A WFH Privacy Clip in Blue clipped to a laptop keyboard on a stone table

Why are we so motivated by the Teams Presence Icon?

Can you remember as far back as the good old pre-Covid days? There was a time not too long ago when working from home was a luxury for many of us. Now we (May only be me) get excited just to leave the house and post a letter.

Our new normality has brought new challenges that were not previously obvious to us. How do I stay sane sitting in one room all day? What happened to my lunch time? and why do I really need my colleagues to know that I'm still working while at home?

Working from home has introduced new work collaboration tools and forced many of us to learn how to make a cup of coffee in under 5 minutes just so we could rush back to our computer before the green available icon changes to a not so positive yellow away icon.

According to our recent study of Microsoft Teams users in the UK, 77% of workers return to their computer to move the mouse or tap keyboard keys just to show others that they are available. 34% have told us that they do this regularly.

What do these stats tell us? Are we not working at home so feel the need to cover our tracks every 5 minutes? I think the MS Teams icon can sometimes feel like a KPI that must be met to justify the trust our employer puts in us while we work from home.

I believe that we generally want to work hard and do a good job for our employer and for ourselves. This is remains true whether in the office or while working from home. So why does the little green icon matter so much to us?

Maybe we want to be available for our colleagues. Maybe we want recognition of our commitment to the job. Maybe the terminology of the icons misrepresents what's really happening.

The Teams icon status can be Available or Away as well as a few other titles. These titles must have been created by Microsoft in the context of a user being Available for an action on Teams or being Away from Teams and therefore cannot partake in a collaborative activity of some sort. Being on Teams is not the same as working but I wonder if the Term Away is being interpreted by employees as a statement to others that they are Away from work.

For all those hard workers wanting to stay Available and not Away, we have invented Caps N Lock®. Our low cost invention helps Microsoft Teams users' keep icon green without the need for software or mouse jiggler USB connections. Just clip the Caps N Lock® device to Caps Lock key while in a field in Microsoft Teams.

Caps N Lock is available on Amazon from just £5.99 in white with Free Amazon Prime next day delivery.

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