“…we need to stop calling it ‘working from home’ and start calling it ‘living at work.’” Tweet from Dr. Heather De-Quincey
I think of this quote often, as, like many of us, I find myself trying to walk the tightrope between work and home responsibilities, such as supporting my young children. From one remote worker to another, it’s not been easy. But it hasn’t all been bad, and I’ve taken some great lessons from this past year: about how to better manage my time, better connect with my team and how to be more productive. Some of the most impactful adaptations have come about because of my role as a Microsoft Surface Specialist. And that means I spend much of my day working on a Surface device, which turns out to be my favourite thing of all in this new remote world. Why is it my favourite? Let me share.
When a video call isn’t just a video call
When it comes to finding ways to make our day-to-day work lives easier, one of the biggest differentiators between my Surface and other devices is the level of quality in the video and audio capabilities. When I’m on a Microsoft Teams call with someone on another device, sometimes it feels like I’m looking at surveillance camera footage with the grainy, choppy image. But I find that on my Surface, the resolution and sound are both consistently crystal clear.
Why is this important? If I am on a Teams call with other Surface users, the image and audio are so sharp and crisp, it can actually feel like we are sitting at the same table having coffee together and chatting. For minutes at a time, or sometimes the entire call, my brain allows me to forget I am at home on a video call.
Attending video calls has become a new way of life, personally and professionally. Having a device that complements instead of complicates those calls can do wonders to improve your day and enhance your virtual face-to-face relationships.
One click connectivity
Yesterday I jumped on a Teams call to answer some questions with my team and we got everything resolved in less than five minutes. Having a call was more efficient than sending numerous emails back and forth. In fact, I see myself incorporating more video calls into my day when we go back to in-person work; trying to gather people together and find a meeting room to have quick discussions often takes longer than the discussion itself.
Part of the reason it works is that the connectivity with Microsoft Teams, and Surface is second to none. There are no browser windows to navigate or links to click, making it quick and seamless to jump from one meeting to the next. I go right into the call – no delays, no connections.
Collaborating made easy
One thing I noticed in the early days of the lockdown was how much I missed collaborating with my teammates, sharing ideas and working together to bring an idea to fruition. Then I realized that I can use my Surface to connect and collaborate with colleagues in real-time, making edits in the same document by using Teams. This saves us valuable time and keeps us from feeling disconnected from each other.
When it comes to creative brainstorming, I’m a visual thinker and need to literally paint a picture when presenting a concept or idea. I’ve had devices in the past that had pen functionality; at most it was neat to have, but I rarely used it. But my Surface Pen lets me draw out my ideas to paint that picture and bring my idea to life. Likewise, with my kids: when I’m not working on my Surface, they’re quick to grab both pen and Surface to create their own beautifully creative artwork, something both they and their grandparents enjoy sharing on our weekly family video calls.
Control the controllable
What I love about my Surface is the focus on me, the person using the device. I don’t have to think about my video quality or limit my collaboration efforts to emails. I can express my creativity, see the expressions on my colleagues’ faces when they don’t understand my perspective, and appreciate the joy of my parents enjoying my children’s latest creations.
If you think it’s about time you had a new favourite device, reach out. I’d be happy to share more info about the Surface and how it might just make the difference for you and your team!
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