With remote working fast becoming the new normal, how do you ensure that you stay as productive from home as you are in the office?
That’s where Microsoft Teams is a game-changer. It’s designed to keep colleagues productively connected and ensure that everybody can continue working as collaboratively, efficiently and securely as in the office.
Set aside some time to get to know Microsoft Teams. You’ll soon see how it can enable you and your team to be more productive and cohesive, regardless of work location.
To help you on your way, here’s our top tips for how to stay productive while working remotely using Teams:
1) Set your status
You can’t be ‘always on’ – use your status notifications to let people know when you’re available for work / chat. If you need to get your head down, switch your status to unavailable so you won’t be disturbed.
2) Keep colleagues informed
Clearly communicate your working hours with colleagues so they know when you can be contacted and expected to respond. For some, this will be between the typical hours of 9-5. For others, these times may differ as they juggle remote working with home-schooling, for example.
3) Rule of three
If you have three exchanges with a colleague over chat, it’s time for a call. You shouldn’t spend hours writing messages – it’s for quick communication only. Video or voice call will often resolve the issue faster and allow you to get on with your day. Don’t be shy, give someone a call!
4) Record meetings
All Teams meetings can be recorded and shared in Stream. This is useful if you need to recap on points covered in a meeting you attended. If you have a meeting clash or deadline to meet, you can skip a meeting and catch-up on the recording later. Now you couldn’t do that when you were in the office!
5) Open documents in a separate tab
If using a Word file and co-collaborating with colleagues, the worst thing is having to close the file to answer a call or chat message. You then have to navigate back to the file.
However, if you open it in the browser or the Word app, you can still edit in real time while having access to all other elements of Teams.
To do this, simply go to your chosen document, select Open and you will see an arrow that gives you three choices. For best experience use the app, or if you’re on the go, the browser.
6) Diarise time to chat and connect
At the start of the week, diarise short time slots to contact at least one person every day using call or chat. This might be someone you used to see in the lift from another team, or a colleague you would run into at the coffee machine. A quick and friendly timeout to connect and touch base creates happier and more productive employees.
7) Blur your background during video calls
Finding a suitable workspace at home is hard enough without worrying about any mess in the background during a video call. There is a simple solution – use background blur to keep your colleagues focused on you and what you’re saying. It also saves you time as you don’t have to tidy up before your call!
8) Use To-Do to plan and manage your day
The To-Do app gives you a cohesive view of all personal tasks so you can focus on what’s important and when it needs to get done. You can also boost your spirits at the end of the day when you see how many tasks you’ve ticked off and how productive you’ve been.
9) Available project planning apps
Our favourite project planning app within Teams is Asana but Microsoft Planner, Trello and others are great too. If your organisation allows it, you should utilise these apps to help your team plan big projects and get the job done.
10) Optimise your work hours
It goes without saying that we all need to be disciplined to achieve agreed deliverables but it’s important to take regular breaks. Working from home can feel isolating and affect mental health so optimise work hours to suit you.
Changing Social is a certified Microsoft Adoption and Change Management Partner. We specialise in Microsoft Adoption and Change to help our clients adopt Office 365 in weeks not months. If you would like to adopt Office 365 in your organisation and find out more about our services, including Office 365 training, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org