My Virtual Presence Challenge

In my last blog I spoke about my role as the Customer Success Manager for Microsoft FastTrack – I’m like a waiter in a restaurant (see recap). What I didn’t mention is that internally in the business, my role is very similar – I am a member of a team and my team’s success is also my success! #OTOD

My Challenge

How can I be a part of a team if I’m, say, away on holidays?

Easter break (now over) – was perfect time to take some time off! But what is the best way to do it? I mean, yes, I applied for leave and … well, is that It?

During my holiday break I’d like to stay in contact with my colleagues by sharing my good moments (like my food pictures) and help with urgent work needs. What is the best way of doing this?

Virtual Presence

Much like Dr Sheldon Cooper when creating his virtual presence, I too, want to create my very own virtual presence so that everyone not only knows where I am but can also get in touch when they need to.

The Solution: Virtual Presence

With enterprise social networks and collaborative platforms like Microsoft Teams and Yammer, I can create a simple yet effective virtual presence.

Here are four actions I can take every time before going on holidays:

  1. Action 1: Status:To ensure everyone knows when I am there and when I am not, I will be displaying my “availability” by using Microsoft Teams as well as leaving a note in “my status”. This will tell everyone where I am and when I’m back.
  2. Action 2: Post:By creating a post on Yammer to notify my peers that I am away for a short period of time. I have established a notification communication as well as a method for my peers to comment and react to my presence (hopefully Likes).
  3. Action 3: Out-of-Office:lastly, the most common one. I will create an out-of-office message from Microsoft Outlook to say, “Hey, I’m away during the Easter break, for anything urgent contact our FastTrack Team Leader”. This ensures any emails I get go to a member of my team.
  4. Action 4: Check-in:During my absence, if a message has been sent to me through any of these platforms, I will get a notification. This way I will be able to reply quickly. I am not expected to work on my vacation but at least I have the option of staying in touch with my peers.


While my leave was great, and I achieved a 90% success rate of informing people of my whereabouts, the real benefit of virtual presence is that I made myself more “Visible” to our business than ever before.

Using Microsoft Teams, I can engage in quick informal conversations with my peers whether I’m in the office, at home or on holidays.

I can also keep in touch with my network of subject matter experts on Yammer, ask question, give answers and share knowledge.

Your Challenge

I have noticed that my colleagues pay close attention to my status. What about you?

Do you create your own virtual presence when on leave? Give it a go next time you’re away and let me know how it went.

If you’d like to learn more about Teams and Yammer or how to get most out of your O365 subscription, get in touch!

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