Working from home used to be a pipe dream for many employees and some dynamic employers. Nowadays, with the pandemic continuing to create economic uncertainty around the globe, many companies are forced to adapt to working remotely. Lockdowns and social distancing guidelines have forced people apart and pushed them online.
Team meetings are now a collage of faces on screen, and managers have to try to inspire and encourage their employees through a computer monitor. A newbie will struggle to connect with colleagues they’ve never met in person. Casual chats in the office kitchen are nonexistent, and there are no chances to have an after-work drinks catch-up.
Even before the pandemic, companies that offered remote work opportunities still gave their employees reason to come to the head office and bond with their teammates every now and then. They got to meet their bosses face-to-face and know them intimately. At our core, we all need and want interaction. Most especially, the people that we spend the majority of our workday with.
So what do we do when that aspect of in-person social interaction is all but gone? One silver lining in all this is that technology has evolved so much that high-speed internet and sophisticated online collaboration software like Microsoft Teams exists. More than email, it gives us dimensions and flexibility in the way we communicate.
Microsoft Teams is hyper-customisable to the needs of your organisation. It helps boost productivity and facilitates communication. It tries to mimic interaction you might otherwise have in-person like how you’d have “brainstorming rooms.” Aside from messaging, voice, and video calling features, business leaders can get the most out of Microsoft Teams with a few helpful tricks:
1. Create Subteams within Teams
Organise people strategically by project or even by a common interest. Add and remove people as needed. Teams can be set to private or be visible to the rest of the organisation.
2. Use Channels
Don’t let messages get lost in the constant stream of conversations. Isolate messages according to the topic so that you can discuss and share files without losing focus. Jump from one topic to another or collaborate together on a particular document.
3. Use Mentions
Mentions are when you tag a specific user with an @ symbol before their username. Use this when you need to address someone or several people directly and for them to be notified when something needs their attention.
4. Use Translations
Teams are equipped with translation software, so if you’re working with a multilingual team, the application can easily translate any phrases mid-conversation. Some users can feel comfortable communicating in their native language if they struggle with the vernacular.
5. Sync and Share Files
Building on its Sharepoint software, Microsoft Teams allows you to upload and share files so that they can be easily accessed by your organisation. Track changes or edit the same document together in real-time, and pin important files to a team.
6. Integrate Plugins
Add another dimension to your interaction with extensions like Appreci. Some new applications are bridging the gap between technology and real life. You can integrate Appreci into Microsoft Teams to express appreciation to your team members and offer rewards to them for a job well done. Sending them a digital gift via Appreci buys them a cup of coffee that they can redeem at any participating store in Australia, near their home.
In this digital age, working together virtually can still be as efficient and worthwhile. We don’t know when we’ll be able to chat by the watercooler with our work buddies or pack a conference room for a pep talk again. Even so, with the right technology, we can still work collaboratively and strengthen working relationships.
Appreci is an appreciation and rewards software platform that is available for use on the Microsoft Teams system. It aims to encourage appreciation and provide a means to express gratitude in a cost-effective way.
Find out more about how our appreciation and rewards software, Appreci, can help you make meaningful connections and show gratitude to your colleagues in Australia today! Contact us now.