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Microsoft Office 365 and Your Business: Boost Productivity with the Right Tech Tools
The workplace is becoming more and more digital every day. New tech tools are developed regularly, and most have the same goal—to make your life easier. While some new developments end up making life harder because they are hard to learn, cumbersome, or have glitches or bugs, most are specifically designed to be easy to understand and use. Getting things done faster and more efficiently is a huge driver for technology generally, but that is especially true today.
Defining the Modern Digital Workplace
The “Modern Digital Workplace” is a phrase used today that describes utilizing the technology that is most useful for your team. It helps your team by:
- Making collaboration easier
- Training and educating faster and more efficiently
- Compiling documents and information in an easy-to-use and access way
- Automating processes, to the extent possible, in a way that make sense for your industry and your team
- Improving digital processes not only internally, but also with partners, suppliers, and other third parties
Technology, when used properly, can make the entire workplace run in a much smoother, more efficient way. New tools allow your team to meet the needs of customers, and the business as a whole, better. When goals are easier to accomplish, productivity gets a huge boost.
The Obvious Connection: Technology and Productivity
In general, the new digital workplace focuses on improving three key areas of a company. These include the following:
- Employee Collaboration. When employees can team up and get work done easier, it makes projects faster and more efficient. Sometimes talking to one another is the best way to come up with new ideas and simply ensure that everyone is getting their job done effectively and promptly. Making sure that information and the ability to connect with one another is all on one platform is one of the best ways to encourage and foster this type of collaboration.
- Content Collaboration. Many teams work on the same content at similar times. Being able to share documents, files, and even external information at the same time can be a huge time saver within a company.
- Business Application. Administrative processes, such as workflow, forms, and rules, can often be automated in a way that cuts down significantly on processing time and time spent requesting or obtaining status updates. Even something as simple as creating digital versions of forms and allowing employees or third parties to input the information themselves can be a huge time saver in many industries.
Transparency regarding work product and processes is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your team is getting their work done and creating a final product that is the best version that you can provide.
Certain technologies often focus on a different area of these three overarching ideas. Some attempt to address all of them, while others target just one or two sections of particular concern. When all three can be addressed, you have a powerful system that encourages accountability, efficiency, and, in turn, productivity.
Office 365’s Role in the Modern Digital Workplace
Office 365 has been created with the Modern Digital Workplace in mind. It is specifically designed to address these three major concerns in an easy-to-use way.
While Office is commonly associated with their most popular programs, like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, they have a whole host of programs that can significantly boost your team’s productivity because they make collaboration and transparency ridiculously easy.
Microsoft’s email program, Outlook, has been a staple for many businesses for years. Outlook is more than just email, however. Users can use the calendar to schedule meetings and create task lists. They can also create contact lists and share documents through OneDrive. Outlook’s key focus is employee collaboration.
This relatively new feature allows employees and third parties to chat, share documents, work on documents at the same time, schedule meetings, have audio and visual video calls, create notes, and more. It is also integrated with several very popular apps and services, including OneDrive, SharePoint, Yammer, Dynamics 365, and Skype.
Microsoft Delve shows what your team is working on, popular documents, and provides insightful information to workers who might be interested in them. Employees develop profiles, and they can find and organize information based on interests. It also allows workers to search for documents that are connected through SharePoint and OneDrive.
Yammer is similar to a social networking site, but it is limited to your employees and other workers. It is designed to encourage communication throughout your organization. Its focus is on ensuring that information is accessible and shared at virtually every level.
This tool allows your team to create new plans, assign tasks, share files, and organize projects. You can easily see what people are working on and get updates on progress for various tasks. This type of open communication makes assigning projects and getting status updates easy and more efficient.
SharePoint and OneDrive
OneDrive is a straight-forward means to share files, both internally and externally. SharePoint uses sites and files, team news, lists, libraries, and more to encourage collaboration on documents and files. Both are based on sharing information in the cloud.
This tool is focused on making internal processes easier and more efficient. It helps automate and exchange data. It has built-in alerts and notifications to help address organizational processes like approvals, multi-stage processes, and more.
Using Office 365 to Help Your Business
Every company is different. Office 365 has enough unique tools focused on making your company better that you are bound to find something that fits well for your needs. Encouraging collaboration and automated processing can lead to huge productivity boosts for your business.