Team dynamics are quickly changing. Today, more than 37% of workers have worked virtually in some capacity, which can make it difficult for organizations to collaborate effectively when everyone seems to be in different places at different times. ¹
Fortunately, Office 365 makes it easy for organizations to improve productivity and collaboration with cloud-based productivity apps. With more cloud integration, there is expanded connectivity options because work and collaboration no longer need to be done in one central location. Workers are given the flexibility to work out of the office, management has the tools for effective and oversight, and all work is maintained in a secure environment.
Here are five ways that Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite can enable your team to work better together and increase productivity.
1) Anytime Accessibility
Desktop email and collaboration is being gradually replaced by mobile and web apps, and the stats are here to prove it: mobile now accounts for 51% of email open rates and there are no signs of this trend changing.²
A key component to workplace productivity is the ability for organizations to meet the expectations of their employees. Responding to emails and phone calls in the office just doesn’t cut it anymore for today’s tech savvy workforce. On-the-go access to email, chat, and documentation is an essential component to workplace collaboration.
With Office 365, each user can sync their license with multiple devices allowing them to video conference from the airport lounge while they’re waiting for flight, or edit a presentation while working at home for the day. With security authentications, organizations also know their data is safe and secure.
2) Collaborate in the Office or On the Go
Businesses are shifting away from expensive desktop suites and moving to scalable services to easily edit documents online and avoid version control issues from email ping pong. Among enterprises, workloads have shifted to private cloud usage with 43% of enterprises using the cloud compared to just 22% in 2015. ³ By 2020, Gartner forecasts that cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50% of IT outsourcing deals.4
Through a seamless integration with Office 365, OneDrive allows team members to access all of their files and track the activity on any document. Instead of fighting with spotty Internet or no connection at all, users can sync local copies of files or folders to view and edit offline. Once reconnected, all work that has been done offline will sync. Users have more flexibility and peace of mind that they won’t lose their work without a stable Internet connection. From there, documents and files can be shared inside and outside of the organization, making it easier to communicate with clients, work on a joint project, and manage shared files and folders. As an added bonus, more than 270 files types can be viewed right from the browser.
For more advanced collaboration, SharePoint Online provides robust capabilities for creating team or intranet sites, and allows file creation and sharing, customized workflows and added intranets and applications. Content is managed and searchable in metadata library with improved navigation support.
3) Connect with Customers and Colleagues
Productivity is improved when infrastructure is simplified for employees and they have access to the tools and resources they need in one place. Instead of switching between various apps throughout the day, bundling communications means using one platform to call, conference, video and share. Disparate communication systems may seem like a small issue, but it can derail or significantly affect employee productivity.
Skype for Business allows all contact information is available in one place so employees don’t have to search for phone numbers. Users can connect from any device using HD video and audio meetings. Skype for Business offers functionality for video conferencing, online meetings, and instant messaging as productivity tools for any size organization.
A unified communications platform allows for better intra- and inter-office communications. Communication is improved by easily setting up meetings, video-conferences, and making calls Employees benefit from increased communication, and in turn are more motivated, boosting productivity.
Customers also benefit from a bundled communications system: response times are shorter, employees can easily manage customer concerns, and directly connect with customers by voice or video chat. When employees are able to complete work efficiently, customers are directly impacted with a better overall service experience.
4) Chat with Your Teams
Keeping everyone in the loop on a project can be challenging, and collaboration is key to keep up with the different ways people work so they can come together in a more purposeful way.
OneNote revolutionizes the way teams work because communication isn’t only by instant messaging. Users can communicate with snaps (pictures), voice recordings, worksheets, even hand drawings to easily share anything they want to get across in real-time. Sometimes the best ideas don’t come from sitting at a desk and now there’s an easy way to record and share ideas with everyone on your team.
Microsoft’s recent release of Teams also made chatting and sharing files a whole lot easier for members in and outside of an organization. Team members could create a group chat to collaborate on a project, and even invite their freelancer who regularly contributes to content strategy. Whatever the case may be, Teams administrators can now grant access to contractors and those outside of the organization, making it easier to communicate and eliminate tedious back and forth emails.
5) Keep Your Data and Documents Safe
A security or data breach impacts an organization’s bottom line and waiting to address data security issues is only a looming threat. Following the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle, they have more than two decades of best practices for building secure enterprise software and online services.
Administrators can place permissions and security control on users, so limits on what can be accessed for employee purposes is controlled. All content and projects are backed up and secure, so they can be accessed at any point. For employee security, users are only allowed to authenticate and use five different devices, so files on unauthenticated devices cannot be accessed.
Office 365 is verified to meet requirements specified in ISO 27001 European Union Model Clauses, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Business Associate Agreement (HIPAA BAA) and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
We hope you found these five ways increasing productivity useful. With changing team dynamics and the rise of mobile technology, organizations can support their workforce with tools that enable new ways to collaborate while still ensuring that systems are secure