Our resident (and self-professed) Teams Queen Lyndsay Ansell, Project Manager for Modality Systems, shares her initial thoughts of Teams IM (Instant Message) versus Skype for Business IM, and asks the question: Can Microsoft Teams chat ultimately lead to an increase in productivity?
With Teams and Skype for Business interop coming, I've been getting into the habit of using Teams a lot more recently for chat (direct IM).
At first this seemed a bit clunky to me as there's no way to 'pop out' the chat into a different window. By habit (good or bad, the jury is still out), I'm typically a user who continues an IM conversation - actually, often multiple conversations - in the background of the task that I'm currently working on. But direct chat and working inside Teams channels simultaneously for me is difficult because I find myself having to keep flicking between different areas of Teams, which results in the chat loading and re-loading. My initial instinct was to see this as an annoyance; but I think it might actually prove to help me in the long run.
I'm a huge fan of the 'one thing at a time' approach and agree with the countless articles I've read on the myth of multitasking and pitfalls of context switching. I try as much as possible to focus on completing one task or goal before moving onto the next, without deviating into 6 other tasks along the way. However, IM in Skype for Business consistently breaks my resolve on this.
To appear approachable, I try to keep my presence set to 'available' when I'm not in a meeting (let’s be honest, I’m a Project Manager, if I marked myself as 'busy' every time I am in the middle of something, that would pretty much write off the entire day 😊). The result of this approach is IMs constantly coming through (I know, I’m just that popular 😊), which distract me from the task at hand. Even if I think I'm doing ok switching back and forth between the two, the task is ultimately going to take me longer than it would if I focussed.
So maybe Teams can help encourage me to restrict myself through the chat functionality and not always having it there. As switching windows is a pain, maybe I will think twice before distracting myself from the current task at hand to respond to that chat. If I'm super-urgently needed, I reckon I'd receive a voice call instead.
Here's hoping Teams can help me achieve my productivity goals.
Lyndsay Ansell | Project Manager