Office 365 has gradually been taking over from its non-cloud predecessor since first being released in 2011. Companies have recognized the multiple cloud-based benefits that make it a slam dunk for increasing office productivity.
But there are some business owners who are waiting to make the switch because they’re still unsure about adopting the new subscription model. Others have changed over to the cloud-based Office 365 but aren’t fully utilizing all its collaborative tools.
Our team at Technical Evolutions has seen the popularity of cloud-based solutions grow over the past decade and we’ve helped companies in the Chicagoland area benefit from cloud computing solutions that give them more features and flexibility for less cost.
The 21stcentury office is all about collaboration and streamlining communication to get projects completed faster, reducing rework due to miscommunication, and accommodating a flexible and mobile workforce.
Over half of offices around the world use Office 365. (Wire19)
How can you take advantage of the tools in Office 365 that have made it the most popular office suite on the planet, adopted by 56% of businesses?
We’ve got six collaborative ways you can be using this platform to increase productivity in your own office today.
Make Your Team More Productive with Office 365
Collaboration is all about keeping everyone on the same page and leveraging the best of your team assets on a task or project. 86% of executives and employees state lack of collaboration contributes to workplace failures.
As one of the most well-adopted cloud platforms, Office 365 has collaboration built into its core. Here are several ways you can use it for more fluid, all-inclusive workflows.
1. Use OneDrive for Dynamic File Sharing
Microsoft Office 365 includes the file storage and sharing platform OneDrive. Not only does it give you safe, cloud-based storage for your files, but it also makes it easy to share with others both inside and outside your organization.
No more frustrations with email attachments being too big to send or trying to find the latest version of a draft you’re working on with another person. With OneDrive you can share a single file or folder with anyone by sending a link and it always keeps the most up-to-date version of a file easily accessible to the authors.
2. Use Microsoft Teams as a Communications Hub
Microsoft Teams is included in the Office 365 Business Essentials and Premium plans and can completely transform your office communications. It’s a tool that enables team chats that are divided into specific channels, which can be based upon a particular project, department, or subject.
This allows you to eliminate inefficient emails going back and forth and keeps communications organized and efficient to improve productivity. Some of the key features of Microsoft Teams include:
- Permission-based chat channels
- Ability to share files in the platform
- Invite those outside your organization to collaborate (clients, vendors)
- Launch both Microsoft and 3rdparty applications from within the platform
- Integrated with Skype for voice and video chats
3. Co-Authoring within Office Programs
Remember the days when you had to wait on someone to finish their edits to a presentation before you could continue working on yours? Not very efficient and no longer a problem with Office 365. You’re able to co-author right inside each program (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc.) and see each other’s changes as they’re made.
It also includes real-time document chat, so you can ask a question right as you’re both working virtually on the same document.
4. Shared Calendar Groups
In Outlook, you can create shared calendars that make scheduling team meetings a breeze. Those included in the calendar group can access, edit, and easily see when someone is available to meet or might be out of the office on a sales call.
As with all Office 365 programs, the calendar is cloud-based and syncs in real-time across all your devices (desktop and mobile) so you’re always up to date with what’s going on in your organization.
5. Team Sites in SharePoint
A dynamic and engaging way to keep everyone up to date with what’s happening in a department is using Team Sites in SharePoint. Groups can easily create an inter-office page that can be updated in real time and includes any important information to share with the rest of the company.
Another productive use of Team Sites is for sales teams to create industry-based or client-focused sales sites that can be used to link customers to pertinent information or proposals fluidly and can be updated on the fly to add new information.
6. Video Chat Anytime with Skype for Business
It’s easier than ever to have a mobile office, with some team members working remotely. Studies have shown that remote workers that telecommute from home tend to be more productive than their office counterparts and take fewer personal days.
You don’t have to schedule a full-blown meeting to get the benefit of video chats with Skype. It can be just as useful for a quick “touch base” to ask a question, just as if you were popping your head into a colleague’s office, as it is for more formal meetings. That face-to-face connection always adds a richer element to collaboration.
Need Help with Training & Optimization for Office 365?
If you’ve been using Office 365 but missing out on some of the collaborative features, give Technical Evolutions a call! We can put a fluid workflow into place for your organization in no time that will make everyone happy and feeling more connected.
Contact us today to get started taking full advantage of Office 365. Call 708-540-6201 or schedule a free consultation online.