Creating emotionally supportive hybrid teams
Inclusive virtual collaboration strategies enable trust and facilitate equal participation in hybrid teams. The uncertai →
Through the 2020 pandemic, Microsoft Teams has stepped up to enable everyone to work their way.
When COVID-19 came along, the need for maintaining continuity in business was more important than ever before. Moving from a state of forced home working, many organizations are now planning their longer term recovery and flexible working configurations. Employers who had initially been hesitant to try flexible working suddenly realised they needed to embrace it and started adopting collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams. We spoke to Sandhya Rao, Principal Product Manager at Microsoft Teams to find out more about how the pandemic has changed the way the world works, and the effect that has had on Microsoft Teams.
Our work at Microsoft Teams has really changed over the past few years and I think our growth can be attributed to two main factors: globalization and the growing need for collaboration.
Many large enterprises are growing and working through globalization. Today, I work with people in India, China and Prague – there’s no way I could see them in person – I’d be travelling the whole time. I absolutely need some sort of remote work software to be able to connect with them on a regular basis.
Working teams are becoming much more integrated now. No matter where we are in the world, in order to build a successful product, we really do need to stay ‘lockstep’ with each other in order to understand what each other is doing. When we think generally about how teams are collaborating, there’s much more integration that’s required – software like Teams is critical to that. Emails alone simply don’t work – quick chats and real-time conversations are so important to a happy, productive working life.
COVID-19 brought many changes, and it was incredible to see our own team come together to figure out creative and innovative solutions to be meet the new demands of the time.
At Microsoft Teams, I work on devices, and one thing in particular that I noticed was the rising importance of the peripheral devices. I mean, even the name signifies it’s kind of ad-hoc or on the side, but they became something essential for people when COVID-19 hit, because all of a sudden your world is turned upside down and your work and home lives are intrinsically linked. Suddenly, you find yourself working from home and maybe you’ve got kids running around, maybe there are dogs barking. In fact, I have a dog and I’m hearing him barking while we do this interview. You’re just trying to keep your job and stay productive.
For me, my teammates and other people I talk to, something as simple as having a good headset really gives you peace of mind. You put it on, and it’s like you’re getting dressed for work. You’re focused, you can concentrate and you can block out the noises around you. It feels like you can actually do your job in a less stressful setting.