Working Remotely During COVID-19? Check Out These Tips for Success with Microsoft Teams
Microsoft wasn’t alone in transitioning its employees to remote work: hundreds of companies worldwide have been forced to do the same in the wake of COVID-19. With so many employees suddenly faced with the unfamiliar challenge of working from home, Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s Corporate VP for Microsoft 365, has put together some tips to help workers transition. We’ve summarized them below.
Getting Started with Remote Work
The first few days of working remotely are often the hardest, but there are three
First off, you’ll need to set up a dedicated workspace in your home. Some of us already have a home office -- but for those of us who don’t, there’s no need to worry. Just find a quiet area in your home that can be devoted to work, and let your cohabitants (be they family members or roommates) know that you need to avoid distractions while you’re in work mode.
Second, be sure to prioritize communication with other team members. Decide on a schedule for yourself, and share that schedule with your coworkers. This makes it easy for people to know when you’re available and when you’re not. Don’t forget to regularly share project updates and progress reports in the relevant Teams channel, as this will allow team members to keep up with what you’re working on.
Finally, you’ll need to set boundaries -- and then you’ll need to stick to them. For those who are new to working remotely, it’s easy to lapse into poor habits such as working late into the night or opening up your laptop for ‘just a couple of minutes’ to check on something (which then suddenly turns into an hour of additional work late in the day). Work-life balance and well-defined working hours are essential for avoiding burnout and maintaining productivity in the long run.
Effective Video Meetings
We’ve all participated in video conferences, but working remotely means that virtually 100% of your interaction with coworkers will take place online. This makes running effective video meetings absolutely essential for success in the workplace.
First off, make sure that all team members are presented with a join option in Teams so that they can easily take part in meetings. If you’re organizing the meeting, encourage everyone to use video rather than only participating via voice chat. This increases engagement and makes meetings more dynamic. In the same vein, do your best to make everyone on the call feel included. People sometimes feel left out of the conversation, particularly on larger video conferences, and pausing for questions is a good way to encourage active participation. It’s also helpful to record meetings so that employees can review them later -- just be sure that your organization allows for this.
Keep in Touch with Coworkers
Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation, especially for those who are completely new to it. Make a point of connecting socially with your coworkers. Don’t make every conversation work-related: share a personal story, send a funny emoji or GIF, or crack a joke now and then. Tired of eating lunch on your own? Consider inviting coworkers to a ‘virtual lunch hour’ via video chat.
Make It Fun
The transition to working from home can be stressful, which is all the more reason to put some effort into making things fun. Don’t hesitate to share personal updates with your team members, and set aside a little time to brainstorm ideas for engagement. One Microsoft customer in China hosted a virtual cooking challenge via Teams! The possibilities are endless.
Get Started with Microsoft Teams
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Article by: Dave Bollard - Head of Marketing | 801-436-6636
JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more.