The unintended consequences of remote working

Discover five common unintended consequences of remote working and how Microsoft Teams can address them all to give you a secure, efficient collaboration solution.

The unintended consequences of remote working

Discover five common unintended consequences of remote working and how Microsoft Teams can address them all to give you a secure, efficient collaboration solution.

The majority of UK organisations are firmly committed to a flexible working future, with more than three-quarters of them now offering a hybrid working policy. And it’s proving a big hit with employees, with 83% preferring the split between home and the office. But it isn’t all sunshine and roses.  
 
Hybrid working comes with its own set of challenges. In fact, some have so casually crept into our everyday working lives, that you may not even realise they’re a challenge. 
 
The good news is the right technology can help organisations navigate these daily work gripes and thrive. And by technology, we mean Microsoft Teams. It’s the preferred platform of choice for over two-thirds of UK businesses, helping employees collaborate more effectively, wherever their work takes them. 
 
Let’s dive into the five unintended consequences of hybrid working, and how Teams can help you avoid them.

1. Commuter regret

You’ve got people to catch up with and clients to speak to, so despite the long commute you decide to work from the office. But when you get there all the meeting rooms are booked, there’s no free desks, and the person you really needed to see isn’t even in. Only 28% of companies have established team arrangements for hybrid work to define why and when to go to the office.

How Microsoft Teams can help

Microsoft Teams allows you to set your work location. So, you can let people know if you’re working from the office or remotely, making it easier to coordinate in-person meetings, while ensuring you don’t have a wasted trip into the office.

Microsoft Places, a new connected workplace platform that will reimagine hybrid and in-person work, is also launching soon. It will be integrated with the Microsoft 365 solutions organisations use every day, like Teams, and is packed with features to banish commuter regret forever.

‘Hybrid scheduling’ allows you to view the week ahead and see when your colleagues are planning to be in the office. That way, you can adjust your schedule to ensure you’re in the office the same day as the people you need to closely collaborate with.

‘Intelligent booking’ will also help employees discover available spaces in the office with the right technology to match their meeting purpose. And it even offers recommendations for the shortest commute times, to ensure you don’t miss that all-important meeting due to heavy traffic or road closures.  

2. The hot desk headache

Flexible working means you’re no longer bound to a dedicated desk. You therefore need your technology to follow your schedule – from desk to meeting room to car to home, or wherever else your work takes you. And you need to be able to pick up from where you left off when you arrive at your next location. Multiple devices and ways of getting in touch can also lead to missed calls and information, damaging productivity. 

How Microsoft Teams can help

The new Teams Phone Mobile from Microsoft brings Teams and mobile together, to create a seamless user experience for all workers, not just those in the office or at home. You can make and take calls from your mobile phone number or Teams and switch between native dialler, mobile app or desktop seamlessly, allowing you to work from any location, device or network. 

With a single number for mobile and desk, combined call history, unified voicemail and messages, it’s easy to keep track of calls, no matter what device you’re using. You can also record your calls and get live transcription via the Teams app, particularly useful if you’re taking a call on the move.

Teams Phone Mobile also offers a consistent collaboration experience. With everything available on one platform, across any device, you don’t have the headache of trying to remember where documents are saved and what device people called you on. Helping employees to stay focused, and productive.

3. My door’s always open

Do you remember when you used to work in the office and someone wanted to speak with you? They’d give you a nudge and ask politely whether you could catch up in five. With hybrid working, you’re seen as always available. Direct messages, calls to your desk phone and mobile – it’s digital overload.  There’s been a 32% increase in chats sent per person since March 2020, and it’s leading to digital exhaustion.

How Microsoft Teams can help

Status updates can let people know when employees are busy. And they can even set custom ones, like “Out for lunch, back at 1”. Teams can also change online availability automatically. By automating these changes, employees are more likely to get quality ‘head down’ time.

You can also schedule two hours of ‘focus time’ into employees’ calendars. During this time, their online status is updated to “Focusing” and behaves like “Do Not Disturb”, preventing messages, @mention notifications and calls from being received. Calendar management can also help.

If employees clearly label time in their calendar for meetings, focus time, and so on, people can clearly see their availability, and will hopefully be more respectful – only contacting them if they really have to.  

4. Security? What security?

72% of CISOs agree that the hybrid and remote workforce has a negative impact on their organisation’s security posture. A dispersed workforce means dispersed data across devices, and that not only poses a huge security risk, but it’s also likely to cause breaches of company policies and regulations, like logging on to unsecured public Wi-Fi. Keeping track of, securing, and controlling devices and policies for each employee is therefore a major headache for IT.

How Microsoft Teams can help

Teams Phone Mobile allows organisations to implement enterprise-grade business policies that are secure and compliant across mobile devices and communications. And they can be automatically downloaded and enrolled as soon as a user switches on their device. That means there’s no need for any intervention or technical know-how from the employee.

You can also record compliant calls from any device and get automatic call transcripts straight into your inbox, keeping communications secure and compliant with company policies. Calls from employees’ mobiles can also be configured to appear as though they’re coming from the organisation, to avoid exposing their mobile numbers externally. 

Using a single platform, you only have one set of security protocols to manage, which makes life a whole lot easier for IT, too.  

5. The forgotten new starter

When everyone was working in the office, the process for onboarding new employees was straightforward. But onboarding in a hybrid environment is more challenging. If an employee’s manager or direct report doesn’t work in a fixed location, it can be harder to make new employees feel like a part of a team and get the support and technology (hardware and software) they need to get started quickly, and efficiently.

How Microsoft Teams can help

eSIM capability makes onboarding new employees a simple, cost-effective and seamless process. When an employee turns on their mobile, it’s automatically set up with all the apps, software and company policies they need, ensuring they stay productive and secure from the get-go.

Microsoft Teams also offer tools to help people feel more connected during virtual onboarding and meetings, including chat, polling and breakout sessions. There’s also Together mode, which uses AI technology to create a shared virtual environment, like a meeting room or coffee shop, so participants feel like they’re in the same place together.

Why BT for Microsoft Teams

The new world of work is full of challenges. How many of the above did you not even realise you were putting up with? But collaboration platforms, like Teams, can help organisations and individuals wave goodbye to the daily gripes that make hybrid working feel less smart. By implementing the right tools and policies, organisations can create a more productive, engaged, and happy hybrid workforce. And we’re here to help.  
 
Afterall, when it comes to voice, we’ve seen and done it all. Not only do we manage our own global voice network, but we also support our customers around the world. In fact, we manage over 550,000 Microsoft users from our global data centres.  
 
Plus, with our managed service, we can look after the day-to-day running of your estate, including voice or meeting requests. And when it comes to security, our 3000+ security professionals protect our networks from more than 6,500 cyber attacks each day. So you can trust us to keep your data, devices and people secure.

Coastal train line

Get more from Microsoft Teams with BT

We’re first to market in the UK for Teams Phone Mobile on EE, the UK’s best network. Find out more on how it can help empower your hybrid workforce. 

Get more from Microsoft Teams with BT

We’re first to market in the UK for Teams Phone Mobile on EE, the UK’s best network. Find out more on how it can help empower your hybrid workforce. 

Coastal train line

Get more from Microsoft Teams with BT

We’re first to market in the UK for Teams Phone Mobile on EE, the UK’s best network. Find out more on how it can help empower your hybrid workforce. 

Coastal train line

Get more from Microsoft Teams with BT

We’re first to market in the UK for Teams Phone Mobile on EE, the UK’s best network. Find out more on how it can help empower your hybrid workforce. 

Coastal train line