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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. 
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Many things are changing in the world right now, and technology is no exception.  As usual, we are spending a lot of time on R&D, training, and investigating new technology.  Why do you care?  Because we see certain technologies being key enablers for our clients moving forward.  We’re already using most of these technologies (accelerated by WFH), and many clients are rethinking the way they want to work.  

If you don’t know about these key enablers, you should, because they are disruptive technologies.  We’ll give you a primer here, with the “why” for each.  

WhatWhy
Azure ADEnables security in a WFH, cloud-first workplace 
IntuneAutomatic software deployment, enforcement of company IT standards, mobile device security 
AutopilotAutomatic setup and configuration of new computers, anywhere 
SharePointFile sharing without a server, simultaneous document editing 
OneDriveEasy access to SharePoint and backup of local documents 
TeamsTeam chat, meetings, calls, and collaboration 
Microsoft 365 Business VoicePotentially disruptive extension to teams calling and traditional business phone systems 

Many of these features are things you’re already paying for, and others present minimal additional cost.   Read more...


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If you regularly use Skype for Business in your organization, you may now know that Microsoft has begun replacing Skype with Teams. Microsoft Teams is a new platform that acts as a hub within Office 365 and brings together chat, meetings, notes, and integrations with other Office 365 applications like SharePoint.

Depending on how your organization is handling this transition, you may already be using Microsoft Teams and be rerouted to it for your chats, meetings, and presentations. The Teams UI is certainly different from Skype! Here are some quick tips on starting a chat, voice call, or video call with another person, and presenting your desktop to others when in a meeting or call.

Start a chat with a user in Teams

  1. Go to the search bar at the top of the Teams application.
  2. Begin typing the name of the person you want to connect with.
  3. Select the user when they appear.
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used with permission from Microsoft Office Blogs

Today’s workforce is spread across more locations than ever before: 37 percent of workers telecommuted to some degree in 2015. Companies occupy multiple locations, and business partnerships span the globe. In addition to physical separation, teams in the same company are separated by projects and departments. These barriers unfortunately lead to communication silos, furthering separation and limiting teamwork and collaboration.

Silos can have a significant (and detrimental) effect on your business. They create barriers between teams, often disrupting communications across your entire organization. But that’s not all. Let’s look at the wider impact silos can have across your company.

  1. Limits communication and impedes culture—Siloed teams eventually inhibit your company’s culture. Employees crave communication, collaboration and a thriving work environment. They want to feel comfortable being themselves and feel like they’re part of a team. In fact, 47 percent of workers find it motivating when colleagues discuss workplace success.
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