How to change user's behavior?

We all have some behavior that we would like to change in ourselves or encourage others to change in a positive way. Sometimes we see the clear value of doing things differently, but for some reason, we do not change our behavior.

How do we start changing the behavior? For example, you want to quit eating candies. And so, you tell yourself ‘’ I have to stop eating candies otherwise, I will be fat.’’ So what we do here is trying to scare ourselves with the negativity that might happen to us and we think that this leads to making a change. And this tactic is very widely used not only by individuals but also in many organizations and institutions for example by a government saying ‘’ stop leave trashes otherwise you will live in a dirty neighborhood’’ or by healthcare institutions ‘’Stop smoking. Smoking kills’’

However, research shows that warnings have a little impact on changing behavior. According to Dr. Tali Sharot research, when we think about negative consequences we tend to ignore them because we are not completely sure if this (the negative scenario) will happen to us for real, we prefer to ignore negativity and so this emotion is not the best stimulation for a change. However, positive emotions are encouraging people to change says Dr. Tali Sharot. We like to feel that we achieved something positive, even though it is a small step.

QuickHelp

This model works for every kind of changes and the business world is not an exception. Indeed, nowadays in the global market, only those companies that can adapt to fast changes will survive.
Doesn’t matter in which market or sector you work, you have to always be dynamic, grow and learn a lot. But this is definitely easier said than done.

How can organizations deal with this challenging environment? Technology can certainly help. For instance, Microsoft Office 365 tools are revolutionizing the way of working in many companies around the world. They enable employees to be more productive, more efficient while collaborating more.
But what happens when these tools are so new for employees? This brings big changes to their working environment and daily routines. And when it actually happens, people are stressed twice: how to meet their deadlines while learning how to work with the new tools?
In general, employees are always stressed about new technologies coming into their workplace. They are worried about how disruptive this will be for them. Usually, they are worried and raising questions like: will I understand the new tools? will I be able to use and work with them? And the fear about how the change will affect their job causes reluctance to use the tool or to know more about it.

HOW TO TURN CHANGES INTO A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE?

Everyone wants to achieve positive results in a short period of time. Employees that are going through a change process are not an exception. So how we can offer them positive emotions in a change process that will not take much time?

Tiny Habits Program Tiny Habits Program

A “Tiny Habit” is a simple behavior or action you do at least once a day, that takes you less than 30 seconds and that requires little effort. Every time you succeed in doing or embracing the new habit, you must celebrate. The stronger you feel a positive emotion after your Tiny Habit, the faster it will become automatic. So with small actions repeated regularly, we can easily transform our behavior at work. Hence, if you want to encourage people for changes, this method can be an easy way to bring some positive emotions for employees when they feel happy that they did a small positive step towards bigger results.

QuickHelp. 5 min per day to improve your digital skills

QuickHelp is a cloud-based training solution for Office 365 users, that is accessible anywhere at any time. This platform provides a lot of information that is useful for all end-users (from a non-advanced user to a very advanced user.) The majority of content is in videos, that are shot (from 1 to 4 minutes) and very concentrate. It also gives opportunities to sign up for ‘’events’’, webinars with Microsoft certificated trainers where participates can ask questions online.

Quickhelp
By using QuickHelp all employees have a learning path to follow. A personalized account is offered, so every user can select learning videos based on their preferences regarding Office 365 apps. This learning platform provides up-to-date information so an advanced user can find new topics, meantime a beginner can follow the full program on a certain topic without having any information gaps. The most important, all information is accessible at any time and it’s simple to use. By taking only a few minutes per day to watch a video about the tool you would like to know more employees will have a positive feeling that they learned something. To do so employees were encouraged by the positive feelings and not by warnings.

In the process of changing our behavior emotions are playing an important role. We want to succeed and feel good about our selves. In a business environment, a ”change’’ usually is associated with new ways of working that cause stress. It means that employees have to accept and adapt to novelties. This negative feeling causes reluctant for a change. However, even though the change process is difficult and challenging, luckily, there are some tools and methods that can bring positive emotion to users and encourage them to change their behavior. Follow these rules and do small steps for big changes. And if you want to know more join our workshop Office 365 training: 5 min per day to increase user adoption!

Part 1. What If

Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Part 3. People and Technology

Part 4. Unpacking People

Part 5. Unboxing Technology

Part 6. Refining People and Technology

 

Jon had arranged to meet Mal to share the idea and the two mindmaps. Was the idea just what Jon could see, or could Mal see it too? Was it just the viewpoint of one person, or something larger and broader? Was the frustration that Jon felt an isolated feeling, or indicative of a wider reality?

Once their respective favourite hot beverages had been delivered to their table at the cafe, Jon turned the conversation to the idea.

“We’re too far behind the times. How we work is old and outdated. And it’s costing us in morale, in employees, and in the business opportunities we are (and are not) winning in the marketplace. I think we need to change.”

Mal nodded in agreement. “I see it too. I lost a key employee last week to a competitor because we couldn’t win the right types of business – our processes are too slow, too error-prone, and too archaic.”

“I’ve been thinking,” said Jon. “Well, dreaming really, about how we could change. And what would be involved.” Jon tabled the mindmaps for Mal to review.

“It’s a good start,” commented Mal, after reading both the people and technology mindmaps carefully. “But you have conflated too much under the people and technology words.” Mal picked up an orange pen. “May I?”

“Sure, go ahead,” Jon said

Mal started to mark up Jon’s mindmaps, beginning with the technology one.

“I see these ones as being more about how we work – let’s use the word ‘process’ here – although we could also say ‘practices’,” said Mal, drawing lines from two items on the technology mindmap:

  • How can the available capabilities be used by our people to enhance / change / impact their work for the better? What’s the scope of potential? What would be realistic, reasonable? What could be awesome?
  • How could we describe the available capabilities in a way that people can understand what it means for them? Not to drone on about this feature and that function, but instead to present a compelling narrative of how using it right would impact (and benefit) them?

Mal wrote the word “process” on the people mindmap as well. “Same with this one Jon. I see this as being just as much about process as people,” said Mal, drawing a line from “Locations and mobility. Where do our people work from? How frequently are people working on the move?” to the new word.

“You okay with these changes?” asked Mal.

Jon shrugged, but not in a dismissive way. “Sure. What else?”

Mal re-read the two mindmaps. “I think there’s another couple of words we should be thinking about too.”

To be continued …

How to get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 investment?

Your IT manager suggested migrating to Microsoft Office 365, as it has been addressed as the best option now for your company. You trust him, you trust the IT team. So you did the migration, bought the licenses and now all employees are in. The investment was huge, and it’s time to get the most out of it. But how do you know whether and how your employees are going to use and exploit the possibilities that Office 365 can offer them in terms of productivity, collaboration and smart working?
By helping your end-users understand how those capabilities can improve their team collaboration and simplify their day-to-day tasks, you can make some positive changes for your company, starting to act for your return on investment.

 

Return on investment

 

 

1. Use Targeted Communications

To change the behavior of your end-user community and make them adopt the new technology, a communication strategy is essential. First of all, you have to create awareness and information about what is going on and what this changes will mean for end users.
You need to customize the message to their job role and specify how the new features can help them to be more productive, meaning do more in less time. So, focus on your audience and their needs. The critical question is “What’s in it for me? “ In other words, highlight the benefits for them.

2. Media mix

To implement your communication strategy, you can use several channels.
Printed material such as posters, flyers, brochures, and reference cards. They can be put up in common areas such as break rooms, printer bays, and bathrooms. Communicate your message and boost discussions, questions, dialogues.
Live events such as webinars, workshops, lunch and training. These are a great way for IT to engage with end users, learn about how the tool works, and discover many opportunities to solve real business problems with Office 365.
Audiovisual material. Videos broadcasted in your collaboration platform, internal organizational channels, WhatsApp groups, social media, intranet, corporate emails and newsletter.

media mix

3. Word of mouth

The good old way of communicating always works. People like to talk with people about what is happening in the organization. Everyone is involved in the word of mouth process to communicate the changes and marketing the new technology. Executives and managers are not excluded. They also have to tell their direct reports to peers telling peers. You can harness the power of peers telling peers by creating a champions program.

4. Champions program

Identify people in your company who see the value of Office 365 through personal experience and are willing to mentor their peers. They will be your ambassadors, promoting the use of the tools to their colleagues and inspiring them to follow their example.

5. Technical support for new users

The IT Helpdesk staff should be trained in what Office 365 can do, as well as how to support users facing problems and difficulties. Moreover, the IT help desk can identify a business productivity problem that Office 365 can solve in ways the end user is not aware, or discover common issues experienced by users that need more training.

6. Learning opportunities

Whether it is e-learning sessions, workshops, live or virtual training, the most important thing is to help users familiarize and experiment with Office 365. Learning how it works, the concrete possibilities and actions they can do in the daily work explained by experts is fundamental to avoid the barriers that can stop new users to adapt to the new tools.

 

conference call Skype

 

7. Keep track and monitor the progress

To do so, Microsoft provides many tools, such as Microsoft 365 usage analytics within Power BI. Thanks to this tool, you can gain insights on how your organization is adopting the various services within Office 365 to communicate and collaborate. You can visualize and analyze Office 365 usage data, create custom reports and share the insights within your organization and gain insights into how specific regions or departments are utilizing Office 365.

 

These seven points represent some tips and general ideas on how to proceed when a new technology, like Office 365, is being introduced in your company. However, to ensure a positive rate of user adoption and a successful change management strategy that will pay back your investment, a more structured user adoption strategy and change management methodology are needed.

Pace methodology SilversideSilverside PACE methodology is made of four phases: Plan, Acquire, Change, Enhance. Managing the organizational changes in the method of working and in technologies is just easier for managers, consultants and end users. Firstly, be aware of the organizational culture of your company and plan a complete and predictive change management strategy in all the aspects. Secondly, acquire the new collaborative business vision and the technologies necessary to implement the strategy. A user adoption strategy is fundamental at this stage to instill change at every level in the organization. Lastly, optimize the value gained by adjusting the strategy, address key challenges and align with the required business outcomes.

Download the PACE whitepaper! 

Part 1. What If

Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Part 3. People and Technology

Part 4. Unpacking People

Part 5. Unboxing Technology

 

The planning board meeting had been torturous, as usual. Anyone would think that a regular meeting like that would have a rhythm to it – key topics to consider, key issues to debate, and a clear sense of what to do next by the time the meeting concluded. Instead they dragged on, were poorly facilitated, and generally just concluded that another meeting – in a month – was in order. Jon found the meetings ineffective, a waste of time, and stuck on merry-go-round mode. But it was fascinating to watch in some ways; Jon just couldn’t fathom that things could have become so bad. For all that they promised in bringing people together, meetings at the firm seemed to undermine the already fragile willingness to work together. Oh well … soon it would be time to embark on a “fixing meetings around here” crusade, but not today.

Jon looked back over the earlier mindmap on people. Those words and phrases had been useful in unpacking what the word “people” meant. Now it was time to do the same with the next big word – “technology.” Drawing several lines on a page out from the new word, Jon started to brainstorm again:

Technology. Who the vendor is, and what their products can do. And can’t do.

Technology. What is made available – or turned on – out of the set of capabilities in the underlying product. Not everything is necessarily of value, so perhaps not everything should be released. Or released at once? Or at all? Or ever?

Technology. How is the category of technology trending in the wider market? Who is doing interesting things? Is the category growing, at a plateau, or in decline? Any major concerns being raised?

Technology. How can the available capabilities be used by our people to enhance / change / impact their work for the better? What’s the scope of potential? What would be realistic, reasonable? What could be awesome?

Technology. How could we describe the available capabilities in a way that people can understand what it means for them? Not to drone on about this feature and that function, but instead to present a compelling narrative of how using it right would impact (and benefit) them?

Technology. What types of firms, teams, groups and people are making effective use of the technology? Who is struggling with it?

Technology. How are others describing the benefits that accrue from using the new technology in an effective way? Are there any significant costs to be aware of? Major drawbacks or downsides?

Much more than what’s in the box – “technology” is all about how what’s in the box is used to create an effect.

See Part 6. Beyond People and Technology

4 reasons why IT is a challenging environment

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We are working in a business environemnt  where every day we see how employees encounter different issues related to the way of  working,  communciating, collaborating,  but also about tools and technologies. Since the business world is becoming more and more demanding, people have more work to do and less time, so employees have to do more in the same amount of time. This is why technology can help us by offering possibilities to be more productive at work. If on one hand technology supports and helps employees and businesses, on the other hand it is tricky and can cause many issues to the users.

Indeed, hardly a day is passing by without at least one novelty in IT environment is released. As a consequence, technology in our working environment is changing very fast: new products, new features and updates are being presented every day. In Silverside working practice we see some main challenges that companies have, but have to overcome.

What are the biggest challenges in this dynamic IT world?

1. Workload

If you think about your work day and all the activities and tasks you have completed… so many things need to be done in a short period of time.

workloadTime is precious, so we have to use it in the right way. Hence, managing your time in a productive way, is critical. This is why people are looking for better options and solutions that can allow them to be more efficient. If you are working with your colleagues, which tool is the best for communicating and collaborating? No matter if you are working alone or in a team, time is always precious and work efficiency is always a priority.

Technology provides all kinds of possibilities: tasks are automated, it is easier for employees to reach their goals in faster ways and it is now possible what some decades ago was impossible. In this context, competition in the market is higher than ever. Moreover, customers all around the world are more and more demanding, pretending high quality products and services, the right support from suppliers and fast responses when they have all kinds of issues. The result? The need for employees to reach maximum productivity in order to keep up with the workload they are assigned to do.

2. Globalization

We are living in a global economy. This means that companies expand all around the globe, opening new branches in different countries and continents, in order to enlarge the profits of the global market. In other words, business doesn’t have any boundaries anymore. This has a great impact on the way of collaborating and working.

Globalization

Nowadays, people can be in the different places and still work together: remote team work is a habit and being part of the same project team together with people from Japan and Canada is now the norm. How can this be possible? Thanks to technology. Hence, it is not possible to imagine working without smart technologies for business communication. If you have a meeting, do you always need to be physically in the same room with your colleague? In this age, the answer is definitely NO. However, the question arises on HOW to do that in a productive way with the right technologies? Which apps and which functionalities to use to have the most effective online meetings and conferences?

3. Fast Changes

The only constant is change.

fast changes

We are facing the challenge of finding that perfect balance between keeping up with change and not changing for its own sake. Change is inevitable, and change is good, but  change must be consistent with corporate objectives and and bring some positive results.

The impact of technology on constant changes is huge, because new tools, apps, new features, and updates are being released on a daily basis. Technology is changing so rapidly for organizations and the ability to adopt new technologies is becoming a vital mechanism. Hence, managers all over the world make many efforts in searching for the best technologies to help employees work better and smarter because nowadays the technologies give us many opportunities on how to improve our work.
However, changing the technologies means changes in the way we work, so people need to adapt and develop new skills.

4. User adoption

When we talk about business technologies the big problem arises when in reality only a few people will actually use these new tools. Why they do so? Because people don’t like changes, they like to behave in the same old ‘’natural’’ way. As a consequence, making change work for your business is the challenge. One of the biggest challenges that technologies bring to business is user adoption: getting employees trained on new tools of working and encourage them to use new tools on a daily basis.
However, at first, employees are stressed about new technologies coming into their workplace. They are worried about how disruptive it will be for them. Usually, they are worried and raising questions like: Will I understand the new tools? Will I be able to use and work with them? When employees are told that new technologies are coming into their workspace, they get stressed and feel under pressure. And so, the fear about how the change will affect their job causes reluctance to use the tool.

 

user adoption

 

One of the biggest mistakes that companies do when they implement the new technology, is thinking that the date when that technology is introduced, correspond to the starting date of its usage. Because it is not! The real struggle is not the switch from one software to another, but the task to make people adopt it.

 

Here I listed four business challenges that I believe have the biggest impact on our daily work. It is not difficult to imagine that in such a condition it is really challenging for us to keep up with this pace and the struggle with personal and group productivity, collaboration,  adoption of new tools and new ways of working is real. Hence, Silverside invites you to participate in our free workshop ‘Office 365 training: 5 min per day to increase user adoption‘, together explore the challenges that the dynamic IT world brings for the end user and find out about possible ways how to overcome these struggles.

Part 1. What If

Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Part 3. People and Technology

Part 4. Unpacking People

It was a few days before Jon could pull out that slightly less new journal again. There was much happening at work and home, and carving out time to think was often a challenge. But the train was good. As was the local park during the lunch break. And at a local coffee shop too, and that’s where Jon had set up this afternoon.

Jon kept coming back to those two mega-words on the first page of the journal – “people” and “technology.” While there was everything right and correct with both as having a huge impact on the journey of modernisation, they were too high-level to be meaningful. What aspects of the “people” side had to be explored? Likewise, what aspects of the “technology” side had to be understood?

As the smell of fresh coffee wafted through the shop, Jon looked at the first word – people – and quickly drew several lines coming off the word. Jon wrote an idea at the end of each line – knowing the ideas didn’t have to be right immediately, but could be useful and insightful.

People. Who are the kinds of people we have at our firm?

People. What are the job roles that people do at our firm?

People. What are the challenges our people face in doing their work today?

People. Locations and mobility. Where do our people work from? How frequently are people working on the move?

People. Approach toward change / progress / improvement / modernisation. Who is pushing to get better? Who is holding back?

People. How do our people relate to each other? How well do our people work together? What commonalities unite us?

People. Who else is ready for a change in how we work together? Who else is supportive and willing to champion for the modernisation journey?

Jon’s watch sounded an alert: the planning board meeting started in 15 minutes. Jon shut the journal, pocketed the pen, and picking up all the gear, walked out.

People. There was a lot more to this word than first met the eye.

Next time – technology.

Part 5. Unboxing Technology

Paintbrushes and Coffee

Part 1. What If

Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Part 3. People and Technology 

Our person with an idea needs a name, otherwise this story will be too hard to follow. Let’s make the name Jon, because that could be short for Jonathan or Joni, and whether our main character is male or female isn’t of relevance to the story. We just need a person to take the initiative and act, and while any name would do, we’ll run with Jon.

Jon pulled out a new journal on the way to work, and got ready to think in ink. The fast train always provided a way of getting into the flow for Jon; the rushing scenery that made it hard to discern objects in detail served as a reminder to pull back from the specifics and notice the bigger picture. The swaying of the train, the low murmuring of discussions throughout the carriage, and the smell of fresh coffee wafting from the onboard cafe helped too. 

Jon was fascinated by the intersection created between people and technology. By the opportunity that people had to choose their own tools in the first instance, but how those tools then came to define the chooser. The kid playing with a hammer became the builder. The teenager selecting the perfect paint brush became the painter. The baker of cakes for school fund raising became the restaurant owner. The guy with an email address became the prolific and relentless writer and checker of emails. What technology offered as a gift to each one became part of who they became: a learned response, an ingrained behaviour, an expected approach.

But what has been done in the past could be changed in the future, and Jon had seen it change with friends over the past 15 years. The builder embraced a nail gun. The painter uses a spray machine. The veritable sender of email switches to using Slack. Change is possible across all the roles, but change must be seen to be relevant, applicable, and delivering value. At an individual level – person-by-person in isolation where the actions of one don’t have an immediate effect on others – the journey of modernisation and change is only a matter of a new decision, a new skill, and a willingness to try. In a larger group context, where people work together and are inter-dependent on each other to deliver something of combined value, a re-forming of how the group works together is required. While one can champion for change, one can’t force the change, but must instead take others on the journey of change.

The conductor’s announcement interrupted Jon’s thinking; it was time to get off the train. Jon looked at the writing on the page, and circled two words: “people” and “technology.” It was a good and essential start, although nothing earth-shattering.

But what else?

To be continued … 

See Part 4. Unpacking People

Magic Moments

Part 1. What If

Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Our person with the what if idea had had enough of tossing and turning by 4am. The relentless questioning was enough to drive them out from under their warm bed covers. The coffee machine spluttered into life, and a few minutes later a dark brew to match the skyline of the early morning was brewed and ready for consumption under contemplative conditions. And at that early hour, our person with the idea started to think about magic.

A magic trick can’t be created with a single element working alone. Multiple elements have to be brought together to create an effect. Some are hidden by sleight of hand and carefully sequenced preparation, so although the trick might look singular and effortless, many things have to work in coordination – some disclosed, many not. Many things have to be planned and worked out so that the desired effect can be created. The audience might see it merely as an effortless trick, and that was fine at one level, but the reality was that much preparation is required to pull off any trick. That which looks effortless in the moment requires many moments in advance of preparation, learning, and testing.

A journey of modernisation would be similar. Multiple elements would have to come together and be combined in a careful way. A moment of magic with as much flourish and daring as required might be used to set the modernisation in motion publicly, and while some people would write it off as mere sleight of hand, the behind-the-scenes preparation would be intense. And take awhile. Once again, that which seems effortless in the moment is built on a foundation of many hidden moments.

Our person with the idea paused and wondered – what elements would be necessary to set in motion a journey of modernisation?

What indeed?

To be continued …

See Part 3. People and Technology

Ideas

Part 1. What If?

Once upon a time there was a person with an idea; whether the person was a male or female didn’t matter for the sake of this story, but the idea mattered a lot. Their idea was based on an observation: that the way work was done at their firm – the practices embraced, the tools used, the work flow followed – was getting old and outdated. New innovations were being implemented by peer firms and competitors alike, often with headline-grabbing results. These others were being heralded as market leaders and innovators, which was having a very positive effect on the type of client projects they were winning. And this was changing their fortunes, for the better. Classier ads. New buildings. An increased ability to attract new talent. An uplift in culture and morale.

However, while the modernisation at other places was having a positive effect, the lack of modernisation at their firm was carrying a negative set of consequences. A reduced reputation as a market leader. Fewer interesting client projects. Dwindling finances. A reduced ability to attract top talent; more often the talent that would have come in days gone by were now being hired by the more innovative peers and competitors. Clearly, this set of negatives was having a flow-on negative effect on the morale of current staff. It wasn’t a pretty picture.

Which brings us to their idea, which could also be stated as a question: What if a journey of modernisation was begun at their firm? What if the widely available changes in mindset and toolset that were having a dramatic effect for peers and competitors could be embraced at their place?

What if indeed.

To be continued …

See Part 2. Magic and Modernisation

Join Sasja Beerendonk at Office 365 and SharePoint Connect 2018

This year, Office 365 & SharePoint Connect conference comes to Haarlem, Netherlands. Here the best independent experts from around the world and Microsoft will meet to talk about the possibilities Microsoft offers to innovate the IT and Business sectors and how companies and professionals should deal with it.
Attendees can learn how to move forward with expert speakers who will share their experience, knowledge, and best practices, plus real-world project insights with you.
Moreover, there is also the chance to hear about the latest novelties coming from Microsoft Ignite USA, who will take place in September. This will also include all the latest Ignite releases and updates as Microsoft defines its directions.

The conference format is designed with many personalized sessions, based on the attendees’ interests and levels of knowledge.
Office 365 and SharePoint Connect are once again delighted to work with various user group leaders from SP&C NL, DIWUG, Office 365 NL, and Collab365.

 

Facebook never needed adoption, why does Office 365?

 

Among all the expert speakers of the sessions, we are proud to announce that also our Senior Consultant Sasja Beerendonk will hold the workshop “Facebook never needed adoption, why does Office 365?

Silverside

Resistance to change is what you’ll get without a proper change strategy for your collaboration platform. Unlike IT people, business users are not necessarily thrilled about new technology, features and functionalities.
Introducing a collaboration platform in an organization, does not mean that people will adapt to the changes and adopt the new way of working, using that platform.

Most employees will need to be motivated differently to actively use the new tools. What are the reasons employees do not simply embrace new technology? And most importantly: How can we bend resistance to change? Learn what makes change for technology so difficult and how to motivate your employees by joining Sasja!

 

Silverside

Remote Team Work: How to communicate efficiently in the digital age?

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Nowadays, working in a team remotely is almost a state of mind. More and more companies have different project teams with members located in different parts of the world or teams and departments dislocated all around the globe.

Harvard Business Review reports that, according to recent studies from Gallup and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 22% of Americans work from home, while nearly 50% are involved with remote or virtual teamwork.

 

remote work

 

In the past, the collaboration and communication between these remote teams meant thousands of emails and phone calls. But the impossibility to physically meet and have conversations and discussions negatively impacted the productivity.

Online and virtual meetings revolutionized completely the collaboration and productivity for teams that have to work together remotely. Tools like Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams opened up a completely new world for remote team working (read the blog Online team collaboration with Microsoft Teams to have an example of how to collaborate online using Microsoft Teams). Through an internet connection, basic digital skills and the right tools, it’s now possible to have brainstorming, knowledge meetings, collaborate around projects, solve problems and much more, boosting in this way team productivity. Even though remote team working is now a habit for the majority of companies, people who work on remote teams still face many challenges that require new collaboration skills to be faced.

 

Lack of body language

When working and collaborating remotely, body language is completely missing. This can create misunderstandings, confusion, misinterpretations and other communication issues that cost a lot in terms of social interaction, productivity, and efficiency.

 

Distances

There are three kinds of distance in remote collaboration: physical (place and time), operational (team size and skill levels) affinity (values, trust, and interdependence). Virtual and online meetings reduce physical distances but do not compensate for the differences in skill levels and values among team members.

 

The solution

The solution to these two main challenges cannot come from the technologies used. To perform at the highest levels, remote teams have to find new and better ways to operate, communicate and collaborate.

 

remote team work

 

1. Clarity and consistency

To avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication, it is fundamental that members in the team establish and respect rules and norms on how to communicate and collaborate. Some examples can be a set of acronyms, expected response time, rules on how to use communication platforms like Microsoft Teams.

 

2. Limit the digital volume

Even though communicating in a platform like Microsoft Teams will significantly reduce the amount of emails team members will receive, this does not mean that you can send hundreds of messages in a team chat. Discussions have always to have an aim and a purpose and having a team conversation full of confused messages and attachments is not going to help the productivity of the team. Try to send one message with the information you want to communicate (only the most important one). In the end, you are not whatsapping your friends, even though the platform is similar.

 

3. Always respect the social rules of interaction

You are communicating remotely through digital devices and online meetings. You are not having physical and face to face conversations with your team members, but they still remain human beings, with feelings and different personalities. Don’t forget to respect the normal norms of social interactions: thank you, good morning, have a nice day, and expressions like these are always welcome also in chats and online conversations.

 

4. Strengthen relationships within your team members

Your team is composed by people with who you are working and communicating on a daily basis. Conversations should not only be about work. Creating occasions for celebrations and socializing can strengthen relationships and lay the foundation for future collaboration. Find ways to shorten the affinity distance. Congratulate for a birthday, create personalized memes, share funny content, tell something personal, ask for advices and so on are also part of a remote team life!

 

As mentioned before, the challenges of digital interactions and remote team working cannot be solved by the technology teams use. Miscommunication is always a high risk, but by understanding the new rules of engagement and building the right communication skills among the team members, can help remote teams to work more efficiently, facing the challenges that our digitally-driven age brings.

Download our whitepaper Collaborate as a team in Office 365 to learn how to foster your team collaboration using Office 365 tools.

 

How to make IT service desk's life easier?

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Remember the time when you bought your last TV from a shop and you were confused about how to set up channels? What did you do? You called the vendor or manufacturer to help you set up the channels.

However, nowadays the situation is different. No one is answering your calls, the auto machine asks you to specify your question, but the question ’ how to set up channels?’ is not among the options. For a new TV owner, this means a bad customer service. But what happens in the same situation when instead of one TV my company purchased 200 computers with a new software to work with?

In this case for B2B or B2C companies, the introduction of new technologies and new systems brings new challenges and issues. All end users are confused by the new working tools and so they look for help. Luckily, support desks these days have become better in supporting users. This has been made possible by the availability of modern technologies and tools to help customers and make the work of IT desk a bit less overloaded.

What does the help desk do?

Broadly speaking, a help desk provides end users with support and information related to a product or service offered by a company. A help desk’s main purpose is to troubleshoot issues or problems and also guide end users about a product or service such as computers, software, electronic equipment etc.  IT service desk

These days, many corporations and businesses provide help desk assistance and support to customers using a number of channels such as websites, email or instant messaging. In some companies or businesses, there are a number of in-house help desks that are designed to provide guidance or support to employees.
QuickHelp is another tool that helps both IT support desk by reducing the number of help requests and users to fix problems, find information and learn about the tools they are having issues with. How to go from fixing a problem to learning and growing your knowledge? Wouldn’t be great to quickly get the answer by yourself?
Luckily, this is possible. A new platform QuickHelp introduce this new approach toward the issues, it promotes finding the answer by yourself.

HOW?

Quickhelp is a cloud based training solution for Office365 users, that is accessible anywhere at any time. This platform provides a lot of information that is useful for all end-users (from a non-advanced user to a very advanced user.) The majority of content is in videos, that are shot (from1 to 4 minutes) and very concentrate. It also gives opportunities to sign up for ‘’events’’, webinars with Microsoft certificated trainers where participates can ask questions online.

QuickHelp workshop
By using QuickHelp all employees have a guidance to follow, it offers a personalized account, so every user has a unique account where he/she can select learning videos based on their preferences regarding Office 365 apps. This learning platform provides up-to-date information so an advanced user can find new topics, meantime a beginner can follow the full program on a certain topic without having any information gaps. The most important, all information is accessible at any time and it’s simple to use.

To find out more about QuickHelp join us for the workshop Office 365 training: 5 min per day to increase user adoption.