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4 Ways to Ensure Teamwork Without Boundaries In Government

Mark Hodge, Microsoft Surface Technical Sales Professional

December 20, 2021  |  Collaboration  •  Mobility + End User Devices


Since the Biden administration released its June 10 memo (endorsing maximum telework flexibilities and encouraging agencies to pursue hybrid work policies) there has been much discussion concerning the balance of in-person vs. remote work for optimal collaboration.

Telework has been around in the Federal Government for at least 20 years. Prior to the pandemic, remote work was often considered a temporary condition, or privilege, if someone had to stay home to care for a sick child or oversee repairs in the house. Once the temporary condition was over, it was expected that the employee resumes work in the office. Often, the remote worker used audio-only technology to connect into the conference room. This put the remote worker at a disadvantage since they missed out on much of the rich, in-person collaboration.

The pandemic introduced a level of equality into remote work. Everyone was represented in the virtual meeting by the same video square (pixel real estate). This was an improvement over the asymmetry of audio-only connections.

As organizations return to work with a more permanent group of remote workers, agencies must carefully think about real estate and technology design to prevent bringing back the asymmetry. This will maximize meeting productivity and employee engagement, equality, and inclusiveness in the hybrid work model.

The Hybrid Work Paradox

Employee sentiments across sectors add to the urgency of improving collaborative experiences for all. Consider the hybrid work paradox, for example. Microsoft recently released its Work Trend Index, which surveyed more than 30,000 people across 31 countries, revealing that 73 percent of respondents like the flexibility they’ve experienced during the pandemic (in terms of working from home) and would like that to continue. At the same time, 67 percent say they want more in-person time with colleagues too.

What this indicates is that employees enjoy the flexibility to work where they want while still desiring opportunities to meet in person for fostering team culture and collaboration.

That’s why Microsoft continues to invest heavily in the digital fabric of Microsoft Teams and other collaboration tools to help connect workforces, enable remote employees to convey reactions and emotion, and help everyone (regardless of location) feel like they’re in the room.

Teamwork Without Boundaries

The pandemic has proven that individual productivity tasks that require more “heads down” work can be completed at home while group activities like brainstorming and strategic sessions are better when conducted in person. The challenge that remains is ensuring no matter who’s in the office or remotely connecting, everyone has the same ability to participate and contribute.

The Microsoft Surface Hub moves beyond traditional video conferencing and allows teams (remote or in-person) to co-create digital content. This tool helps organizations defy boundaries and meet the demands of the hybrid workplace with a Microsoft Teams-certified meetings platform and interactive whiteboard that brings hybrid teams together.

Here are four ways Surface Hub is helping ensure teamwork without boundaries in government:

1. Fostering better collaboration for hybrid teams: The truth is many work tasks like problem-solving, brainstorming, decision-making, and learning are done better when you get people in a room together. Surface Hub is a device that brings everyone together-whether working in an office space or remotely. Now, everyone can fully participate with a Microsoft Teams-certified mic array and 4K camera and feel like they’re in the room.

2. Eliminating the hassle of tech set-up: Government professionals have important, mission-critical work to accomplish. The last thing anyone needs is the stress of scrambling ahead of presentations to set up tech and overhead. Surface Hub is battery powered and can be taken anywhere, whether it’s wheeling a ready-to-go PPT presentation into a conference room or conducting group tasks that take place outside the conference room.

3. Making any place teamwork space: Find the right fit for every team. Whether your space is small and intimate, accommodates large groups, or your teams are on the move, you can configure the ideal meeting space with Surface Hub and your choice of Windows OS.

4. Bringing digital transformation to the whiteboard: Surface Hub allows hybrid teams to work together on the same app and share across platforms, collaborating in real time. It’s not just a tool for video, voice, and conferencing but also has Office applications, Edge browser and an interactive whiteboard, with the ability to store any content in the cloud. All you need is to plug into the Internet to be fully operational.

Rethinking the Hybrid Workplace

The Federal Government now has a unique opportunity to preserve team culture throughout agencies, boost employee morale, and help reconstruct the way we all think of work.

As agencies navigate the changes of hybrid work, Microsoft together with Iron Bow are ready to help accommodate these new realities while ensuring agencies can expand the boundaries of teamwork and meet the Federal workforce wherever they are.

 

Want to learn more? Reach out to Iron Bow Technologies to see how we and our partners like Microsoft help agencies expand teamwork without boundaries in the hybrid workplace! Contact Us


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