COVID-19, an unexpected pandemic crisis hit the world hard, leaving every government and business startled. The outspread was quick across the globe. While scientists and researchers are trying to discover a vaccine for it, social distancing and lockdown were the immediate measures. Businesses shifted to telecommuting workforce, and this is the first time all businesses explored the world of telecommuting.
We knew the scale of the COVID-19 will be unprecedented. We scaled up our IT infrastructure for immediate shift to work from home and focus was client deliveries, enabling digital workforce for better collaboration and working, and employee engagement. We outlined how we shifted our employees to complete work from home arrangement. Read it here.
Digital Collaboration is the way now and in future times.
March was a long month. We went straight from working in offices, seeing our teammates daily to virtual offices, meetings, and pinging each other constantly. So yeah, it’s been a lot. From a regular tête-à-tête in office, we were suddenly texting each other on Microsoft Teams, doing video conferencing and virtual chai/coffee meetups over Zoom, project tracking and management over Trello and tracking cards progress.
While it was a different experience for each one of us, digital collaboration experience was common for all of us. Here are few ways how our digital collaboration tools and features helped us to stay connected without hampering productivity–
Microsoft Teams, is now the hub for teamwork, is where teams – including people outside your team–connect actively and collaborate in real time to get things done. We stay connected on Teams, while the work is happening, whether writing a document, attending another meeting, or having virtual coffee sessions. Teams is the place to have informal chats, iterate quickly on a project, work with team files, and collaborate on shared deliverables.
We used features like Praise for appreciating colleagues with personalized notes, video meetings, and whiteboards during meetings for more immersive experience while adjusting to this new world of remote working.
- Zoom is the new boardroom and meeting room for better communication and more collaboration virtually. Zoom is helping us in doing virtual huddles, creating virtual boardrooms, virtual creative spaces to connect with the remote workforce.
- Outlook was a constant for mail communications, but it became more formal and structured in the COVID-19 outbreak period.
- SharePoint is the new communication site for organization-wide announcements, making all types of documents and content easily shareable and accessible across teams. SharePoint helped teams to keep content at the centre of teamwork. We experienced seamless content collaboration across conversation experiences with SharePoint.
- OneDrive for Business for storing, securing and sharing files with the user-based invitation.
We collected statistics around usage of Teams and Zoom in March.
We are experiencing the new world of telecommuting from last few weeks. There’s a lot to gain; flexibility and better work-life balance are the two main pros.
But, working virtually can be challenging at times, especially when you are used to work in office set-up, tea and coffee breaks, socialising with colleagues, or undesirable consequences that might occur down the road such as lack of clarity in tasks, difficulty in communication, and common distractions in the home.
We are handling these challenges by preparing our entire workforce to distance, but not to disconnect. Digital collaboration played a crucial role in achieving this by providing chat, email, voice, video, content creation, and more tools to make this a success.