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Working from Home During COVID-19? Follow These Tips for Success with Microsoft Teams
A week ago, Microsoft sent out a message to more than 50,000 employees in the Seattle area. In short, it asked them to start working from home if possible. While Microsoft’s employees were already using Microsoft Teams, the almost immediate transition to working remotely meant the company quickly saw a major uptick in both chat and video meeting usage.
With so many of us now working remotely, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365, Jared Spataro, has taken the time to share some tips for how to work from home effectively with the help of Microsoft Teams. We’ve summarized his advice below.
How to Get Started with Working from Home
Working remotely can be intimidating, especially when you’re first getting started. To make the transition from office-based to home-based work as smooth as possible, follow these three tips.
First, be sure to set aside a dedicated space for your home office. Microsoft Teams provides you with access to the documents and files you need, making it easy to get up and running with your ‘virtual’ office right away. It’s fine if you don’t have a proper home office already set up — just be sure to devote a specific space to working remotely, whether it’s a spare bedroom, the corner of your dining table, or another space in your home.
Next, be sure to communicate clearly with your team members. Let everyone know what your schedule is, and stick to whatever schedule you set. Provide your teammates with regular project updates directly in the relevant Teams channel. This makes it easy for team members to look back through the channel history later to get a sense of how everyone’s progressing with a given project.
Lastly, don’t forget to set boundaries from day one. When you first start working from home, it’s easy to find yourself working outside of normal office hours. But more time devoted to work isn’t necessarily better. Failing to set boundaries will quickly lead to burnout, which will ultimately reduce your long-term productivity. Be sure to mentally ‘clock out’ from your work each day, and set your laptop aside until the next morning.
Keep Meetings Focused and Effective
We’ve all been on our share of conference calls, but shifting to a 100% virtual meeting schedule can be a challenge.
There are a few things to keep in mind in order to maximize the efficiency and productivity of meetings. First, be sure to give everyone a join option in Teams, and encourage participants to use video. Being able to see people face-to-face is important. If you’re the meeting organizer, do your best to make everyone feel included. It’s easy for people to feel ignored, and some participants will struggle to make themselves heard or take part in a virtual meeting environment. Consider recording your Teams meetings (so long as your organization allows it). This gives team members the chance to review what was discussed at a later date.
Stay in Touch Socially
Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation, which is why it’s so important to stay socially connected with coworkers. Instead of only checking in via chat when you need a question answered or have a project update to offer, be sure to make casual conversation with your coworkers, too. Sitting down to lunch? Invite everyone to ‘meet for lunch’ via video.
Keep It Fun
With all the stress that comes with the transition to working remotely, don’t forget to make an effort to keep things light and positive in the virtual workplace. Share personal updates via the Teams General channel, and invite other team members to make suggestions for how to keep the digital workplace fun and engaging.
Making the Transition to Teams
Is your organization ready to get started with Microsoft Teams? JourneyTEAM can help you make the transition quickly and easily. Plus, we can offer your organization access to a 6-month free trial of Microsoft Teams. Contact us now to learn more about work from home solutions.
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. www.journeyteam.com