Collaboration has been a major topic of discussion. With a large percentage of people now working from home, many businesses are finding technological barriers, challenges around cultural change, and struggles with inclusion. All of these can be hard enough to achieve while working in the same office. But when you add the complexities that come with working from home, it makes it that much harder to collaborate effectively.
Aegis Innovators was born as a company with a virtual work environment. Our workforce is highly mobile and distributed in several regions. It is worth pointing out that we have adopted the terminology of a “distributed workforce” rather than a “remote” one since there are no corporate offices to speak of. How can we be remote, if we all work from home? Also, we believe that the use of inclusive terminology is empowering so we are selective of the words we use to categorize our people. Calling someone a “remote worker” almost denotes they are less “central” or important to a company’s operations. But for the purposes of this article, we will use the term “virtual” instead of “remote.” As our business scales, so does our virtual team. This unique experience has given us a great deal of practice with what it takes to run a virtual workforce effectively and we are passionate about sharing this knowledge to help other businesses.
One of our favorite tools is Microsoft Teams. It is our phone system, IM client, meetings calendar, document repository and overall collaboration hub. With all its functionality and plug-ins, we usually start and end our day in Teams.
Our success with Teams did not happen overnight. It took a great deal of planning, communication, and guidance to make it an effective platform. Also, this effort did not end with the initial implementation. The way we use Teams continues to evolve as the company grows. To be effective and manageable, we have guidelines we like to use and measure to help Teams operate at its greatest potential.
It is impossible to provide a roadmap in one blog post. However, we want to share with you 3 tips in our new videos outlining 3 of our favorite Microsoft Teams Tips. These tips are:
We use chat meetings (a.k.a. channel meetings) to stay on track internally and with our clients. It allows us to “touch base” within a flexible meeting environment. We especially love how much time it puts back in our day to focus on other projects while keeping current projects on track and staying engaged with key contacts.
Microsoft Teams collects collaboration metrics that we use internally to foster a team-oriented and inclusive culture. The insights these metrics provide lead to behavioral changes which keeps employee morale high and shortens our project timelines.
Finally, co-authoring is a daily use case for our organization. Whether it is new technical documentation, text heavy contracts, or graphic intensive proposals, we save a lot of time by jumping into a shared document in Teams and working together to finalize our projects.
If you want to learn how to implement these and other tips at your organization, please reach out and schedule a meeting here.