Nearly half of all employee workers in America now work from home either some or all of the time. Remote work is increasing in popularity, and it's likely to continue to increase in the future. In a few decades, most employees may work from home, and offices may be entirely decentralized.
With an increase in remote work, there's also been a significant rise in the use of collaboration tools and video chat. Employees outside of the office experience unique challenges, such as not being able to be in constant communication with other employees, and not being able to easily interact with their coworkers.
Here's how Microsoft Teams collaboration tools and video conferencing can help.
The Challenges of Remote Working
Some employers are hesitant to allow for remote working. They feel as though employees may slack off, or that they may become disconnected from the culture of the office. There are some challenges of working remotely, but many of the negative aspects are a myth.
Employees are, in fact, more productive when working remotely, but they can start to feel disconnected from other employees. Their teammates can start to resent them because they aren't accessible within the office, and this can lead to an uncomfortable team dynamic.
Apart from team dynamics, employees also find it difficult to collaborate on a practical level. They can't see the same documents or easily trade documents to work on them, and an employee can't call over a coworker to look at their screen. Since they can't walk over to a remote employee's desk to get their attention, they instead need to rely upon the technology they have available.
The Advantages of Microsoft Teams Collaboration and Video Conferencing
Many of the challenges related to remote work can be addressed through the right technology. MS Teams has been designed with this growing dynamic in mind. The way that offices are designed is changing, and the technology that offices use will need to change with it.
Through MS Teams collaboration, workers are able to:
- Connect more deeply with other coworkers. Speaking on the phone is not the same as speaking in person. Video chat makes it easier to communicate with other employees on a deeper level, getting a feel for their intonation and personality. In text, someone might assume that their coworker is being curt and abrupt with them. Through video chat, they may realize that their coworker is, in fact, trying to be polite and respectful. This fosters better working relationships between all employees.
- Remain connected during business hours. A major frustration that in-office employees often have is that they can't connect with remote workers when they need to. Remote workers on MS Teams can remain connected throughout business hours, and can be accessible through video chat. By remaining available, remote workers will be able to increase their credibility within the office, as well as interacting on a better level with other employees.
- Share files seamlessly, along with sharing their screens. Often, it can be difficult to explain a situation in voice or even through a video chat. But MS Teams makes it possible to share files seamlessly back-and-forth, as well as sharing screens. When sharing screens, employees are better able to explain themselves quickly, and remote workers can collaborate with in-office workers without the in-office workers feeling frustrated or stifled by their inability to see what is being discussed.
- Work on files together. MS Teams is integrated directly into the MS Office ecosystem. SharePoint, PowerPoint, MS Word, and MS Excel are all integrated together, which makes it possible for remote workers and in-office employees to work on files together. Employees are able to leave notes so that other employees can check on the files later, and through this no one will duplicate or overwrite work. This all improves productivity and alleviates any frustration and stress.
- Foster a sense of team and community. By improving communication, MS Teams makes it possible to build a responsive, well-integrated team and community. Employees are able to communicate on a shared footing, talking to each other through shared chatrooms, and connecting on-the-fly with video conferencing. The better the communication, the better employees are able to see from each other's point of view and work on projects together.
- Hold large team meetings. Meetings can be held among all employees at once, to keep employees current. MS Teams supports very large video chat and team meeting services, which can include both remote employees and in-office employees. Through this, all employees can be updated at the same time, and employees can be sure that they're working on the same priorities.
Microsoft's new conferencing and communication tools bridge the gap between in-office workers and out-of-office workers, allowing them to all communicate and connect on the same playing field. Microsoft Teams is a robust system, with state-of-the-art video chatting and other collaboration functionality.
Do you have a remote workforce that would benefit from Microsoft Teams or video conferencing? Contact Red River to see how we can set you up on the path to success today.