Email, Teams, Skype, SharePoint, WhatsApp, Yammer & Co – How to find your way out and back in again

Monday Morning, 7 am. After starting up your computer they appear, red dots … red dots everywhere. 57 emails in Outlook, 6 new conversations in Yammer, 13 mentions in Microsoft Teams updates, 5 chat messages, 2 Skype calls planned for today. The flood of information we receive on a daily basis can be overwhelming, however, important nonetheless. All of these tools are considered part of your digital workplace. The workplace that lets you be more efficient, productive and connected to your colleagues, teams, and ultimately, management.

The problem? A lack of definition, strategy, or system that actually overlook the communication structure in your company probably frustrates your users more than you would assume. But let’s have a look at internal communication nowadays.

Internal Communication Nowadays

As afore mentioned, topics like digital workplace and collaboration are some of the hot topics in more than one industry right now. Remote working, long distance collaboration, team members around the globe. All these things enforce the need for better collaboration tools and stronger communication between coworkers, management, customers, partners, suppliers, etc.

What exactly is a digital workplace?

Technology enables us to work wherever you want, assuming you have an internet connection of course. Anyway, which system do you actually use and how efficiently do you use the toolbox you set up for yourself?

The typical communication structure in a company today:

  • Emails/Outlook
  • Skype for Business
  • Mobile Chat Programs
  • Phone

Throwing Office 365 in the mix adds:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Yammer
  • OneNote
  • SharePoint/Intranet

Promises of transparency and efficiency are often forgotten when you have to start dealing with a number of possibilities and a lack of strategic framework to properly use it.

The result? The same or even worse productivity and frustrated users.

What to consider when setting up a digital workplace?

What to consider when setting up a digital workplace? Happy employees have increased efficiency (1)(2)(3). No imagine how positive it is to have employees being frustrated with the tools they should use on a daily basis to get their work done. Hence, “going” with flow or keeping up with technological development is the first step to support internal communication in your company.

The wrong way of communication

Defining a wrong way of communication is not the goal but think about it. Is there a “right way” of communication stated and set in place in your company? If not, here are some possible reasons why efficient communication is not really working out in your organization:

“We always did it like that”

Organizing ourselves with the current situation is in our nature. We start a routine that works for us and we stick to it. The same goes for tools and functions we use in our daily life, routine settles in. Obviously, we resist if someone tries to mess with our system, often regardless if the system is better or not. It is very difficult to implement a new system where there has not been a system before. Introducing something new always encounters resistance, the question is how you deal with it.

“They don’t use it either”

Role models are crucial for the implementation. Just imagine users being told to reduce email communication internally and use the chat function in Microsoft Teams. However, middle and top management continue to send out emails as usual. It appears as if the management levels are not committed to the change implemented, so why should employees be? If you plan on introducing communication structures, make sure that top management is aware of their role model position.

“Nobody asked how we would like to do it”

Introducing drastic changes such as communication structures and guidelines without consulting the people who are affected can be a critical mistake. The system is supposed to help your users and improve the internal organization. This can only be done if everybody is on board with the idea. This requires you to take the opinions of users into account e.g. via surveys. Thereby, you can assess your current internal communication system and investigate what works and what does not. Which channels are actually used and for what? Not having a channel at all is at least as bad as not having the fitting channel for the respective purpose.

“What do we get out of it?”

Having a system in place means that you organized yourself in order to be efficient. Introducing a new system has to be communicated clearly. Even more so, the benefits the introduction brings with it. Provide a statement of benefits and rewards to users in order to explain why it is worth to go through the change. What will the situation be afterwards? Why and how will it improve?

Here are some more reasons why people resist to change

What it needs and how we do it?

In order to change the internal communication system, it needs communication and structure. The following graph presents the various stakeholders we communicate with on a daily basis as well as the tools used.

Creating a blank canvas and start anew is not feasible anymore but try to restructure your tools according to the needs your users and stakeholders have.

Skype and Microsoft Teams

Using Skype for business to chat with colleagues or customers became the standard. Connecting to people quickly and easily via messages, audio or video chat, that’s what Skype did and will do until it is discontinued. Why? Because there’s something new already finding it’s way into our daily workflows – Microsoft Teams. The states of implementation differ from company to company and user to user. We as cloud service and software provider already implemented Teams as our driver for communication, internally and externally. What we handle with it:

  • Communication between colleagues
  • Communication with management
  • Team conversations concerning projects
  • Video calls with partners and customers

Regardless of the level of sophistication of other functions, lacking governance possibilities, and structural issues because of lacking metadata integration, Microsoft Teams still has, switching from Skype to Teams was easy and worth it.

Yammer

Yes, we also have Yammer implemented in our organization. The goal is simple – reduce your email inbox clutter by using appropriate tools for your messages. That’s why we use Yammer for general information distribution within the company. The sales team regularly posts updates about new customers and projects, new employees shortly introduce themselves to their new colleagues, and developers share the newest information about

trends and changes impacting their work. Regardless of the tool you want to use to support and encourage the establishment of a corporate social network, make sure to choose the appropriate channel for your messages.

Outlook As mentioned in our previous article “The daily struggle of correspondence in project business”, the number of business emails sent and received per day in 2019 is estimated to be shy of 130 billion. Hence, reducing the amount of emails to a minimum not only improves your level of productivity but also distributes informational resources to different channels. Thereby, messages in outlook can be dedicated to communication with suppliers, customers and partners, to share and exchange information relevant for current and future business activities, such as offers, invoices, and contracts.

Our daily business

corner4 is specialized in individual software development and cloud services in the world of SharePoint and Office 365. We help you set up the right tools and structures to improve your internal and external communication.

  • Set up the basis for Collaboration with SharePoint Intranet
  • Consultancy for infrastructure and organization of channels such as Microsoft Teams, Yammer & Co.
  • Ticketing solution for improved customer care
  • Other SharePoint Solutions

About corner4 Information Technology GmbH

corner4 Information Technology GmbH offers sector-independent and tailored Software Solutions and Cloud Services. The portfolio includes applications for desktop, apps for smartphones, cloud solutions, standard web applications, platforms for collaboration and information management based on SharePoint & Office 365. A young and dynamic team with know-how and years of experience in the IT sector, guides and supports you through your project and transforms your ideas and wishes into reality. Our Website For more information, feel free to CONTACT US.

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