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Many of us are still working remotely, and a lot of our communication and meetings are occurring using Microsoft Teams.  Here are some things we’re doing to try and stay better connected during this time: 

  • Add a tab to your team for a document or information you’d like to stay front and center.  This could be some key performance indicators (KPI’s), goals, core values, or some other information you’d like your team to be reminded of. 
  • “Social hour” meetings.  We hold informal get-together’s at 4:30 once every week or two.  This enables us to bond and talk about non-business issues and catch up on major developments in each other’s personal lives.  
  • Lights, camera, action!  At SpireTech, we ask our staff during scheduled meetings to have their cameras on.  We don’t require it for quick 1:1 teams calls, but for scheduled meetings it is preferred.  This really helps bring people together during an otherwise fairly isolated time and is a nice replacement while we’re lacking the ability to meet in a conference room. 
  • 1:1 meetings.  Meet with your direct reports at least twice a month, more frequently if needed.  We use these to track progress toward individual goals, training, performance, and tackling individual or team issues.  We often get ideas that contribute greatly to the overall success of the company that may not have been uncovered otherwise. 
  • Screen sharing.  We use this frequently to show someone how to do something, training, and of course during meetings to share an agenda or something we’re working on.  Oftentimes, we’ll all be in a document editing simultaneously off-screen using SharePoint/OneDrive while keeping Teams running in another screen. 
  • Record meetings.  Any meeting can be recorded for later viewing by the team.  Recordings are stored in Microsoft stream, and permissions can be adjusted for privacy and who can/cannot see the recording.  This is particularly useful for training, and later review as needed. 
  • Standardize on laptops.  Moving forward, we’ll only be buying laptops for our team.  Since they include cameras, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, it enables us to more easily WFH.  A good quality headset is now part of our standard issue.  By the way, our standard Dell “micro” (very small) desktop configuration has included Bluetooth and Wi-Fi since last year.  If you won’t want to issue laptops, it’ll be a good idea to make sure your desktop includes these capabilities. 

Of course, this is just scratching the surface.  Let us know if you have any questions on using Teams in your company.