With the Coronavirus outbreak spreading at a rapid pace around the world, businesses are faced with the challenge of transitioning successfully to remote working. But, moving thousands of employees from an office-based way of working to remote working is not a simple task for organizations. For many employees, this will be their first experience of working remotely and they would have to adjust to the new environment.
Microsoft Teams offers a great platform for your remote employees to communicate through calls, chats, meetings and stay highly productivity. It diminishes the gap between the office environment and one that employees have at home to a large extent. How? Let us tell you about some ways to leverage Microsoft Teams for better remote working.
1. Set up a Virtual Workspace – Microsoft Teams is designed to be a virtual office that you can take anywhere. You can access important documents, control access rights for critical documents, jump into calls and meetings and stay connected through chats. Having said that, one still needs to find a focus-friendly workspace area at home to provide the best output. Do not worry if the workspace is a bit untidy, you can always use the background blur feature during the video meetings so that your teammates can see only you.
2. Keep Communications Clear – Remote working lacks many core benefits of the physical presence. Thus, one needs to communicate in clear terms with team members and other collaborators. While working at the office you rely on the core office hours, however, this routine might change while working from home as you may have childcare and various other responsibilities. To counter confusion, clearly communicate your working hours to your team members. Set status message on Teams to keep everyone well informed.
3. Embrace Virtual Meetings – Without the availability of a physical conference room, it can be a challenge to bring every team member together. Microsoft Teams allow you to overcome this challenge, set up a virtual meeting and invite everyone to join in. As face-to-face conversations go a long way in making people feel connected, you can ask all the attendees to turn on their video features.
4. Hear the Attendees Opinions – Online meetings remove some of the visual advantages present in face-to-face meetings. Overcrowded Microsoft Teams meetings make it difficult for people to ask questions or share their opinions. This is why as a meeting organizer you should pause frequently and invite questions. Also, remind the attendees that they can send in their thoughts using the meeting chat window.
5. Record Meeting Proceedings – Many meetings revolve around complex subjects or knowledge transfer. Under such scenarios, remote workers might have to compensate for the lack of face time by scheduling extra meetings. But these extra meetings can be avoided by utilizing the record meetings option in Teams. The recorded transcript is very useful when you are trying to remember some information that was covered in a meeting.
6. Make up for Fun Chats – Most remote workers find their casual conversations with co-workers, as the thing they miss the most. The conversations at the watercooler or snack area not only keep everyone connected but often lead to the sharing of great thoughts and ideas. While working remotely, make it a point to reach out and connect with your co-workers. Think of Chat messages as your conversation at the watercooler. Use emojis, GIFs, and stickers to keep the conversations fun and light-hearted.
7. Brainstorm Seamlessly – Certain meetings require a lot of brainstorming on a subject. Such sessions usually necessitate the use of a whiteboard and marker. However, these are not available when working remotely. Or is it? Use the Microsoft Whiteboard app with Teams. This app provides you a canvas where you and the team can draw and ideate virtually.
In these times of social distancing, organizations need to leverage the right tools to not only attain their productivity goals but to foster and maintain high team morale. Microsoft Teams with all its capabilities allows employees to feel positive, engaged and stay productive while working remotely. AgreeYa offers end-to-end Microsoft Teams services which include assessment, deployment and future roadmap. For more information click here.