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 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
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