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Many of us were forced to change the way we work due to COVID-19. The remote model that was not previously allowed for many companies became the one and only solution during a pandemic. For many organizations, operating 100% online and communicating largely via virtual meetings is a completely new experience.
If you’re asking yourself how to effectively adapt to a changing reality so that your business does not suffer, how to organize remote work wisely and support your employees in this process, or what kind of tools may help you, this content is for you.
In fact, it may turn out that the challenges you’re now facing can actually help your company, and the new process can take it to a higher level.
This is a part of an article series we created to help you implement a remote-first work environment with the help of MS Teams and Azure. Here you’ll find valuable tips to keep your business secure and efficient. See the additional articles here:
According to research by Global Workplace Analytics, the number of people who work from home, not counting the self-employed, has increased by 103% since 2005 (source). Predica belongs to this group. We’re certainly no strangers to remote work. So, how to manage the change?
If you are completely new to remote work tools, start with asking an open question on LinkedIn, joining one of the remote work-themed groups there, or checking the offer of the most trusted suppliers such as Microsoft, Slack or Zoom. Research the costs and features, and don’t hesitate to gather user opinions.
Focus also on the capability of holding virtual meetings which are key in the remote-first model. They will largely aid keeping your company operational. Through this functionality, employees can contact each other, hold video conferences and share screens when they need to collaborate on something.
You can also use virtual meetings to communicate externally. For instance, you may want to use them for calling your clients – by showing a presentation on your screen you can still deliver that sales pitch you scheduled some time ago! You can also hold external conferences and webinars to keep in touch with your contacts.
There are a lot of different services for remote work on the market, each featuring different functionalities, e.g. video recording, real-time collaboration or calendar integration. Choose the service that’s most suitable for you and adjust it to your needs.
Based on our experience, we suggest adopting Microsoft Teams. The service is a hub for teamwork, bringing together the best of Office 365 to empower customers to chat, meet, share files, and work together with business apps.
In the second week of March 2020, the number of users was 38 million, and in the next, it increased to 44 million and is still growing. These numbers alone show that it’s the service of choice for many, and rightly so.
With Microsoft Teams, your employees can remain productive. They don’t have to switch between applications, but instead, they’ll work in one space. Collaborating on the same file, quickly exchanging information and knowledge, saves a lot of time. In addition, Microsoft Teams provides great remote work experience for virtual meetings which is extremely important right now.
There are several benefits to holding meetings online using Teams. Here are some of the key ones:
Discover more Microsoft Teams’ capabilities here.
Once you’ve decided that Microsoft Teams is the solution for you and it can bring advantages to your business, what should you do next?
There are several areas that will need particular attention during this transition. Remember that communication is key to make sure that everyone stays connected and engaged throughout the process.
Regardless of whether we work from home or from an office, using Microsoft tools or others, our responsibility for performing tasks is still the same. Remote work should bring the same quality of services.
Inform your employees clearly about it, include it in company policies and emphasize this fact as often as you can.
Organize weekly company-wide video calls to update everyone on business conditions, plans, and current status. It is extremely important to build commitment and awareness that we all play as a team.
If your organization already uses Microsoft Teams, Microsoft OneDrive or other Office 365 applications, you may be one step ahead here. However, you should still make sure your employees understand how to use these services correctly and are aware of all useful functionalities.
Many people are seeing new tools for the first time and have the right to feel lost. It is important that each person receives support in learning and using the new solution. Take care of the proper flow of information.
Consider company-wide training, appoint experts in individual departments who can help their colleagues (IT department for instance), or ask for external support. Choose training services from companies that have the knowledge, use good practices, and can provide training materials for your team.
At this time, the most important thing is to educate employees about the basics of using a new tool so that they can freely perform their daily duties. Feel free to contact us for further guidance.
If you have already implemented remote work solutions, set up some rules for using them. Even a basic set of principles can go a long way in helping your employees adapt to the new work environment. It will also establish consistency in communication and improve its efficiency.
Some of the best practices include:
Consider what may be the most important for your operations. You may find a lot of inspiration in this article where Microsoft MVPs share their tips on how to optimize Microsoft Teams usage.
If you use Microsoft Teams, then set up a dedicated channel for a team meeting where you can keep all notes in Microsoft OneNote, recordings in Microsoft Stream, tasks in Microsoft Planner and surveys in Microsoft Forms.
More about working from home with Microsoft Teams here.
New tools changing the way of working are an adjustment for the entire organization. Such major transitions normally affect the experience of both the business and the employee.
Your company must face this change and the impact it has on its strategies, processes, and culture. But, above all, remember that it also affects people, your employees.
We are aware that a new work environment can cause concerns and a sense of being lost. That is why it is extremely important to teach your employees how to use their new tools, but also to adapt them to their needs.
It’s like when you move into a new house: first, you need to get to know how it looks, what is its plan, then you can begin decorating the space.
Adoption plans can range from simple to complex, depending on your environment. They may include thorough analysis, development of usage scenarios and carrying out a communication plan, training and information campaigns.
All these actions aim to ensure a smooth transition. Check out the Microsoft Teams Adoption guide here and get started.
Consider planning a full Office 365 and Microsoft Teams adoption project at your organization to make the most from your implementation.
A successful adoption takes your business to the next level and secures it for the future. We have a lot of experience in such projects, so we’ll be happy to help if you need it.
Skills required to successfully drive adoption projects
|Organizational Development||Business Acumen||Technical Competence|
|Marketing & Communication||Portfolio Management||Leadership Capability|
Virtual meetings can be enjoyable and effective. As part of remote work, they can bring measurable benefits today and in the future. Most of all, this feature is not an obstacle, it can save your business during a crisis.
Choose proven tools, invite experts to help, prepare a new environment, plan the appropriate adoption and be one step ahead.
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