Team Up with SoftwareONE: Teams Communications

Team Up With SoftwareONE

Microsoft's Teams Communications: Beat Distractions & Improve Productivity

Beat Distractions and Improve Productivity with Microsoft’s Teams Communications

Our recent survey of 2,000 UK office workers found that unproductive British workers waste the equivalent of 30 working days a year on their office email. The study also shows that 2,000 office workers typically spend around two hours each day browsing their inbox. Around, half of this time is wasted accidentally re-reading messages, needlessly checking for updates and sending clarification emails to colleagues when it’s easier to speak to them face to face or via Teams Communications.

People either communicate and collaborate asynchronously or synchronously – neither is right or wrong – they’re just different ways of communicating that are often used in wrong contexts.

The reason for this ineffectiveness is that asynchronous communication (not real time communication) is typically time lagged. You send out an email and wait for a reply. Email is not the right platform for real time communication and collaboration. Our research shows it’s an unproductive way of communicating. Synchronous communication is when we converse and collaborate in real time.

The problem with email today is that itis used for everything. Email is the number one communication platform but the problem is that it is overused and abused and we need to differentiate when do we want to use it for real time communication and when do we want to use it for non-real time communication.

Communication Response Time Level Agreement

This normally has to do with the communication response time level agreement within a team. This varies from team to team. It could be anywhere from 6-12 hours to 24 hours. If you deal regularly with customers, it might be 1 – 3 hours. It’s important for workers to establish these rules so they’re not constantly living in their inbox.

Email is a powerful tool, but also highly disruptive if not properly used. Unfortunately email is also everyone else’s to do, that takes you away from the to do that you have to do! To be most efficient it is our recommendation that email is best not used for real time communication and that email should be treated as a task and checked 2-4 times per day.

Can Lose Up to 30 Working Days Annually

Workers have a love hate relationship with email. We understand that it’s quick and effective, but at the same time our research shows that we can lose up to 30 working days a year of unproductivity due to email.

You have to treat email as a task. You have to do it once, twice or three times a day. To be optimally effective as a worker, we don’t recommend that you work on a “trickle email” basis.

If you have to get hold of a colleague and need a response within an hour, then email is absolutely not the right platform to do this. You’re better off using Teams Communications when you need a response within the next hour.

That first instinct which is to reply to urgent communications via email, is wrong. It just leads to a ping pong form of communication going back and forth.

Step by Step

Here’s our step by step guide for being more effective and productive in Teams, and using Teams rather than email when you need an instant response to urgent matters.

If you’re working on a document or a project, email notifications will distract you and pull you into a rabbit hole. Research shows that it takes 23 minutes to refocus after a distraction.

1. A best practice is to first deactivate and disabling Outlook email notifications:

Deactivate Outlook email notifications
Deactivate Outlook email notifications, source: SoftwareONE

2. We don’t recommend using emails for urgent issues, but should you receive an “urgent” email, click on the sender’s profile to click on the chat message icon and open up the Teams Conversation view:

Activate the Teams Conversation view
Activate the Teams Conversation view, source: SoftwareONE

3. If the shoe’s on the other foot and you need to send an urgent correspondence, open up Teams and send it in Conversations instead:

Send your message directly in Teams' Conversation
Send your message directly in Teams' Conversation, source: SoftwareONE

In the Teams Conversation screen, you can respond to the sender’s urgent email.

4. From the Teams conversation view, you can go into a voice conversation or a video call.

Check the presence of other Teams users
Start a voice conversation or video call, source: SoftwareONE

Our recommendation is that if you need to communicate in real time – i.e an email that could open up to 20 other emails – then use Teams Conversation.

With real-time communication, it’s always important to be respectful of other people’s availability, and this is where Presence comes in.

Check the presence of other Teams users, source: SoftwareONE

5. If you want to control the number of notifications you receive, a best practice will be to minimize and manage your notifications.

Switch to your settings
Switch to your settings, source: SoftwareONE
Check and update your notification settings
Check and update your notification settings, source: SoftwareONE

Email – Powerful, but Disruptive

In conclusion, email, as incredibly powerful as it is, is also disruptive if it’s not properly used. Email shouldn’t be used for real time communication. When it is used, we recommend a one to one mode and one to few mode as opposed to one to many. If it’s one to many, then using email is more of the exception than the rule.

Look out for the next blog post which breaks down the best ways to communicate to different audience sizes.

If you need to communicate in real time, then use Teams Communications by either going into chat directly from Teams or if you’re in your email, you can reply to your email with an IM.

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Erik Moll

Go-to-Market Manager - Americas

Digital Transformation

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