Microsoft Teams has come to the forefront of modern workplaces during these changing times. There is never a good time for a global pandemic, but I wonder how different life would be had this occurred in the 1990’s with one telephone in a house and no internet. (That’s for my next blog)
From our own personal point of view at Redmoor, we implemented Microsoft Teams in the summer of 2019 with the aim to streamline the number of WhatsApp groups myself and my colleagues were in. Any work tasks that were assigned now had a formal home to sit in and would not be lost in a WhatsApp group.
From this grew the ability to have the same number of Teams/Channels, but with the bonus of file sharing in one place, video meetings, the ability to collaborate and importantly, keep sight of task management.
One of my personal favourite things about Office/365 ever since I have used Microsoft products, from all the way back in 2003, is Tasks.
Implementing tasks all the way back then obviously helped me plan my day/week/month/year ahead, but it also enabled me to create the holy grail of an empty inbox at the end of every day. This still amazes people to this day but without question, Tasks gives you peace of mind and enables you to respond to emails in a timely manner and not get buried in thousands of others.
Tasks/Planner now sits within teams and you are now able to assign a piece of work to a colleague, monitor progress and receive a complete notification without the need to speak in person. Scale this up over an organisation and you will have a tool that can monitor an organisations productivity, workflow and help you to resource plan.
So where will Teams end up in 5/10 years?
- App integration
Microsoft are currently integrating productivity apps that we all use within Teams. As things stand, going back to the native apps is a far better experience. Even using word in Teams is limited compared to finding the document in your own folders and using the native app. If these barriers can be overcome, then you might not know what Word/Excel are in the future. They may just be a tab in Teams.
- Driverless Cars
If I had to put a fiver on it, I think we are 5/6 years away from it being illegal for me and you to drive a car on the road (you won’t be able to get insured). People wont own cars (cheaper to hire an Uber at £5 a journey) but when you get into one you will have a full Microsoft Teams experience. You call a car to pick you up at 9am, and the moment you leave your drive you are in Teams. You could be in a video call, working on a project plan or using IM to chat with your team.
That this might seem extreme to some people but if you calculate the saved journey time over the year (30 mins each way) then the average person could still work 9am-5pm and save themselves 261 hours a year or 8 days by turning their commute into a productive hour!!!!
Ps, I think people will pay to drive for hobbies at the weekend, who doesn’t like driving.
- Learning Environment
As things stand there are 4.4 billion users who are able to access the internet. By 2022 we are looking at an extra 1.6 billion internet users. What will these users do? A body of users who want to learn, educate themselves and grow. Teams lends itself perfectly for connecting these new users to a vast array of education that was otherwise unattainable. 6 billion people could have the potential to purchase a degree from some of the most prestige education centres in the world.
- Death of emails
If you can assign a task to a colleague, monitor progress and use instant messaging in a Teams channel, is there a need for an Email?
The less risk averse will always fall back on the fact an email was sent, but with the auditing in Teams and the live updates of tasks then I can see email falling by the wayside. Ultimately, I would hazard a guess that your inbox is merged into Teams.
- Office buildings
Why would you need an office to go to? It is entirely possible that you work for a company and never meet your colleagues face to face in the future. Teams has created this possibility. Now, parking aside the benefits of human interaction, Teams has created an environment for you to work with colleagues across the globe and never meet. This has obvious benefits for office leasing costs and but also gives you the chance to work with a wide range of people that was otherwise unavailable.
- Augmented reality
The current whiteboard experience in a Teams meeting is one of my favourite features. Now imagine working on a virtual whiteboard using floating post-its, with colleagues in entirely different locations. Rather than a person calling you via the teams call app, colleagues appear on a chair in front of you.
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