How to Work Home with Microsoft Teams
Working from home is going to be a new experience for a lot of people. Getting that work/home life balance can be tricky and take some time to get into. Collaboration tools are out there to make this transition easier and help make this time as stress-free as possible.
At Walvis Technologies, we use Microsoft Teams as a part of our day-to-day communication and collaboration process. After making the move to work from home Teams has been a real asset with its file sharing and task organisation features.
We’ve compiled a list of tips and techniques that you can apply to help you get the most out of working from home and how exactly Microsoft Teams can help you along the way.
Set up your Workspace
Both your physical and virtual workspaces make a difference to your productivity. Make sure you find yourself a dedicated workspace within your home where you can focus and be productive. Once you have your space you can set up your Teams workspace to work best for you. Teams is specifically designed to accommodate all the things you need in one space. Your documents, communication tools, calendar, and meeting rooms are available at the click of a button. Take the time to familiarise yourself with Teams layout when you get started so you can optimise your efficiency and make light work of your day-to-day tasks.
Structure your Day
When working from home it can be easy to either work too little or work too much. With no set indicators for when you should step away and take a break it can be easy to lose focus or burn out.
To help stay on schedule you can use scheduling to segment your day. Using Teams calendars to input meetings and the Status Indicator to let co-workers know when you’re taking a break can help remind you when to take a break while communicating with your co-workers at the same time.
While working from home it’s easy to feel disconnected from your fellow colleagues without your daily face-to-face interactions. Ensuring you stay in touch and up to date not only helps with connection but helps boost motivation, morale and keeps you in the loop.
Microsoft Teams big selling point is its seamless connection with other Office 365 products. Microsoft has ensured that not only can you easily access your Microsoft files, but you can also work on them together with real-time collaboration. Real-time collaboration means when changes are made by several users, the updates are automatically synced, so you don’t have to worry about over-writing information or version control. Therefore, you can continue to work on projects with others from the safety of your own home.
While emails are effective, they don’t always have the desired effect when using them for everyday conversation. Teams’ instant messaging system provides a great way for staff to communicate throughout the day, with many businesses replacing internal email completely with Teams messaging. Instant messaging means you can stay connected to your colleagues, get quick responses to questions and share any helpful resources.
Meaning can sometimes get lost when facial expressions and tone of voice are removed, leading to miscommunication.
Microsoft Teams allows users to format their posts with Format button. When posting messages users have the ability to create posts that have a subject line, fully formatted text, lists, tables, images to clarify their message. Furthermore, users can use GIFs and emojis to convey meaning in chat. Users can ensure their messages are clear and to the point with the added ability to flag posts as important, so the crucial points don’t fly under the radar.
Moving meetings from the physical world to the virtual one doesn’t need to be difficult. While some people may find online meetings unusual, Teams has implemented features to make the transition as pain-free as possible. As you move meetings to Teams, you can bring your team together by making sure all meetings have a virtual “join” option. This option creates an online conference room that can be accessed by your team members from any device. Using video within the meetings can also make meetings flow better with the added visual cues
Record your Meetings
It can be difficult to ensure that all colleagues are available for your online meetings. While meetings can be scheduled in, there’s always a chance that someone on your workforce may miss a meeting. Teams allows users to record meetings. Using this feature means that any absent colleagues can catch up later. You can even use the recordings to return to a conversation or note that you’d forgotten.
Visual cues can add a lot to a meeting. Whether it’s talking about a concept that is hard to describe, showing off a project, or just for something to look at. Teams users can use screen sharing and the whiteboard feature to enhance the quality of the meeting and help your coworkers focus. If you’re hosting the meeting it might be an idea to have a meeting agenda ready to share on your screen so colleagues can keep track and retain their attention.
While working from home can be an unusual experience at first, using the right collaboration tool can help smooth out the process. Microsoft is constantly updating Teams and their other platforms to make the experience easier.
At Walvis Technologies we have helped many businesses make the important move to Microsoft Teams. With our expertise, we make the switch as straightforward as possible and are there to support your company through any teething problems once it's installed. If you think Microsoft Teams might be the right video conferencing tool for you then get in contact with us.
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