Every organization must consider nowadays how remote work is enabled for employees – change has been rapid and sometimes rather unexpected. In some organizations, the decision to enable remote working was made years ago, while in others it is only now realized that the office is not the only place to work.
Remote working has had some prejudices related to efficiency of accomplishing tasks, lack of concentration and other negative effects on individual performance. On the other hand, many people work i.e. one day a week remotely to avoind open office disturbances and noice.
Microsoft has informed that Skype for Business will be deprecated from Microsoft 365 product suite after July 2021, thus any organization utilizing Microsoft’s cloud collaboration tools is facing Teams deployment in the near future. Teams will replace Skype for Business chat and online meeting features, and in addition, it provides comprehensive capabilities for team work by combining teams conversations, document & task management, online meetings and many other Microsoft 365 services – under one roof.
What needs to be taken into account for ensuring smooth transition to remote work and boosting productivity and employee satisfaction with agile working methods and culture? Naturally all employees must be provided with good tools and suitable software. Microsoft Teams is a great help in this transition. Microsoft Teams has just turned three years – some organizations have utilized it from the beginning, as others are just learning the basics.
Atleast following shall be considered in Teams deployment and adoption
1. Instructions and communication
a. Some users may learn to use new tools easily, but most users will propably need atleast some guidance and support. For example, instructing for which tasks Teams is particularly well suited and how other tools relates to it – i.e. what is the purpose of company intranet compared to Teams? Guidelines and instructions should be publised in a location where everyone has easy access – i.e. company intranet.
b. Once the guidance is published, it must be comminicated. In addition to ”launch material”, it is a good idea to keep the tools in mind with regular tips & tricks and i.e. FAQ section.
c. With good guidance and active communication, it is reduce possible resistance to change, that typically occurs when introducing new tools.
2. Training and support
a. As in any transition or change, adequete traning must be provided. Trainings can be brief info sessions, or more comprehencive sessions of different Teams features.
b. Trainings can be recorded and shared i.e. via Microsoft 365 video service Stream.
c. Open support channel for daily questions is recommended – use Teams or Yammer as Teams support channel.
3. Teams administration and governance model
a. Teams governance model shall be planned and implemented accordingly – i.e. does Teams need controlled orderning process, are organization specific templates used, how external sharing is managed and is there specific lifecycle management requirements.
b. Organization level Teams settings should be reviewed. By default, all organizations users with Team license can create new teams, add channels etc. Teams policies can be customized to fit organizations requirements.
4. Leading the change in new work culture
a. Changing the way the whole organization works requires strong support from management and all supervisiors.
b. Preparing for the change should be done as early as possbile – planning concrete steps for leading the change, communicating, supporting and tackling the resistance to change, are the keys to successfull trasition.
What happens next when Teams has been deployed, guidances shared and users successfully adopted the new tool? Don’t forget to sustain the modern work culture, share success stories and look to the future regarding changes in the platform. Microsoft is releasing new Teams features constantly – i.e. in the past six months private channels and cross-channel publishing has been released. In the near future there will be i.e. following news features available:
Using Teams in multiple windows
9 simultanous videos in Teams meeting
Raise hand -functionality for Teams meetings
Backround & -noice blurring
Meeting dashboard for admins
We are helping our customers adopting Teams in optimal manner: leading the change in new work culture, producing guidance and support material, traning and technical support. I.e. HMD Global, SATO, Matkahuolto, Eltel Networks and Åbo Akademi are our customers in this field.
If your organization needs help or support, feel free to get in touch. We want to help you implement Teams effectively and streamline your way of working.