WHERE TO START?
With the recent quarantine actions arising as a response to COVID-19, your organisation is no doubt considering options to enable working from home.
The good news is, if you have Microsoft Office 365, you already have many of the tools you need.
Because Office 365 sits in the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere and on any device. People working from home or on the road can access the same document versions as their office-bound colleagues without the hassle of emailing local versions.
Microsoft Teams will be the cornerstone of your remote working solution. It allows you to:
Here’s a step by step guide to setting up a functional Teams hub to facilitate remote working at short notice:
1. Ensure everyone has access to Teams
If you already have a subscription for Teams, turn it on for everyone and make sure you have deployed Exchange and SharePoint Online. Microsoft recommend that users install the desktop clients eg Teams Desktop and Outlook rather than web clients to deliver better performance.
If you don’t, from March 2020, Microsoft are offering a free 6-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams. You’ll need to call a Microsoft representative for this or you can sign up for the freemium version of Teams here.
Microsoft also offer a completely free version of Teams. However, some of the features are either capped or not available.
2. Set up your Teams & Channels
A team is a group of people, a channel is the space that the team uses to store resources, co-author documents, chat and collaborate. One team = many channels.
Start by creating two or three teams and channels for business-critical projects or departments. Use their experience to deploy effectively to other areas.
If you already have an O365 group, it’s best to activate Teams in the group rather than create a new one and end up with duplicates that can’t be merged.
3. Use tabs to highlight essentials
Tabs allow you to turn your favourite apps and files into tabs which then sit at the top of a Teams channel. Pin tabs to the channels to add tools, such as OneNote, links to a website, a spreadsheet with project timelines or a survey using Forms. Tabs are useful for highlighting and making resources more easily accessible.
4. Use video for meetings
Not only does this force everyone to get out of their pyjamas, video creates better connection and aids communication by ensuring people aren’t missing visual cues. You can schedule and manage meetings in Microsoft Teams and in Outlook and join a Teams meeting straight from your calendar.
5. Security is still priority one
This is not the time to circumvent established channels and policies regarding data and communication. If you create a Public Team that users are granted access to, everything in this space can be publicly viewed – be aware of sensitive files or conversations.
6. Don't go viral
It is very fast and easy to create a new team and every Team created will automatically create a matching Plan, SharePoint Team Site, Group and shared OneNote which can cause complications with governance and admin. Avoid Team sprawl by
Cleaning up existing Teams
Assigning administrators and moderation for each team
Establishing naming conventions and expiration policies
Educating on when to use 1-1 chat vs team chat
7. Leverage your Digital Workplace
Microsoft Teams facilitates effective remote working, and its natural complement is a comprehensive Digital Workplace: one destination for internal information, templates, processes and policies that can be accessed from anywhere any time. The intranet is also a great space to facilitate social connection. Working from home can be lonely and result in feelings of isolation as well as an unhealthy peanut butter habit. Ensure your teams have a place to socialise and that they are made to feel comfortable doing so.
WHY DO YOU NEED A DIGITAL WORKPLACE?
A Digital Workplace is the logical platform to support your remote workforce:
- Deliver the right information to the right people at the right time
- Enable mobility
- Empower your people to connect and collaborate
- Reduce time spent on processes and tasks
- Create space for innovation and creativity
Take the first step to supporting your remote workforce.
Complete the form below to discuss your needs.