Everyone is feeling the strain of the rapidly changing face of COVID-19. Stress and tensions are naturally high; for many organizations, this could be the first time they have asked employees to work remotely for an extended period. Charles IT is focused on ‘Real Relationships and Raving Fans’ with clients but also with our own team. Recreating company culture with your team working remotely is tricky. Remember, a lot of people chose to keep working for you because they consider their colleagues as friends.
While organizations are rapidly rolling out new technologies and ways of working, this change is more hurried than normal. This forces users to adopt new ways of working. It can be stressful!
We are likely to see an increase in cyber-crime as people exploit the crisis and vulnerabilities in internal processes. For example, an emailed invoice for recently found hand sanitizer, request for payment, or a message posing as an update.
Our Suggestions for Working Effectively with TEAMS
Replicate the workspace as much as possible at home. In the workplace, having a second monitor is common but working off a laptop that has a small screen isn’t so much fun when you're used to the extra real estate. If people need to work remotely once they have left the office, they need to remember their laptop as well as the power supply and maybe a headset.
Train your team before they need it. Maximize the time they have to adopt and encourage practice while you still have them in the office. Pretend you can't walk over to talk with someone. Internally, we have moved all group meetings to Teams, even if we are in the same building.
Download the full version of apps to your device. Microsoft’s mobile apps are great. I prefer Yammer on mobile. It’s a great experience and keeps you connected during uncommon work hours. Remember, you can turn off notifications by channel or conversation.
Users who work fixed hours or need a break can turn off notifications
Blur video background. There is a viral video of a news station interviewing a subject matter expert, that gets interrupted when the expert's young daughter walks into the room. While on video calls, your team may not want to share their home workspace. There is an option to blur the background on video calls.
Teach the right tools for different types of communication. Email is a fantastic tool to communicate facts or information. Use Teams to host conversations and respond to messages. Find ways to collaborate including discussions, online meetings and shared workspaces doc e.g. OneNote.
Ensure your team doesn’t feel isolated. Increase communication. Find ways to connect with remote users and create opportunities for people to interact - make sure the introverts have a voice! Remember, online calls with the camera turned on can help us read body language.
Blend communication styles with your team. Use a mix of email, IM and phone calls.
Find ways to be social, have fun! People are social! Think about recreating the watercooler space, separating fun from business and reducing clutter.
Make the TEAMS channel names easier to navigate. Fun fact: Channel names can have emoji in it, which can make them more fun and quicker to find.
Reinforce the need to stay cyber safe. be more vigilant than normal!
Don’t replicate ‘reply all’ in TEAMS. @mentioning a whole team is spam. You want to aim to reduce clutter so TEAMS doesn’t become noise.
Use @mention to make it clear who you want to action. Avoid @mention the whole channel because people won’t know who needs to action an item.
Teach people etiquette for conference calls i.e. mute your mic when you’re not talking, how to ask questions.
Put a subject line at top of a post. You wouldn’t send an email without a subject line, would you?
Consider using a thumbs up to acknowledge a post. A 'Like' doesn’t need to be used in the same way as a Facebook photo. It’s a great way to respond without needing to type.
TEAMS can have external members. Remember to tell the team if the TEAM chat has guests and who they are, including new members.
Getting this right isn’t as simple as sending a list of “do’s and don’ts” to your staff. Take a minute to teach your team your company’s best practices so everyone is consistent.
Take our Readiness Assessment to see your team is ready to work remotely! If you need help, just reach out. We are here for you!