Telecommuting Means Staying Connected While Working From Home

Over this past weekend there were a number ofadditional cases of coronavirus confirmed here in Washington State. With the number of cases and risk of exposure quickly increasing, more and more small businesses are considering sending people to work from home, but the question is: are they prepared to do so in a seamless way. One way to ensure that your team can work successfully from home is to ensure your team can communicate and stay productive. Lapses in communication can halt an employee’s work and leave them stuck. Avoid that problem by utilizing some sort of collaboration tool such as Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams is incredibly effective at providing a platform for employees to talk to one another, meet with one another. The teams platform also allows you to do this on your phone, computer, or via the web.

Benefits of Collaboration Platforms

  • Chat with Colleagues – Collaborate on Microsoft Teams

    Although emails are the classic way of inter-office communication, there is a newer more, efficient way of talking with your office mates—it is call instant messaging. Okay, I know that instant messaging is not that new, but it is only more recently entering the workspace. Good work often requires some sort of team collaboration and having to wait for replies or searching through an email thread can be time consuming. Now, by simply integrating Microsoft Teams to your current Microsoft Office Suite you can allow your employees to chat back and forth instantly. One popular feature of the messaging on this platform is that you can create message streams for the company, a specific team, or in a one on one environment. Platforms like this are essential when it comes to telecommuting and allowing employees to work from home.

  • Meet with Colleagues – Quickly schedule and conduct meetings with Teams

    Nothing really beats eye contact and face to face meetings. In person collaboration can be very productive for all parties but trying to recreate that from employees’ homes can be tricky. Often, setting up a video conference can involve sharing of links, downloading software and finally making sure everyone is aware of when the meeting will take place. Having too many steps to go through can leave the process vulnerable to misunderstandings and lost time. Luckily, you can eliminate those concerns when can email your team members a direct link to a meeting, while simultaneously creating a calendar invite. On top of that there is no need to download any software, just be sure everyone is using a device with a camera. This is very important when you are considering sending employees home to avoid COVID-19 . If you do not already have some sort of collaboration platform, you should think about getting one.

  • Work with Colleagues — Work Together on Documents and Other Files

    The final collaboration tool you must have while working from home is a Cloud Solution that allows for better team collaboration. This will allow you to work from home and still access all of documents you need to be an effective part of the team. You can access all the files your teammates store on the online platform and you can contemporaneously edit the documents, PowerPoints, etcetera with your team members. This comes in handy when you are trying to work out content, create presentations, or simply document a process

Continued collaboration outside of the workplace is a necessity if there is a possibility of working from home—especially if the time period of that is indefinite—looming in the future. Don’t set yourself up to fail by not creating avenues for your employees to talk to one another, help one another, and keep one another from getting stuck. The biggest concern we hear about the current work environment is the uncertainty of knowing when it will end. Is the environment peaking at its intensity or is this only the beginning? With COVID-19 spreading further and the fear of sending people home to work is increasing, be sure you are ahead of the curve and prepared for the worst.

Microsoft Resources for Teams