How do you keep in touch when the whole company is working from home? We have listed the best communication tools and other tips for you! Remote working has many advantages, but it also creates challenges. How do you make sure that employees are productive? And how do you guard a positive work vibe? Communication is the key to working from home.
Online collaboration on documents
Online collaboration on documents is the way to work with multiple colleagues at the same time and make real-time adjustments. Employees can directly work together on documents by sharing them with SharePoint. Due to the official review function, they can directly provide them with comments and feedback. By sharing documents as a link, rather than as an attachment, you also prevent multiple versions of a document floating around. SharePoint also creates automatic back-ups, so progress cannot get lost.
The document management system (DMS) in our digital workspace makes this form of collaboration even easier. In the Documents App, you will find all your documents in one central spot. The underlying technology does not matter and people can quickly access their files from SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams and the file server. In this way, all documents are always available on any device.
Twitter recently announced that their employees may remain working from home ‘forever’. As a result of the current situation, other organisations also keep working from home. But which tool is the most effective for digital meetings and conference calls?
The tool we use most for digital meetings is Microsoft Teams. Other solutions are Slack and Skype for Business. One of the main advantages of Microsoft Teams is that it is easy to use and included in most Microsoft licenses. Besides being able to use this tool internally for meetings and sharing documents, it is also possible to invite external people. To increase the engagement and make sure that employees do not lose sight of each other, we recommend turning on the camera during digital meetings.
Within Workspace 365 it is possible to add a Teams live tile. This tile gives you instant access to the Microsoft Teams communication channels and document storage.
Add structure and communicate about your work
While working from home, it can be challenging to have an overview of all ongoing tasks and projects. A simple to-do list can already help to create structure and share your progress with your colleagues. The To–Do Tile in our adaptive workspace offers this solution. In this application, employees can easily create to-do lists and add, view, and check off tasks.
In addition to the To–Do Tile, we like to use Microsoft Azure to create joint to–do lists. In this tool, you can keep all activities and projects organised by creating a team dashboard. Within this dashboard, it is possible to create, assign, organise and prioritise tasks. Other tools for keeping a joint to–do list are Trello and Asana. We prefer Microsoft To-Do, because it is linked to you Microsoft 365 account and is included with most licenses.
Stay connected with your employees
It is difficult to keep all employees connected and involved while working from home. Yammer offers a solution to this problem. Yammer is a social intranet where people can post short messages and colleagues can respond. For example, sharing organisational news, asking for advice or collecting feedback via a poll. Yammer simplifies collaboration and communication by making messages visible from people of whom you might not expect can help you with your question or challenge. In this way, you can easily share knowledge and keep colleagues informed about current projects.
It is possible to integrate Yammer in the Workspace 365 dashboard. As a result, all updates appear in the Workspace 365 Yammer live tile. As an admin, all you must do is activate the application from Apps Management, place it in a shared group and make it visible to everyone.
Informal hangouts from home
Colleagues are often being missed while working from home. It is less likely to have informal conversations about, for example, your escaped dog. While these conversations are important for creating a comfortable and relaxed working atmosphere and mutual involvement. How do you ensure that these fun and valuable conversations can continue from home?
The most common used tool for this is Zoom. It is possible to organise a digital hangout or coffee moment via this tool. The big advantage of Zoom meetings is that all participants are visible on the screen at the same time (however, this will soon also be possible with Teams which is already used by many organisations). It creates the feeling that, despite working from home, you are all together. It is also possible to adjust the background and send emojis. To stimulate the interactions, you can give these online hangouts a certain theme or let all participants prepare an interesting question. This helps you to create a good working atmosphere while working from home. Tip for using Zoom: don’t share meeting links publicly or add security by using a password or lobby.
Announcements and news within Workspace 365
In addition to the previously mentioned communication tools, the Announcement live tile in our adaptive workspace can of course also help when working from home. Via this tile, organisational announcements automatically appear in the workspace of employees, so that they can (re)read them at any time. Extra important announcements can be pushed via a pop-up, so they are not missed. To ensure that employees only see the announcements that are relevant to them, admins can create and submit categories to the announcements.
To create interaction, employees can also leave comments on the announcements and ‘like’ the announcements. These likes and comments will automatically reach the right person. Besides, it is possible to receive insights in the effect of an announcement, by looking at the number of views.