Take A Back Seat, 2020.
When we look back on this pandemic and the year 2020 it is going to be like a scene in a war movie where the PTSD kicks in and we all have flashbacks of what seemed like constant, never-ending bad news flying at us like bullets from the rifles of the enemy.
That's not what we're talking about here, though, my friends. I try to be a glass half-full kind of guy, so we're going to be discussing the triumph over the trial (at least in the world of telecom and remote work).
Throughout the chaos of devastating sickness, mandatory quarantines and business lulls, we seem to have begun to emerge on the other side, adapting as a society and working with what we still have.
The ability to safely work remote has saved (and created) so many of our jobs, businesses and sanity throughout the last 9 months. In fact, it is reshaping our lives for the foreseeable future.
Aside from that, it also has presented countless opportunities for everyone that has learned to succeed in it - cost-savings for both employees and the employer, a better work-life balance, higher rates of autonomy and flexibility in all forms.
Companies have even started offering FULL-TIME remote options for its employees through 2021 including giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.
We have made a major step forward as the human race where work is not a place, but an action, and we are not restricted to our location, but our skillsets.
Microsoft Teams, Our Hero! 🙏
Obviously, this leap was not taken operating as we always did. Most businesses had to get creative, call operational audibles and even introduce new products to bridge the gap between the pandemic landscape and what we used to consider 'normal.' We also had a ton of help.
The reason we are able to adapt to these out-of-office/contactless conditions are because we are able to communicate and collaborate as we always did.
We have the Microsoft Teams' internal collaboration platform to thank for that! And although at this point most of us have used Teams, I bet you don't know half of the capabilities this platform offers - so let me walk you through the 'Swiss Army Knife of Internal Collaboration.'
First, let's talk integration.
Teams has the ability to fully integrate with the Office365 applications you already use on a daily basis: Outlook, Calendar, OneNote, OneDrive and SharePoint. The convenience of having every one of these connected and accessible through a single application is incomparable to anything we've ever experienced as working professionals. We are so spoiled at this point it's unbelievable.
Next, we have the features.
Of course, the basic and most used communication channels are reliable and accounted for - instant messaging (chat) and video. And, what we consider the 'unsung hero' of internal collaboration, the 'Presence' feature that shows who is online, offline, in a meeting, on break, etc. just so we save ourselves some time waiting for a response from an empty desk.
Teams also gives you the ability to easily screen share as well as cooperatively go through and edit documents. As anyone who has worked in a team setting knows, this is a critical feature to get things done correctly, quickly and with everyone on the same page (it also doesn't hurt in saving some aggravation).
As if that wasn't enough capability, Teams has also introduced its 'Channels' feature. In a few words, a channel is like a conference room. Each department, or project team, or whatever you'd like to call the group, has their own place within Teams concentrated specifically on what they need to get done. Documents, side-discussions, Q&A's, task managers, etc. are all there, out in the open at the team's disposal with the ability for anyone else to access, with the administrator's permission, of course.
When it's all said and done, Teams has given us an office outside of our office - a place where productivity and collaboration remain unphased.
Everyone at Votacall is eternally grateful we have technology at our fingertips that has helped us weather a global pandemic.
There's Always Room for Improvement. 📈
The thing is, all of you that have used and depended on Teams like we have may have noticed that its superiority in the INTERNAL communications category has caused their EXTERNAL communications to be somewhat sacrificed (honestly, when you compare the two, the latter deserves some kind of sacrificial ceremony/sendoff).
Tune in to my next post to dive into what Teams' counterpart - the final piece of the collaboration puzzle - is in the external communications world and how pairing the two will be the game-changer we all needed!
Or, because we have sat on our butts and waiting for enough time in 2020 already, access our entire eBook guide on 'Microsoft Teams as a Phone System' by clicking here.
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