Flexible Working Tonic: #2 Resources

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From our experience of helping customers shift to modern ways of working here’s our top tips, or what we like to call Flexible Working Tonics invigorating a new routine. Top tip is try downloading Microsoft Teams and/or Yammer mobile apps within your company guidelines. Really helps support flexible working!

Teams Private Chat

  • Keep conversations informal. If the discussion starts getting into business decisions, bring it back to a Channel. Work shouldn’t be completed in private Chat.
  • Membership matters. If you already have a chat going with three people and you create a new chat with those same three people, there will be two different chats with the same individuals in the two conversations. This can get confusing, so try to avoid it unless necessary.
  • Adding participants to a Chat gives you the option to see prior discussions in that Chat. Before adding anyone to a private Chat, be sure about whether you want them to see what was discussed previously.
  • Pay attention to colleague availability status. They could be [Available] [Away] [Busy] [Out Of Office]. If you see [Out Of Office] your commentary about yesterday’s meeting can probably wait until they get back. A [Red] status can mean [Busy] in a meeting, or [Do Not Disturb]. Message accordingly. Do not assume you have privacy.
  • Files uploaded in private Chat are saved in OneDrive. The file automatically uploads to the Microsoft Teams Chat Files folder in the OneDrive of the person who uploads it and automatically shared with everyone in the Chat.

Teams Conversations. Or Yammer!

  • @mention colleagues to get their attention and a response.
  • @mention is equivalent to placing someone in the To or CC field of an email. Use @ accordingly; don’t overuse it.
  • Try to keep messages short and concise. No one likes a long email and even fewer like long chat messages. Keep things on-point and try to avoid telling your life story.

Teams Channels

  • Do not rename a Channel. Renaming Channels comes with annoying consequences in SharePoint.
  • Keep one Channel for asking questions. Teams is still new, so there are a lot of tips, tricks, and questions that pop up. Use this space for discussing how you’re working.
  • Keep the General Channel for announcements and topics not fit for other Channels. You need to have a miscellaneous space. Keep the General Channel for that.
  • The wiki can be an excellent ‘About’ document. Post the Team description, goals, expectations, and behavioural norms in the wiki and rename the tab to About if you’d like.
  • @mention people who join a Channel. New Channels may not be followed by everyone automatically. Calling out new members helps them get their notifications set up.
  • Files uploaded in Channels are stored in SharePoint. Check out the Files section below for lots more helpful information on how to work with files in Teams.

Teams audio-visual

  • Use blur background (if you have it in your license) to hide the washing, kids, pets.
  • Make sure you can be heard, seen and contribute. However remain on mute when you’re not talking or presenting.
  • If using audio, ensure there is no background noise although call owners can mute you.
  • Before recording a meeting, please ask permission from attendees. Once permission granted, start the meeting and activate the red [record] button. Automatically saves to Microsoft Stream where you can then share the recording link.
  • Start the call with camera to say hello! Its OK to turn your camera off when you’re not talking or presenting. 
  • Check your connection settings in Teams to ensure you can speak , hear and be seen if needed. If your call fails don’t panic, you can still message or simply re-join.
  • If possible, connect your computer Wi-Fi is convenient but it has latency issues  this can reduce your experience.
  • Ensure other devices are not clogging your network eg, TV, Downloads, Microwave. streaming music etc.
  • Turn off any programmes you don’t need as can slow down your connection and video quality. Even web browsers can be resource hogs.
  • If dialling-in via mobile App, make sure you choose the best method.  Teams app works on 4G but is not always the best when on the move.
  • For video ensure the light is facing you and you are in the centre of the camera.
  • Be deliberate when you speak. Wait a moment before responding to a speaker to ensure that person has finished. 
  • When booking a quick meeting, define it as a quick meeting. Old work habits make people book 30-minute chunks but try booking a ten-minute call instead.
  • When asking a question in Meeting Chat, start it with [Question]. It helps the presenters spot questions amongst all the comments and other noise. 

Teams Help: Within Teams there is excellent training under [Help] icon located bottom left of the platform. Below is one of the Office 365 guides we produced for NHS Bury CCG.

Please join our free Flexible Working Webinar in Microsoft Teams by completing this form.

More reading:
How Teams & Stream supports the flu season
How NHS Bury CCG loves working in Teams

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