The need to quickly move over to remote teams and work-from-home arrangements is presenting unprecedented logistical challenges for organizations–but as the going gets tough, the tough get going. Going remote doesn’t have to be a catastrophe or a disruption–it’s just another pivot that your business has to handle strategically to survive and thrive. In FlexJobs’ 2018 annual report, 65% of workers said they felt more productive when given the option to work remote, and 77% of respondents indicated that employer flexibility around working remotely would enable them to live healthier lives in general–well before a global pandemic made it a necessity. Your teams can and will thrive with the new normal, if leadership can provide them with the right tools.
Accommodating a remote office isn’t just a stopgap measure. The needs and priorities of workers were already shifting in that direction. Top talent prioritize workplace flexibility, and your current teams will enjoy–and expect–the benefits of remote flex work long after social distancing and voluntary self-quarantine have stopped being necessary. According to IWG, a top flexible workspace provider, 35% of workers would prioritize a job with a flexible remote policy over a more prestigious title at an employer without flexibility.
When handled correctly, remote offices and flexwork actually improve, rather than reduce, productivity. In the last Indeed Remote Work Survey, 72% of employers reported higher productivity from their workers with flexible remote working policies. In the same survey, 56% of employees with remote options reported fewer absences or sick days compared to their office-bound counterparts. Businesses that encourage working remotely at least half-time save an average of $11,000 per worker, per year in real estate and office furniture, reduced absenteeism and turnover. Teams with remote offices are also more sustainable, requiring fewer resources and reducing commuters.
Microsoft Teams is a tool that can maximize your business’s connectivity no matter how the situation shifts in the weeks and months ahead. As your partner in all things Microsoft, Windows Management Experts can walk you through the process so your team can make the switch feeling empowered and ready for the world ahead.
Microsoft Teams Key Features for a Remote Office
Meetings Microsoft Teams offers a uniform environment for video-conferencing. It is an intuitive platform for 1:1 mentoring and performance reviews, a meeting with your entire team, or an important announcement streamed live to an audience of thousands.
The power of Meetings is accessible to anyone within or outside of your organization.
Microsoft Teams offers features that bring the meeting room to you, such as scheduling assistance, managing meeting permissions by assigning roles, easy access to shared drives with relevant documents, meeting note taking, audio-captioning, screen sharing, recording, and instant messaging. Microsoft Teams also offers video-calling Background Blur to keep your meetings focused on the people in attendance and not the furniture in everyone’s home office or their furry work-from-home companions. Isolated teams also benefit from informal group connections with a dedicated meeting-channel acting as a virtual water cooler, keeping morale and energy high.
The new Teams Messenger has features you’re used to, like channels, threads, and group chats, alongside powerful and unique integrations to unlock collaboration like you’ve never experienced. Because Teams is native to your existing Microsoft infrastructure, you have access to your shared drives on the fly, as well as instant access to screen-sharing and ad-hoc video calls.
Whether you already have a telecom service or want to set one up now to support your remote work strategy, Microsoft Phone System can keep you connected without friction . With either Direct Routing or a new Microsoft Calling Plan, integration with Teams enables you to take advantage of Teams group calling, specialized call queues, cloud voicemail with transcription, hold music and call parking, and other nice-to-haves.
Microsoft has built the natural escalation of collaboration right into the entire platform of Microsoft 365 with Teams. Starting from a document or file, teammates can comment & chat directly within the document, seamlessly moving the conversation to a group channel with the whole team in Messages. When the discussion requires more than your keyboards can handle, you can invite your team to an instant meeting with a click.
Be Connected wherever you are
Microsoft Teams keeps you connected at your office, your home office, and on the go thanks to native desktop, web apps, and Android and iOS applications, protected with the highest standards of security and encryption you depend on.
Apps & Workflow Automation
Microsoft Teams is your business’ virtual hub, and as such, you can customize your workspace with your favorite Microsoft, third-party, or custom in-house apps and workflows to support your team. You can connect apps your teams already rely on, such as Salesforce, or build an app that is totally unique to your business needs with the no-coding-required Microsoft Power Platform.
With all the benefits of working remotely, and increasing pressure to be proactive in protecting the health of all workers, now is a great time to build out your company’s work-from-home strategy, and Windows Management Experts can help. Microsoft Teams offers nearly limitless capabilities for your company to collaborate in real time, but knowing how to deploy and onboard your users can make all the difference. Contact Windows Management Experts today to schedule a remote-work strategy phone or video consultation to see how your team can get the most out of working-remote. Your teams will thank you!