When work becomes your saviour during 14 days of mandatory isolation in a lonely hotel room

Marianne Kjaer is confined to mandatory isolation in a Sydney hotel as part of Australia’s strict 14-day quarantine rules for all people arriving from overseas. She is unable to open a window or leave her room, even to exercise in the hallway. What’s keeping Marianne sane, and giving her a focus, is the ability to continue working thanks to a suite of online collaboration tools, including video meetings on Microsoft Teams.  This is Marianne’s story.   At 79 years of age, my mother decided it was time to sell the family home and move into something smaller.   It’s been 20 years since I left my native country of Denmark to move…

5 things to avoid when rolling out Microsoft Teams

We’re often told about best practices and how they should be implemented but what about those practices we should avoid, the worst practices?  As part of SWOOP Analytics’ world-first benchmarking of Microsoft Teams, we interviewed six of the world’s top Microsoft consultancy firms to find the emerging worst practices when rolling out Teams.  We thought it prudent to warn adopters of Teams of some practices our partners believe could cause real problems over time or, at worst, derail the whole adoption process.   These consultants are the experts in their field from around the world, having helped multi-national conglomerates right down to small-sized organisations implement Teams. We have interviewed Adopt & Embrace, Avanade, Carpool, Engage Squared, Innosis and WM Reply.  Common themes emerged during each interview, which we’ve collated into five “worst practices”.  Worst Practice…

You’ve just been told to Work from Home. You have Workplace. Are you home free?

Under the above scenario it’s clearly better to have Workplace from Facebook in place than not. But I suspect few of us would see all our anxieties from the COVID-19-enforced change to our working environments overcome that simply. Most of us have had the experience of working from home (WFH) occasionally, but what about when your whole team has to WFH?  When we published our latest Workplace benchmarking report, we did not envisage digital teams would be put to the test to the extent they are now. In the report we analysed the collaboration habits of more than 2,000 groups across 68 organisations to identify what “good” looks like for digital groups. While few of those groups would have been fully…

Five evidence-based insights: Working effectively as a team in Microsoft Teams

You just received the all-company announcement; everyone is to work from home (WFH). Your new workplace is Microsoft Teams. This is the first time you have to work from home for more than just a day here and there, and you’ve never used Microsoft Teams before. If you’re a team leader, your team is now out of sight, and with little experience in running a remote team you’re probably wondering; “How do we make this work?”  Here at SWOOP Analytics, we have just published our very first global benchmarking report of the interactions of more than 47,000 people in more than 5,300 Teams across 15 organisations. This is the world’s largest benchmarking study ever undertaken…

What needs to change when coronavirus sends your whole team Working From Home?

You just received the all-company announcement; everyone is to work from home (WFH) for the foreseeable future.   You may have previously worked from home on the odd occasion. You have the desk, the WiFi and the company collaboration software. You managed to get by, but you always wondered if you had missed out a little, compared with your colleagues who were working from the office.   This time it’s different. Everyone is WFH. Before we always expected the “in office” team members would ensure all team activities were appropriately co-ordinated. Now everyone has a little dose of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured there is no shortage of advice on how to successfully WFH. Largely, the advice targets individuals, and how they might best set…

Is organisational change needed to make Microsoft Teams a success?

It’s well accepted that any significant technology implementation must be accompanied by an organisational change program if it’s to succeed. The implementation of Microsoft Teams certainly qualifies as a significant technology implementation but how disruptive is it likely to be to your organisation? Will the promised productivity gains flow immediately, or will there be a period of pain and effort before you start to see benefits flow? Microsoft Teams implementations are not a one size fits all. Depending on your business context and ambitions, your approach will follow the typical risk/reward relationship. The higher the risk, the greater the emphasis…