Using Teams to stay connected

I've lost count of how many weeks it's been but I have now been working from home since 18th March. Now I am quite used to working from home, as I previously did two days in the office and the rest remotely. My husband, Neil did an occasional day working from home but largely was a daily commuter.

There are some genuine concerns about letting staff work from home as a regular thing. One of these issues is whether it is really possible to keep team spirit and a sense of connectedness (is that even a real word?) I think this depends to a significant degree on the management of the team and the willingness of all members to engage online.

This is where I am so lucky to be part of a team that gets on well, enjoys being connected and generally is willing to do whatever it takes to keep that team spirit high. We've been using Teams (part of the Microsoft 365 suite) to book and participate in online meetings.

This afternoon, we had our weekly huddle. This is a 15 minute meeting just to check that everyone is okay and to update each other on what work we are engaged in. I did check that my team didn't mind me sharing this photo. I just thought it showed really well, what a happy team we are, how much we enjoy our online chats and how we manage to bring a little of our personalities into the whole thing.

Teams screenshot, showing eight of us, all smiling and with a range of fun backgrounds.
In case you are suspicious, this screenshot was completely random. We didn't pose. I didn't even know that it had been taken until afterwards, when I realised I'd lost one of my arms. I'm jolly glad that's not real! Must be something to do with the Minecraft background.

Of course, some workplaces use Skype and some use Zoom, and there are probably other tools in use. I really like Teams, not least because they include Minecraft backgrounds, which is seriously cool. It's also handy that it plays nicely with our email/calendar system. So when we schedule a meeting, we just click a button and it sets up the Teams room automatically.

I wonder whether people are using Teams for online teaching. That would be another good use for it.


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