Remote Work and the Employee Experience: The View From Home

With the 1-year anniversary of becoming a fully remote workforce quickly approaching, I want to talk about the Digital Workplace-powered employee experience from my perspective as a remote worker.

It’s been a lot of learning on the fly, discovering new tactics to stay positive and productive. The shift hasn’t been what I expected, but digital workplace and communication tools like Microsoft Teams helped ease the transition into remote working. These are some of the important tips I’ve discovered for success, from learning to love Microsoft Teams and balancing the distractions that live at home.

Using Digital Workplace tools to increase motivation and focus at home.

My official “work-from-home” office with Baby Yoda

At home, the distractions seem endless—children, pets, roommates, and daily at-home responsibilities front and center throughout the workday. Creating habits that put you into “work mode” are essential to finding success while working from home.

Start with a dedicated workspace and a daily routine to put you in the right frame of mind. Microsoft offers tools like Planner, where you can track your tasks and progress. With its smooth integration with Microsoft Teams, you can keep track of your tasks and communicate with team members in the same place. Say goodbye to the hours wasted jumping from one app to another!

My Digital Workplace helped me succeed at home & with my clients.

Working from home can mean many things; no more morning commute, a fully stocked fridge and more comfortable office attire. That said, keep in mind working from home is still working. Keeping the same cadence and connection with my clients has been crucial for business continuity. SharePoint and Microsoft Teams have allowed my clients and I to seamlessly share documents throughout a project, saving us hours of searching through email.

Remote working isn’t going anywhere— 97% of CEOs are planning to allow some level of remote working going forward. Utilize your digital workplace to build productive habits for working remotely.

Know when it’s appropriate to step away from work… and when it’s not.

Working from home means you never truly “leave” the office. Clocking out at the end of the day doesn’t bring with it the same satisfaction; instead, you are constantly “on”, emails and notifications continue to pull you back later into the night.

Whether it’s for a much-needed lunch break and a walk outside, or actually stepping away from work at the end of the day, finding a way to disconnect is critical for long term success in your role. Find ways to be with family, rest your mind, and come back to work refreshed.

Use Microsoft Teams to keep a sense of camaraderie and belonging while miles apart.

Nowadays, meetings are virtual, after-work outings are non-existent, and catching up with coworkers takes place within your Teams chat.
Finding ways to create and nurture company culture is a no brainer when it comes maintaining business continuity. Our team has a daily morning meeting, which often consists of project discussion and casual conversations. On more than one occasion we’ve tried out different backgrounds on our calls, or used “Together Mode” to feel together in a safe setting.

Using Microsoft Teams, we’ve created a company culture that has enabled many of us to communicate more naturally than when we were in the office. Over the last year, Microsoft has creatively replaced aspects of “in person” teamwork through the Digital Workplace and helped maintain office communication from behind a screen.

Embrace the bad, the good and the awkward.

Sometimes the dog will bark during meetings, the Internet will fail, or your mom will yell for you to stop leaving socks in the living room. Working remotely means that all the weird things you do at home are on full display for your co-workers to see.

To work successfully from home, it’s important to accept that you might not always feel very productive, and that at times home will feel like a poor substitute for an office. Learning how to “embrace the awkward” as Stratiscope CEO John Bwarie states, can be key for your overall success. Understand and accept that these problems are not unique to you. Both your customers and team members are likely in similar situations.

Continue learning how you can strive under these unique working conditions.

Whether you’ve committed to working from home for the long haul or expect to return to the office sometime in the future, the workplace landscape will never “return to normal.” You need to use the tools you have at hand to help you succeed, whether it’s at home or back in an office.

Watch our webinar “Hybrid Work” to explore how Microsoft Teams, alongside your intranet can support this transition and bring with it long-term business results. Learn how to thrive in the new workplace format.

(Questions? Contact our Digital Workplace team here or click the orange chat button at the bottom right.)