As you find yourself remote working more often, it's important to consider your Microsoft Teams culture.
According to Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, "Teams is on its way to becoming a digital platform as significant as the internet browser, or a computer operating system".
This is no small statement.
In fact, you could deem it one of the biggest statements Microsoft has ever made.
Statistics around Microsoft Teams back Nadella's prediction too:
- 91 of the Fortune 100 companies use Microsoft Teams.
- The number of daily active users of Teams jumped to 115m by the end of September 2020, from 13m in the middle of 2019.
This trend continues to rise, with virtual meetings at the centre of everyday life.
Microsoft Teams culture in the new normal
We are all now in what the press has labelled the new normal. We find ourselves in this new Microsoft Teams culture.
The shift to remote working during COVID-19 is an easy realisation of a new normal that keeps everyone connected.
This brings a different perspective on how to use Microsoft Teams effectively and be productive during the working day.
At the same time, keeping an eye on your personal health and wellbeing is more important than it ever has been before.
You may be experiencing a sudden rush to schedule back-to-back meetings.
These can last all day and block out your diary. Who hasn't heard of Zoom fatigue at this point?
Achieving the balance between what to do, how, when, and having the time to do it whilst giving the appearance of always being busy is tricky.
Take a step back and think:
- Is this the right Teams meeting culture?
- How can I personally optimise my meetings?
Read on to learn five tips to make for a healthier you, improve your meeting experience, and lead to a healthier Microsoft Teams culture.
Improve Teams meeting culture
1. Prioritise your time
Which meetings can you skip?
By being empowered to determine your priorities, you’ll realise that you can skip a few meetings to focus on that important deadline, or to make progress on that task.
You can always request that less important meetings are recorded, and review the transcript or playback in your own time.
Be sure to ask that meeting channel notes are kept up to date.
It’s your time. You will be respected for owning it. Just be clear and polite when managing it.
2. Embrace asynchronous working
Getting things done in Teams can be synchronous or asynchronous.
You can drop in and out of a chat, add documents to a Teams channel, or check in with the latest conversations whenever you need to.
AKA - you don't always need a meeting.
Spread the idea of working differently. Make a change not only for yourself but for others.
Communicate the how, the why, and the benefits of working asynchronously, and you'll soon have an army of productive workers.
Improve Teams meeting performance
3. Mastering the basics: what can you control?
Before you join a meeting, think about what the lighting is like.
Is the camera positioned so that your face is visible?
Can you clear your background of clutter and minimise disruptive background noise?
Have you dressed appropriately and are you comfortable in your seat?
And finally, make sure you’re not on mute – there’s always someone!
Avoid being that person typing heavily and not muted.
Instead of using a built-in microphone, choose a Teams-certified headset.
Focusing on the basics will improve all your Teams - and you’ll feel happier and more productive as a result.
4. Optimising your home working environment
Are your children also working from home?
If so, you’ll likely have multiple IT devices in use all at the same time.
Let's imagine what the peak load for an internet service provider is at 9:00 am when everyone joins the school register online, or the first business video meeting starts with everyone accessing content all at the same time, and continuously for at least the next few hours.
Bandwidth, congestion, and internet service providers all matter.
Is it fast enough?
Check for provider outages and check your devices:
- What channel and frequency are your Wi-Fi devices running on?
- Is the service struggling to cope?
- Does your device software need updating?
- Is this why you're suffering from jitter?
Check for updates in your Teams settings and check which settings are in use.
You can suppress background noise that isn't speech by ensuring "noise suppression" is switched on, for example.
How to suppress background noise in Microsoft Teams
- Open your settings tab in Teams
- Choose Devices > Noise Suppression
- Change to Auto/High/Low/Off as you see fit.
Try using the test call setting to listen to the playback and check your device settings and controls before joining a meeting.
Knowing you have done all the right things will keep you calm and confident throughout the meeting.
5. How can you keep improving the quality of Teams meetings?
While there is a lot you can do yourself to improve your Teams call or meeting experience, your IT department should also be on hand to help.
They care about your experience and should want to help you optimise it as much as possible.
Rate My Call is a simple but powerful way to feedback to your IT department on your meeting experience.
They should have the products and tools in place to be able to find the root cause of your issue, correlate data from others who may be having similar problems, and generate meaningful reports to help identify a solution.
By ensuring a healthier performance in calls and meetings, for you and the business, you can maximise your investment in Microsoft teams.
Moving forward with Microsoft Teams culture – what’s next?
Now that you have a new perspective on Microsoft Teams culture, spreading the word!
Demonstrating how to use Microsoft Teams effectively will resonate with your colleagues and throughout the business.
Meetings will take on a different perspective and the varying pressures you are faced with can be controlled.
You now understand how to be optimal by following the basics, attempting some new practices, and of course keeping your IT department up to date with the quality of your experience.
Use these five tips and you'll find they put you on a path for a healthier you and a healthier Microsoft Teams culture.