Containment was a completely new period for millions of companies around the world, and very small and medium-sized businesses were on the front line when it was necessary to reinvent the way of working on a daily basis without delay. Teleworking has emerged as the most suitable solution: some companies have already started to favor it during public transport strikes or weather events, making it difficult for employees to travel to the office. However, allowing all of the company’s employees to work efficiently from home, while not putting aside the collaborative aspect and the need to come together to move projects forward, necessarily sounds like a challenge. To meet this challenge, a good number of VSEs and SMEs have turned to the Microsoft 365 collaborative work platform: Microsoft Teams.

“Teams did containment on a normal Monday”

For Gautier Papon, chairman of the board of Argolight, the use of Teams did not come with confinement: this industrial TPE which employs a dozen people in Bordeaux has been using Microsoft’s solution since 2016. Already well established in habits from this small company, where teleworking has been frequently practiced since its creation, the Teams solution made it possible to approach the period of confinement in an extraordinarily fluid manner. “The only difference for us is that people haven’t come to work”, explains Gautier Papon. “The first day of the lockdown went like a normal Monday, except that the staff, instead of being in the office, were at home in their living room or in their kitchen. Everything was much easier with Teams. “

Teams being completely free for VSEs and SMEs with less than 300 employees, this necessarily encourages a company like Argolight to use it, both for messaging and video conferencing tools as for online file storage. It also allows employees to work collaboratively on documents associated with company files, thanks to co-publishing tools, which in particular avoid the multiplication of file versions within the same project. “With Teams, employees who are teleworking all the time, such as sales representatives, feel much more integrated into the company, since everyone uses the same channel and all information is shared”, details Gautier Papon.

A force in the continuity of work

While the situation was not necessarily conducive to teamwork due to the remoteness of collaborators, Teams allowed Argolight to operate as usual during lockdown. “We transformed our business meetings into a video call with our customers and prospects. It was very fast ”, explains Gautier Papon. It does not fail to welcome some useful features, such as the ability to blur around you “To hide the disorder” at home, or the calendar function, which allows you to move from one meeting to another without having to search through emails. Welcome tools to streamline distance communication. “For me, the ideal team is a team where there is a lot of communication, and also a bit of challenge, to pull yourself up and achieve the goals set”, concludes Gautier Papon. Such a team must necessarily have tools adapted to expectations and, at Argolight, there is no doubt that Microsoft Teams is part of.

During confinement, nearly four in ten private sector employees teleworked in France, according to a CSA survey for Malakoff Humanis. And while the lockdown has been lifted for several weeks, teleworking is still relevant for many employees. 73% of employees who teleworked during confinement wish to continue working from home from time to time, even after the crisis: a finding that has enough to push companies to turn to sustainable solutions to facilitate interactions between their employees, and promote intuitive collaborative work. With Teams, VSEs and SMEs benefit from tools that are accessible free of charge, and which benefit from Microsoft’s expertise, both in terms of the functionalities available to users and of data security within networks. If Teams has allowed many companies to adapt to the constraints of containment without losing efficiency during a period of the most critical for business continuity, it is easy to understand how this solution can allow everyone to marry, smoothly, this new digital transition, while skilfully responding to the constraints and challenges of our time.

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