Whether your business is building a permanent remote workforce or your employees need to work from home temporarily due to various circumstances, having the proper technology in place can either benefit remote work or make it much more complicated than it needs to be.
One resource that businesses can use to enable remote work is Office 365. Office 365 is a suite of productivity tools that leverage cloud services to improve collaboration, communication, and efficiency. Let’s review how Office 365 can be used to help remote employees continue to perform their core functions.
If there is one tool out there that can significantly contribute to your remote workforce’s success, it’s Microsoft Teams. Teams is a great resource employees can use to chat, meet, call, and collaborate, all in one place. Here are a few ways your organization can use Teams to simplify working remotely.
Communicate in Real-Time
Email is a great way to connect with coworkers or clients, but sometimes you need something quicker and easier to connect and deliberate. Microsoft Teams’ chat allows you to instantly message a colleague with a quick question or even a group. It’s so easy that your employees will feel as if they are all sitting in one room, bouncing ideas off of each other.
Work Face to Face
Lastly, the ability to host and join video conferences in Teams is a great way to provide your employees with much-needed face to face time. Sometimes working exclusively through email or chat can feel isolating and more difficult. If you need to hold a meeting or an extended brainstorming session, Teams video conferencing is the perfect way to do that.
Let’s face it; one of the hardest parts about working from home is the seemingly endless number of distractions. Whether it’s your children coming home from school or your dog searching for some attention, it can be hard to focus — especially if you are working with your coworkers. Teams provides a perfect solution with background blur.
With this feature, you can blur the environment around you, meaning your teammates only have to worry about focusing on you and the task at hand, not your adorable dog napping behind you.
While working remotely, it can sometimes be a hassle to send documents and projects back and forth between team members. Thankfully, Microsoft offers another excellent tool to help you out. SharePoint is the perfect solution for sharing documents, and it integrates with other tools like Word and Excel to make collaboration effortless and efficient.
Work Together Without Interruption
With SharePoint, you can store, organize, share, and access information and files from any device. The only thing you need is an internet connection. This makes it extremely easy for teammates to work together, even if they are halfway across the world.
Even more, with SharePoint, all of your files are continually kept up-to-date. So, you can see updates and changes made instantly. You can also use it with other Office 365 products, such as Teams and Outlook.
Another helpful Office 365 tool is Outlook. Now, you’ve most likely heard of Outlook and may just think it’s a typical email provider. And although emailing is a definite must for remote workers, that’s not why we consider it so useful.
Easily Schedule Meetings & Connect
One of the best features of Outlook is the ability to schedule meetings on your calendar and connect them directly to Teams. That way, all an invitee has to do is click on the link that is in their calendar.
The Outlook calendar also makes it incredibly easy to block out times in your schedule and share it with your coworkers. If you are on vacation or have scheduled some “do not disturb” time, it’s clearly visible to work around to plan.
Work Directly in Email
With Office 365, the combination of SharePoint and Outlook provides the ultimate platform for quick collaboration. If your colleague has sent you a document using SharePoint, you can access and edit the file directly in your Outlook window. No need to separately login to another system. And the document updates in real-time, meaning you and your coworker can work on it together, seeing each other’s changes.
On top of that, you can set up content notifications to be sent to your Outlook email using SharePoint. So, if anyone edits a file, you will be automatically sent an update, keeping you on top of all your projects even while working remotely.
Working remotely can seem challenging if you don’t have the right tools and technologies in place. Office 365 is a great resource to leverage, which will make everyone’s work easier and more productive. Various payment options are available depending on your organization’s needs, meaning you can find the best fit.
Microsoft even has a recent program that offers six months’ free use of Microsoft Teams. To explore this program or any other Office 365 solutions, contact us today. We can help you determine how to keep your business running smoothly and uninterrupted, even without workers in the office.