Microsoft Teams will have a key role to play in an environment where the office is expected to be more flexible than ever.
How is your firm coping with the new world of work? Have you called employees back into the office as soon as possible, or enthusiastically embraced the new trend towards hybrid working?
Either way, you’ll surely have noticed that staff members are much less keen on the Monday to Friday nine-to-five, and this means if you want to keep morale high or prevent the risk of professionals jumping ship to more flexible employers, you’ll need to rethink your working environment. And this starts at the office.
The place of the office in the new way of working
While several surveys have indicated that people are keen to work from home for the long-term in the wake of the pandemic, it’s also clear that they don’t see this as a full-time solution. Rather, they expect to split their time much more evenly between home and the office – perhaps typically coming in two or three days a week to meet people in person and take advantage of the greater socialisation opportunities this provides.
As a result, the office will still have a key role to play in many firms’ activities, but it won’t always be the same as it was in the past. For instance, many businesses may look to move to smaller premises, as there will be less need to find room for the entire workforce at once. As such, lower rents and energy bills could be tempting to many.
In turn, this may mean the makeup of the office itself changes. Hotdesking is one strategy likely to be common in such environments in order to make the best use of space. After all, if someone is only in the office three days a week, having an empty desk for the other two days is a waste of space.
There may also be a greater focus on collaboration areas and more informal meeting spaces. This makes sense, as if socialisation and collaboration becomes a primary reason for being in the office, with solo work able to be completed at home, you need to be offering the right environment to support this.
How the Teams ecosystem helps
To meet these demands and to ensure everyone can keep in touch at all times, however, an effective communications platform is essential, and this applies just as much for people based in the office as it does to those who continue to work remotely.
Microsoft Teams ensures that users can work as productively as possible no matter where they are. With these tools, all they need is a laptop and an internet connection, so they can set up at any available desk or move around to collaborate with colleagues wherever they need without any impact on how they work.
As well as video conferencing capabilities and chat functionality, integrating Teams with your existing voice telephony system also promises to make communications much easier, no matter where an employee is working from on any given day.
In an environment that puts flexibility first, you also don’t want to be wasting time having to switch between multiple applications in order to collaborate on key projects. Therefore, a comprehensive solution that enables you to manage all your essential activity from one location, such as Teams, is a must.
But while the Teams platform itself will go a long way to helping firms operate effectively in this new hybrid working environment, you also need the right supporting network behind it in order to guarantee productivity.
Building a space to support all your employees
A key factor in ensuring the success of Teams in the new office is making sure your hardware and infrastructure is up to scratch. For instance, the office’s connectivity may need reviewing in order to support Teams-based ways of working. Does the Wi-Fi reach every corner of the office, including chillout spaces and collaboration zones, for example? Is your network set up to prioritise video traffic in order to minimise latency?
These are all issues that should be discussed with your networking partner when embarking on a Teams deployment, as without this essential groundwork, the solutions won’t reach their full potential.
Similarly, how you set up conference rooms and other meeting spaces will also have to be taken into account. Do you have the right hardware to provide a quality experience in these spaces? To get this right, everyone must be able to be seen and heard and remote workers need to be equal participants. With the proper tools, you can also integrate Teams directly into these facilities to boost ease of use and keep productivity high.
At a simple level, this means ensuring anyone can walk into a meeting room and get started without having to spend time setting up their devices or addressing any connectivity issues. With additional functionality, you can also let people book meeting rooms through the platform and find an available space easily.
All these tools help transform Teams from a straightforward communication and collaboration platform into a critical organising layer for your business. With these solutions at the heart of everything you do, you can ensure that your future office is well-equipped for the new demands of employees and best-suited to evolving ways of working.
Find out more about what you need to build a complete Teams ecosystem in our new ebook or get in touch with us today.
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