Creating digital teams in Webex Teams series : Chapter 1: When you are with or without your office
Creating digital teams in Webex Teams series
The “Creating Digital Teams in Webex Teams” series we will spotlight techniques in managing and inspiring remote and #WFH teams. Learn how the Webex Platform and Webex Teams can help transform your team into an engaged, creative and productive no matter if people are across the hall, town or globe.
Managing a digital team using Webex Teams
As a people manager at Cisco, I manage a team spread across multiple time zones and countries. There are many #WFH resources out there these days but for this series of blogs I thought I would focus on how to build and manage a digital team using the Webex Platform with Webex Teams.
Connecting your team
First, what is Webex Teams? Webex Teams is what I consider my collaboration “nerve center” where all of the people I work with, the apps I use, and the meetings/tasks/workflows associated to getting work done are located. Its where all of the activities before, during and after meetings can live, and, if done right, you can shorten your meetings and maybe not have as many meetings throughout your day but everyone can be on the same page regardless where they are located. Here are just a few pointers to get you started.
Get some space
Go here and learn about and setup your Webex Teams account. Next, you will need some Space. Yes, everyone needs a little space. A space in Webex Teams is like a virtual huddle room you can have with 1 to as many people as you want where you can message each other, share files, co edit files you have in OneDrive and Google, post pictures, GIFs, and capture all of the activities before, during and after a meeting on Webex. At Cisco, we use Microsoft OneDrive, Sharepoint and Smartsheet a lot and within Webex Teams it brings everyone’s ability to co create content, materials and projects in a much more efficient manner. (screen shot of ecm integration or video link)
Create a space and a meeting in one step
As a best practice I setup a space in Teams, in this case “Joshua Tree Project”( highlighted in a yellow box in the picture), that could be about a particular topic/idea/outcome with a group of people (which could include partners and suppliers – notice the external user in the invite) and schedule the initial meeting in just a one step process.
If you have Calendar services enabled with Webex Teams you can create a Webex Teams space automatically from your meeting calendar invites from Outlook or Google:
1. Create a meeting invite in Outlook / Google and invite the people you want to the meeting
2. In the location field, type in @webex:space
3. Hit Send.
Then, auto”magically” your Webex Teams space will have all of your participants and meeting title as the name of the space. That’s it, chat, message, call, meet, share with your team.
Create a virtual watercooler with your team (internal and/or external members)
In this time of uncertainty, people are feeling isolated at times and that can cause stress and anxiety. To help bring a sense of community and togetherness, at Cisco we have leveraged Webex Teams to create “Ask Rooms”. An Ask Room is just like a virtual watercooler in your office. People can post messages, questions and others can respond with reactions, answers etc. At Cisco we have found the level of engagement in these rooms is pretty high and people love to keep in touch with each other. And better yet, create an ASK space with your customers/partners too, you will be surprised how much a little TLC can go! As a customer and partner obsessed organization, we on average have 30-40% of our spaces with external, outside of Cisco, participants. This helps diversify our community and accelerates new ideas.
Simply create a space with a topic that you feel would have a wide audience, invite people to it and invite the EURL bot (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help provide a URL link for users in your company to discover and join by sharing the link on an intranet page or email. For smaller groups, you can create a Team within Webex Teams and add people as members, then as you add more Ask spaces, everyone will get invited and aware of the space.
If you have a watercooler type room with your immediate team, keep things light. On my team we often share pictures from our weekends, family event and we even have a goat farmer in the tribe that keeps us updated on best practices in raising goats (and yes, I mean real goats).
Be genuine and be yourself
In work, as in the rest of our lives, being recognized is just an important as the work itself and having each other’s back is important. This idea is even more with working remote where giving the extra pat on the back or seeing someone in the hallway and letting them know you appreciate what they did doesn’t happen easily when everyone is virtual.
Within Webex Teams we have the ability for people to add GIFs and reactions to messages within context along with notification of who left the reaction etc. Keeping things light within the Team is important these days, don’t you agree? (pic of reactions in teams, thumbs up, celebration emoji etc).
Stay active, have fun
It can be really hard to balance communicating to others if you are available or not and where you could be located at any one time. Many times, I am in a meeting or sharing my desktop or other times I need some quiet time to get some work. The problem that occurs is then people start messaging/interrupting/calling it can be really difficult to get anything done. This is where Webex Team’s presence really shines.
Webex Teams can automatically show if you are away from your app, if you are in a Webex meeting, sharing your desktop and even on a phone call. Secondly as a user I can create custom statuses (screen shot below) to my community so they know either where I am located, if I need some quiet time or if there is an important message I want them to know. For me personally this has brought much needed balance back into my workday as I can feel connected to the team and vice versa without having to sacrifice my mental well being.
Well, that’s a few pointers for now. The next blog post will be Chapter 2: Stay (Faraway, So Close) covering co creation tools built right into Webex Teams.
Apr 07, 2021 — Aruna Ravichandran
Apr 02, 2021 — Aruna Ravichandran