Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Instant Messaging During the Pandemic: How to Embrace Your Collaboration Tools Without Over Doing It
First and foremost, I’m well aware of the terribly unfortunate context that is forcing many employees to work from home. Also, I should acknowledge that for many people the work-from-home environment is less than ideal, and they will struggle during these times.
Taking a glass half-full perspective, this scenario has created for many a rare opportunity of uninterrupted productivity. That is to say until notifications from your collaboration apps start beeping out of control.
So, the question is: how do you maintain collaboration, oversight, or even basic social interaction that we so desperately need more now than ever while limiting unnecessary noise and distraction> You need to set team standards for your instant messaging (IM) collaboration tools.
- Leverage your settings. Perhaps the most obvious solution is turning your alerts off. This, however, will undermine the purpose of workplace instant messaging to a large degree. Review the settings of your IM tools, and find a middle ground appropriate for your position and your communication needs. Encourage your team to do the same, so you can all know what to expect in terms timeliness of response. The image below shows Microsoft Teams’ notification settings. You have options – use them effectively.
- Respect status. Whether it’s “in a meeting,” “do not disturb,” or something else as equally obvious, don’t message individuals when they have explicitly told others not to. And to that point, keep an eye on your status to make sure you’re projecting the right one.
- Group chat etiquette. This is not to discourage group conversation at all. Teams need to stay intact. However, there are clearly conversations that need to be had with the team and conversations that should be conducted one-on-one. Have your team determine appropriate guidelines:
- If it only pertains to only one person, take it to a private chat.
- If it requires over five back-and-forths, take it to a private chat.
- Proper medium/channel. IM has a distinct purpose and guess what, it’s meant for quick and simple conversations. Be sure to use the appropriate channel for the appropriate purpose. Have your teams agree upon how what tools are used for what. Example:
- Meetings are still scheduled via your calendar and scheduling tools.
- Documents are still shared via email or document management systems.
- Topics that require a meeting are done so via your VC solution.
- And your personal cell number is your still personal cell number. (Emergencies aside.)
- Work-related content. This a tough one, as you don’t want to discourage the social outlet. However, some scenarios may call for limiting non-work-related subject matter. Some have warned against the dangers of the slackification of work and how quickly subject matter on chat groups turned away from work-related topics. However, most argue that the positive from social cohesion largely outweighs the relatively minor disruptions to productivity.
- Have fun (know your boundaries). It goes without saying these are hard times. IM with your teams allows for some socialization that we need most currently. Antics and hijinks will keep things light.
- Always wear pants – That goes to VC, IM, or any communication to your colleagues. Let’s not lose our humanity.
Image courtesy of Microsoft Teams
If it seems like all of this is overly obvious, it is. But the reality is we have entered a scenario where these types of tools no longer a nicety but essential for teams and organizations to function. Common sense should still prevail, but adding structure to the use of these tools and building your guidelines as a team is necessary to communicate effectively and allow you to make the best of a bad situation.
Want to Know More?
In June 2023, I decided to remove the password on my primary email account as well as the one used to log-in to all of my devices. Did I wait too long? Am I too optimistic this will work without issue? Are there kinks that still need to be worked out? I recently attended Identiverse 2023 and got a FIDO2 hardware token intending at some point in the future to go passwordless. Why wait though? I was pumped up with all the passkey and passwordless sessions I attended and was eager to try this out and share my experience.
If you’re in the market for a password manager or are interested in secrets management, Bitwarden has a powerful platform for you. This unified platform is delivered via a thoughtful and intuitive UI, which Bitwarden Password Manager users will recognize. Bitwarden ranks as top of the Leader Quadrant in SoftwareReviews under the Password Management category, and the company believes its optimized, wide-range passwordless solution set will address most organizations’ needs.
Next-generation firewalls were smarter than previous firewalls, able to deeply analyze traffic and integrate with complementary security solutions. Today our needs are more complex, however, with a 742% increase in software supply chain attacks over the past three years. Sonatype Nexus Firewall has been paying attention and claims its firewall product is smarter about these attacks.
Have you ever thought of what else you could do to take your security operations center (SOC) to the next level and focus on prevention? Look no further – external attack surface management (EASM) was a popular managed service and topic of discussion at Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA) Conference 2023, named after a popular public-key cryptosystem.
Hillstone Networks has positioned itself as a robust and feature-rich provider of not only hardware but also security solutions. With its ZTNA 3.0 release and support for centralized management of IoT assets and incident response, the company embodies a next-generation firewall.
Acronis Offers a Unique Endpoint Protection and Data Recovery Package Tailored for the Small to Medium-Sized Business
Acronis hopes to overtake many competitors in the data recovery and endpoint protection solution space by forging partnerships with many MSSPs and appealing to the SMB market. The company has doubled down by hiring the former CEO of GoDaddy, who is committed to reinvesting in its technology and increasing and improving its product line.
Zoho, a multinational software and web-based business tool provider, has announced the launch of Trident – a hub that brings Zoho’s pre-existing and new unified communications capabilities into a single pane of glass. How will Trident’s addition to Workplace impact customer migrations from Microsoft and Google.
Field Effect Covalence is an EDR/MDR/XDR offering that translates chaos into order.
To revitalize and strengthen business transformation, Avaya has outlined a five-step plan for restructuring its product lines, go-to-market strategy, and balance sheet. This tech note evaluates these five steps, highlighting the main contingencies for each step’s successful rollout.