2020 – the year of remote working. With a large percentage of the world taking an abrupt shift into working from home (WFH), maintaining team engagement is paramount to support the structure of the business.
While working from home has it’s perks – no commute or queues for the coffee machine – it also has its setbacks. Gone are the days you can tap your college on their shoulder or swivel your chair over to their desk to quickly review something. Instead, we find ourselves faced with less than cooperative internet connections and never ending distractions in the form of children, pets and deliveries.
It is, without question, a strange time for all of us. At intY, we’ve been working remotely since March. One of our biggest challenges initially was the thought: how can we maintain team engagement when we’re not in office?
For many of us, it is no longer a case of just popping over to a colleague’s desk for an update or answer. We are all inundated with emails and video calls and things understandably get lost in the process. Communication is arguably more important now than ever before.
Microsoft 365 Business Voice takes cloud-based telephony to the next level. Integrating Microsoft Teams with Office 365 and encompassing everything from traditional phone calls to live events, Microsoft 365 Business Voice enables users to communicate to the best of their ability. Your customers can take their traditional phone system home with them and keep business running as normal.
Although we might not be sat side by side, Microsoft Teams Instant Messaging (IM) feature is the next best thing for those quick, over-desk questions. Allowing users to respond online in real-time through messages, emojis and GIFs, recipients are notified instantly that they have a message. Senders can also emphasise their IM with urgent and important delivery options.
With communication being so important, make sure you still have those regular meetings or calls with colleagues, suppliers and clients online instead and keep the communication lines open.
SharePoint and OneDrive are invaluable solutions that enable fully-fledged, online real-time collaboration – perfect for both the in office and the out of office workers. Enable your customers to create, save, share and edit documents online together, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, and keep that collaboration alive from home.
Positioned as the pioneering Digital Enablement platform, Nulia Works is designed to help users unlock the value of Office/Microsoft 365. By unlocking the value of Office 365 for users, your customers will soon be able to adjust the way they work both individually and collaboratively. Nulia guides users into a more productive workflow through targeting their natural flow of work with a goal to push users to attain & maintain new digital productivity skills.
Using existing skills to attain Nulia Outcomes earns the user industry-recognised badges. Utilising and building on the skills honed through Nulia’s analysis could be key to teams engaging and collaborating remotely.
Show, don’t tell
It’s quicker and more effective to ring your colleagues than to decipher meanings through back and forth email chains. Thankfully, with Unified Communication solutions such as Microsoft Teams, we are able to video call, screen-share and collaborate quickly and successfully. By utilising Microsoft Teams’ screen-share capabilities, productivity can be increased and long, confusing emails sent in a bid to explain things can be eliminated.
Virtually face to face
Turn your camera on. No, it will never have the same value as a face to face meeting, but video calls are a step in the right direction. Being face to face, be it virtually or in person, allows us to bounce off one another in a way that can’t quite be reached through audio alone.
Fortunately, Microsoft Teams now offers 3×3 video capabilities – soon to be 7×7, meaning that your virtual meetings are about to get a whole lot more inclusive.
You can now get a six month free trial of Microsoft Teams, see here for more information.
Now that we’re saving time on commuting, why not use those extra minutes or hours focusing on building your knowledge base and putting your time into exams such as the Microsoft Fundamentals, or the new Working From Home outcomes from Nulia Works.
While in-person team building and bonding activities may be out of action for the foreseeable, virtual activities are still very doable. It doesn’t all have to be work, why not use this time to do something a little different with your team?
Maintaining team engagement can come from a range of things – at intY, we’ve done pub quizzes, made a team music playlist and shared ideas on keeping fit and healthy. We also embarked on our intY fitness challenge, where we walked, ran and cycled 3972 miles in the month of May – the equivalent of from our UK Bristol office to our Greenville, USA headquarters, keeping engaged, fit and raising £4,717 as we went!
Have some fun with your team to boost morale and keep the engagement going. Check out our #passtheroll video we created while working at home!