gets pretty hectic, and occasionally, you might need a quick answer to a simple issue. In cases like these, there’s really no point in creating and scheduling a meeting days or weeks in advance, as a call can do the job just fine.

For example, let’s say that you’re closing the monthly budget and are ready to send it over to your boss. Everything looks ok until you notice that the amount of one of the purchases from one department is not correct. Microsoft Teams’ calls allow you to hit the speed dial and quickly get in touch with the person in charge of that acquisition and clear things up.

So, use Teams’ call system never to miss a deadline again.

#2 Scheduling

Scheduling on Microsoft Teams
Some of your coworkers might need to clear their agendas weeks in advance

Yet another main difference when comparing Microsoft Teams’ calls vs meetings is the annoying fact of having to schedule the latter. As I said earlier, calls are spontaneous and much better for getting quick answers to simple issues. But if you have a progress meeting with the entire Sales Department every 15th of the month, a call won’t do.

In cases like that, you’re better off creating a meeting in your calendar and inviting the people you need to attend. Teams’ meetings allow you to schedule weeks in advance, so every participant can have visibility and make sure to clear their agenda and join.

So, long story short, use calls to overcome simple & quick obstacles and stick to meetings if you need to go deeper into a topic.

#3 Dialing

Microsoft Teams dialing
Being able to dial external suppliers or clients while on a team meeting is a great advantage

Next, let’s talk about dialing.

At this point, you’re likely already quite clear on how calls vs meetings work and what are the benefits of each one. As such, you can probably imagine that dialing someone over the phone is normally an immediate need rather than a planned event.

Teams’ meetings allow you to work with your coworkers remotely, but won’t give you the option to dial other people inside our outside the organization. This might not seem like something necessary, but in some cases, it’s vital.

Imagine you’re trying to get an estimate for Point of Sale materials from a supplier, and you’re on a call with your boss. By using Teams’ dial pad on a call, you can easily reach out to any external company and get quotations together. Something you can’t do in a meeting.

Now, although both options are great for collaboration, issues can always arise. If you’re ever having a hard time with the platform or can’t find the “Join” button, be sure to check out our resources to help you fix that.

#4 Call Transfers

Moving on, let’s talk about call transfers.

This is another feature that stands out when comparing Microsoft Teams’ calls vs meetings, as it’s a great tool to have. As you can imagine, this is only available on the former, as meetings are not based on call structures.

Granted, this is something you might not need if you’re talking with your team about upcoming goals/deadlines or an incorrect amount that was registered into the monthly budget, but still – it’s quite welcome to have it available.

After all, it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have, right?

By transferring calls, you can connect various departments with one another and make the entire team working process much more streamlined.

#5 Voicemail Options

Microsoft Teams voicemail
Allowing partners, clients, and suppliers to leave voicemails can make your workflow much more streamlined

Yet another reason why sometimes calls can have the upper hand is the option to set up a voicemail. This can help both coworkers and potential clients/suppliers to identify your extension and leave important messages for you.

Given how hectic everyday life is, it’s easy to miss work calls during the day, as you might be stuck on budget meetings or simply commuting to the office. By having a voicemail set up, you’ll always be kept in the loop. Not to mention that it gives everyone who calls you the feeling that you actually care about what they have to say.

Besides, having a voicemail enabled helps you retain more privacy, as people will call you on your Teams account rather than reach you directly when you’re in the comfort of your home.

If you’re out of the office, you can simply configure the app to redirect your calls.


That about covers it!

I know how confusing it can be to compare calls vs meetings on Microsoft Teams. Especially if you’re new to using the app.

I hope this piece has helped you see more clearly what the main differences are and the advantages that each option has to offer. Depending on the urgency of the matter you want to deal with and your coworkers’ availability, you might opt for one over the other.

At the end of the day, they’re both great tools to have and will increase your productivity significantly if you choose them correctly.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article was useful to you, it’ll make you very happy to know that we upload new content every week. While we work on our latest release, make sure to check out our other resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!

Have a great day.