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If your company hasn’t already upgraded to a newer version of Windows, chances are it will migrate to Microsoft’s latest operating system in the near future. For some people, talk of a migration—or any significant change to tools they rely upon—stirs up anxiety, dread, and other unwelcome sentiments.

That’s because with migrations, it may seem like you and your fellow employees face the greatest challenges. You have invested time and effort creating systems, routines, and other methods to accomplish your tasks accurately and efficiently. A migration can upend processes, impact performance, and weaken confidence.

But changes, like a migration to Windows (no matter the version), can also enable you to be more productive, efficient, collaborative, and innovative. It just depends on how you approach it.

Resistance, while a natural human response, is an impractical solution for many reasons. First, frequent change is now the default state. On personal devices, there’s a steady stream of software updates to install and new or changed functionality to figure out. Business technology is catching up, too. Windows 10 marks the start of Microsoft’s “Windows as a service” approach, with updates and new/changed functionality rolling out as they are ready.

And while your employer can provide support and training to keep you productive, in this new world of work, productivity is a shared responsibility. Your contribution is your willingness to take advantage of the services provided, and to embrace change.

In this new world of work, productivity is a shared responsibility

For a Windows migration, or for any technology change, the smartest approach you can take is a proactive one. Here are five ways to get started:

  1. Identify the steps in your most critical processes and find out if and how they will change in your new Windows environment. The first time you work on those processes after the migration, be sure to give yourself extra time in case you hit any roadblocks. You’ll meet your deadlines and avoid unnecessary stress.
  2. Make a list of shortcuts and customizations you rely on, and find out if and how they will change. Learn how to customize the new version, and block out setup time after the migration. If needed, reserve time each week for additional customization. Set it to recur for a few months, and decrease the frequency as you get up to speed.
  3. Find out what kind of support and training will be provided during and after the migration. Ask how you can get help learning how to use the software, and whom to call for support if you’re stuck on an issue.
  4. When your productivity is back to pre-migration levels, revisit the lists you created earlier—critical processes, customizations, shortcuts—and determine how to improve your processes with new or improved features in Windows.
  5. If your company offers training, sign up, show up and ask questions. Use the recurring block of time you set aside for short bursts of skill-building—attend webinars, take web-based courses, watch instructional videos, and find ways to practice what you learn every day. You can also work on building new skills and incorporating them into your current processes.

Change is almost always unsettling, whether it’s a small feature update or a complete operating system migration. With a proactive approach, however, you can minimize your frustration, decrease your downtime, and build the skills you will need to thrive in the digital future.

Image: Freeimages.com, modified from original

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