Working remotely tips with Microsoft Teams

From the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, in the last few weeks, companies around the globe have been rolling out mandatory working from home policies amid the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It’s realistic to assume that this shift to home working will become the new normal for a while, given Wednesday’s announcement by the World Health Organisation that the Coronavirus has officially reached ‘pandemic’ status.

For some employees, working from home will be a new experience; for others, it’s a routine they are well used to. Either way, figuring out ways to stay connected to colleagues and remaining productive can be challenging. However, there are easy ways to stay motivated and positive, from setting up a functional workspace, to the ways you communicate with your team.

On Wednesday 11th March, Incremental took the decision to close all its offices and not allow in-person meetings until further notice to reduce the risk of infection. In a matter of hours, 120 Incrementalists became home-based workers for the foreseeable. Almost a week in, a few of our Incrementalists share their top tips for remote working and staying productive.

Rebecca (Senior Marketing Manager)

Make sure to keep moving

“When the line between your “work” and “home” environments starts to blur, you might find yourself stuck to your computer screen for a longer than your typical working day and moving around less. If you have a usual fitness routine or a hobby, make sure you create time for something similar. I’ve been replacing my daily lunchtime walks and gym sessions with at home workouts and yoga. There are so many apps available to help!”

Jen (Corporate Development Director)

Try and stay in work mode

“I try and stick to a normal ‘going into the office’ routine, opening and closing my laptop as per the times I normally work in the office. I also have video switched on when speaking to my colleagues on Teams – this means I still put my lipstick on in the morning! This helps me stay focused on the job in hand when working.”

Mark (Head of Cloud)

Create a compatible working space

“Create a suitable office space. Make sure you have a chair with good back support, decent light and a desk or table for your laptop. Tempting as it is, try and avoid the sofa and laptop combo, your back will not thank you for it. I’ve also seen a lot of my team utilising the background blur feature on Microsoft Teams.”

Iain (Cloud & Apps Director)

Don’t be a slave to your screen

“This can be one of the most challenging aspects of remote work. Though you may receive emails and chat notifications at any hour (especially if you’re working in a different time zone from coworkers), it’s essential to develop a habit of setting a time when you officially “log off” for the night. Without the distractions of a busy office, it’s easy to become a slave to the screen. Make sure you’re still taking breaks and getting up and out for walks.”

David (Relationship Development Manager)

Coffee break catch-ups on video

“Working remotely can make you feel isolated. Using the video function in Microsoft Teams really helps you stay connected with colleagues. We are using video for 10-minute coffee break catch-ups. We have also created teams for chats around specific projects. This helps me feel connected to what we are working on and to my colleagues, so grab a coffee and turn on your video!”

Michelle (Dynamics 365 Consultant)

Walk and talk

“When you are working remotely, you miss the ad hoc office chats and conversations around the coffee machine! I have replaced this with taking time out to walk around the house and stretch my legs while calling colleagues for a catch-up.”

Ultimately, video calls, meetings and chat messages are great ways of staying connected to colleagues. At Incremental, we use Microsoft Teams to make sure that we have one collaborative space for working together, and so everyone has access to the same information at any time. Remote working often means work patterns can get out of sync, so the ability to get an answer without relying on one person can speed up your response times.

Help and support working remotely with Microsoft Teams

We hope you’re finding remote working productive and that you have the tools, like Microsoft Teams, in place to succeed.

If you would like support or are unsure where to start, then get in touch, and we can help.  Read our guide that helps IT admins get up and running quickly with Teams or check out our 1-day IT admins quick start programme for Microsoft Teams.