As we clean off the kitchen table and get back to work from a much-needed holiday respite, it is time to re-assemble our ‘at home’ office and kick off 2021 with a resolution to make this year even more productive than last year. With the COVID vaccine rolling out at what is predicted to be a faster-than-anticipated pace, it won’t be long before we will regain (at least some) freedom for face to face interactions.
Make no mistake, we won’t be sweeping everything we learned during 2020 under the rug and going back to the ‘old normal.’ During 2020, in an effort to remain successful, workers and organizations learned to adapt. Some major changes that occurred in 2020 include the following:
However, it is not all good. Despite the productivity gains from ‘at home’ work, there are still business activities that can’t be performed ‘from remote,’ including the following:
Because these activities are critical to a business’ success, we will need to find a balance between ‘at home’ work and ‘face to face’ time. But with companies shuttering offices, the new normal will likely involve more work from regional, satellite offices. This arrangement will help optimize the savings realized from reduced commute times and reduced office space with the opportunity for face to face interactions.
There’s no doubt that in this new Digital Workplace, people will continue to spend much of their time working independently and collaborating with colleagues remotely. Because communications with external parties like customers, suppliers, and partners will continue using email, telephone calls, and virtual meetings, workers will face two main challenges:
The good news is that you already have what you need to deal with these two challenges; it is called Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 includes many apps that address the problem of finding information and getting help from colleagues. If only there was a way to get them to work together? For example, when you communicate with a customer using Outlook email and then want to discuss the customer’s questions with your colleagues, you need to switch over to Teams and re-orient yourself. The result is disconnected conversations that become difficult to follow.
How do you get Outlook and Teams to work together seamlessly, so you can find information when you need it AND reach out to colleagues in context, so you can remain productive? To view the answer for yourself, I invite you to view this week’s webinar entitled “The Role of Email in the Post-Pandemic Digital Workplace” that demonstrates a new streamlined user-experience for Microsoft 365 that enables ‘at home’ and ‘in office’ workers to be productive with Outlook, Teams, and SharePoint, by focusing on the business task at hand rather than toggling between tools looking for information and for help from colleagues.