Digital & Technology


As we progress into hybrid working set-ups, make sure tools such as Microsoft Teams are set up to involve everyone, says Mike Harvey, product manager at Resonate.

22nd November 2021

Microsoft Teams proved invaluable for businesses during lockdown, with all employees in the same situation – at home.

However, things have changed and, with some employees choosing to return to the office, there are a few subtle allowances that need to be made.  

When you’re working in teams and channels, communicating via private chat won’t change. But what does need to change are those interactions that include people in the office – those corridor conversations or frequent asides. We need to adjust the way we work to ensure we fully include the home workers.

Failure to do this will result in home workers feeling isolated and unappreciated or left behind in terms of career development. They may even feel obliged to come to the office to ensure they are heard, because hybrid working is not delivering the experience that was promised by the company. 

Use the technology and functions wisely

Ensure full home IT support for individuals and home office wellbeing is clearly integrated into company policy. Video is essential. The meeting room camera should be on so that everyone at home can physically see what is happening. Hands raised by home workers should be actively monitored and effort should be made to include those attending the meeting from outside the room in all discussions.

Every effort should be made to invite those attending meetings remotely to contribute, so they don’t just feel like spectators.

It may mean everyone having to learn new behaviours; don’t let meetings be dominated by the loudest voices or those in the office.

Record meetings, so stakeholders not able to attend can catch up. And make sure decisions made outside formal meetings are posted in the relevant team for all stakeholders to see.

A lot of this comes down to being more organised and more thoughtful.

Make meetings as engaging as possible for those in and out of the room. Be creative and try to use all the features and interactive elements.

Make the effort to upskill presenters on the latest best practice ways to conduct meetings and to keep up to date with new features.

Complement your existing set-up with new ideas

Resonate’s Voice for Teams enables external voice capability within the Teams environment, providing expertise to migrate from the legacy telephony estate and providing the hosting services to connect your Teams tenant to the PSTN. If you are using Teams for Chat, VoIP Calls and Meetings but you need to call a landline or mobile, that can be  achieved. 

External voice can either complement your existing phone system or provide you with the perfect opportunity to upgrade and eliminate your current solution so you can reduce costs.

It’s also well worth investigating Power Apps from the Microsoft Power Platform, which gives you the opportunity to design apps suited to your own business needs.

This can all be a daunting task, especially when you’re replacing an old stalwart of a system that “just works”. 

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