Work Better with Microsoft Collaboration Tools (e-book)

Microsoft Teams

In a recent blog post, we used tag clouds to highlight the main differences between pre-digital and digital workplaces.

Many organisations (probably the majority) remain stuck in a pre-digital time warp with hierarchy, bureaucracy, legacy technology, legacy management thinking, siloes, red tape and a control mentality fossilising old practices, processes and employee thinking. The burden of excessive email, pointless meetings and constant interruptions act as major productivity busters. Being slow to respond to the rapid pace of change taking place, significant scope for improvement exists in creating a more productive, efficient, responsive organisation.

By contrast, digital workplaces leverage the full potential of technology to rethink the way things are done, breaking free from the limits imposed by outdated systems and outdated management thinking. A digital first culture, combined with strong digital leadership, ensures that technology is fully embedded at the core of everything the organisation does to streamline internal processes and systems, improve efficiency and reduce costs. The net result is a more collaborative, cost efficient, agile, responsive, data driven organisation, ‘fit-for-purpose’ in a digital age.

Teamwork is Key

The key to establishing an efficient and effective digital workplace is collaborative teamwork.

As highlighted in a recent paper published in the MIT Sloan Management Review, agile frontline work groups have become critical to improving productivity and innovation in an era of turbulent change and digital disruption.

“The key to accelerating organisational learning and performance improvement is at the level of small frontline work groups confronting new situations”.

The changing landscape of teamwork was examined in a recent research report from Microsoft based on a detailed survey of more than 14,000 people from seven countries.

The study concluded that a new culture of work is taking shape:

“The amount of time employees spend engaged in collaborative work - in meetings, on phone calls, or answering emails - has increased roughly 50 percent and takes up 80 percent or more of their time. We are on twice as many teams as we were five years ago. New generations that have grown up with technology are entering the workforce, bringing new expectations and norms. Remote and freelance work are on the rise”.

One of the main challenges facing organisations in this environment is ‘making teamwork work’ - how to assemble high-performance teams, setting them up for success. This is more than just bringing people together to focus on a project. It requires coherence around ideas, goals, actions, and values.

Making Teamwork Work

As companies move away from traditional command and control hierarchies towards work group structures, the role of technology in supporting collaborative teamwork becomes critical.

Microsoft states that it's mission is to “give teams the tools they need to thrive”.

The report makes three main recommendations as summarised in Figure 1 below:

Figure 1: Making Teamwork Work

Making Teamwork Work

Source: Microsoft 2018

Transform your Organisation with Microsoft Teams

As an Accredited Gold Partner, Bridgeall are delighted to be working closely with Microsoft in launching the ‘Making Teamwork Work’ campaign, providing highly practical advice to public and private sector organisations in leveraging the full potential of the work group collaboration technologies embedded in Office 365, including Microsoft Teams.

One of the first outcomes of the campaign has been the production of a Microsoft Teams e-book, free to download here - “Making Teamwork Work: Transform your Business with Microsoft Teams”. The book covers why teamwork has become so important, the barriers and obstacles standing in the way and how Microsoft technologies can empower teams to work more collaboratively and effectively.

Microsoft teamwork offerings are specifically designed to help people work better in teams through the seamless integration of hardware, apps and communication tools including Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Surface, Surface Hub and Office 365.

We will discuss many of the issues raised in the e-book in future blog posts. For the moment, please do not hesitate to contact us if you think Bridgeall can be of service in supporting your journey to becoming a digital workplace.