Enhancing Productivity and Connectivity in Your Business
We often discuss the importance of workplace efficiency, productivity, and connectivity, especially in today’s hybrid work environments. Creating a thriving environment for your employees is all about bringing everything together through technology. Technology plays a crucial role in enhancing workplace efficiency, productivity, and connectivity. With the rise of hybrid work environments, it has become even more essential to use technology to seamlessly integrate remote and in-office employees. By utilising various tools and software, businesses can streamline workflows, facilitate effective communication, and ensure seamless collaboration among team members. Ultimately, technology serves as the backbone of a thriving work environment, enabling employees to work efficiently and stay connected regardless of their location.
11 Ways Microsoft 365 Unleashes the Full Potential of Technology in the Modern Workplace:
1. Streamlined Knowledge: Sharing Through Cloud Document Management
Many organisations already use Microsoft SharePoint or OneDrive for document management, which liberates business data from file shares, improves searchability, and offers tools for managing version history and user access. These capabilities enhance productivity and knowledge sharing, and Microsoft 365 takes them a step further. With the cloud-based SharePoint Online in Microsoft 365, the improved user interface and interconnectivity make it easy to manage documents in cloud-based libraries and offer seamless document sharing. Microsoft 365 also integrates SharePoint Online with Microsoft Teams, making it easier for employees to communicate efficiently during document creation and management tasks.
2. Enhanced Mobile Access for Anytime, Anywhere Productivity
Microsoft 365 combines the power of cloud computing with a full suite of mobile apps, making it easier for employees to stay productive while travelling, on-site, or working remotely. Microsoft 365 apps focus on individual applications (Word, Excel, Teams, etc.) and are free for small mobile devices. Depending on your company’s needs, you may want to explore additional apps beyond these standard ones to create a truly mobile digital workplace. For instance, you can create an application built with PowerApps that is accessible from any mobile device. Other applications like Planner, SharePoint, and OneDrive also have their own apps that work well together. These apps empower you to concentrate on your organisation’s mission without worrying about your team staying connected and productive on the go.
3. Social Tools That Foster Innovation
Social tools enable employees in your organisation to interact with business content at the speed and fluidity of social media. Since most employees are already proficient at using tools like Facebook and Twitter in their personal lives, offering similar technology in the workplace applies that pre-existing proficiency to business tasks. For most users, the social enterprise tools in Microsoft 365 should present no real learning curve and require no new training. It’s easy to ‘like’ a piece of content, comment on site contents, engage in a forum-like threaded conversation, or embed a personalised news feed that aggregates different discussions across your organisation. Both Teams and Yammer (Yammer is mostly reserved for large enterprises), included in the Microsoft 365 suite, allow your organisation to set up different groups and use discussion threads specific to a department, line of business, or community of interest. It enables members of your organisation to ask questions in an informal context while sharing their knowledge with a larger audience. Compared to asking and answering questions individually via email, Teams (or Yammer) makes it easier for the company to retain this knowledge and make it accessible to others with the same questions.
4. Intelligent Process Automation
Many enterprises struggle with managing and updating processes. Microsoft 365 and the Power Platform provide out-of-the-box online forms, workflow management, and data storage capabilities that rapidly automate business processes. Utilising Microsoft Teams and Dataverse, these solutions span across departments to serve the entire enterprise. And Microsoft 365 integrates with many external tools; for example, it allows you to incorporate actions from email as an integrated part of your workflow.
5. Efficient Communication Platforms
In a large organisation, communication covers a wide range of activities, many of which begin with a corporate intranet or a teamwork solution. Among other communication tasks, an enterprise intranet allows you to deliver services and information, build your culture and brand through a website, and provide a central hub for employees who want to learn more about overall initiatives and explore resources.
SharePoint Online is a great platform for developing a corporate intranet, and Microsoft 365 helps facilitate this communication tool without the technical burden of managing your own server and on-premises infrastructure. For general communication outside the corporate intranet, integrated services within Microsoft 365, such as Teams, increase your ability to communicate effectively with colleagues in the digital workplace.
6. Internal and External Collaboration
Microsoft 365’s communication and collaboration tools allow your employees to collaborate effectively with one another as well as with external partners. While email is suitable for certain tasks, such as recording information, sharing official documents, and creating an electronic record of an action, it’s an inefficient tool for other collaboration activities.
When it comes to quick questions and co-authoring documents, for example, instant messaging, Microsoft Teams workspaces, and SharePoint Online sites offer better ways to share information. By integrating these tools, Microsoft 365 enables organisations to have a multidimensional collaborative environment that puts knowledge in an actionable context and breaks down geographical barriers to productivity. All of this while maintaining the highest security and compliance standards, such as Rights Management with encryption (Azure Information Protection), integrated Data Loss Prevention, content expiration, and other common ways to restrict access.
7. Powerful Enterprise Search
Typically, users must browse through file shares and folders to find the documents and information they’ve created, but this process is often frustrating and inefficient as documents get lost in disorganised folders. Compared to browsing, search functions are often more effective tools for finding and using content. The enterprise search capabilities within Microsoft 365 have been developed over a long period of time for some of the largest companies around the world and fine-tuned and integrated within the platform to provide you with a robust and cost-effective search experience. This search capability enriches document management, social content, communication, and collaboration, helping users find content quickly and easily, which improves productivity and reduces duplication of efforts. Recently, Microsoft released the ability to integrate external content sources through built-in connectors and custom options.
8. Employee Experience and Engagement
Based on studies identifying the slowing of productivity and the disruption of workers logging into many systems, combined with the rapid increase in Microsoft Teams adoption, Microsoft Viva was introduced as a unified employee experience platform.
The Microsoft Viva solution comprises:
Viva Connections keeps everyone in the workforce connected to each other. It makes it easy for people to contribute and unites your organisation around the company’s vision.
Viva Insights addresses this issue head-on, as it provides visibility into how work is happening and the impact on productivity and well-being. Insights deliver personalised and actionable insight and help address complex business challenges with data.
Viva Topics builds on Microsoft 365 and applies Artificial Intelligence to identify knowledge and experts from across your organisation and categorise them into shared topics, which are organised into pages.
Viva Learning does just that: it allows employees to easily discover formal and informal learning when and where it’s needed, making it easier for people to learn while working and develop the skills the organisation needs.
Viva Goals enables you to align people and projects to strategic business priorities, set clear goals, and empower people and teams to accomplish more together.
Viva Engage connects employees through communities where they can have discussions, praise a colleague, and get answers to their questions. Support relationships, especially in hybrid or remote work environments, using Viva Engage to create a sense of belonging and purpose.
9. Continuous Updates
Traditional on-premises software requires regular maintenance, patches, and upgrades. With Microsoft 365, Microsoft provides an ever-evolving platform, ‘evergreen,’ with new capabilities being released monthly if not quarterly. With Microsoft 365, your IT team doesn’t have to upgrade your platform and can focus on providing key business services.
10. Increased Return on Investment
Cloud solutions aren’t new, but with Microsoft 365, you can have one suite that rules them all. Whether you are a non-profit working towards a one-of-a-kind mission or an organisation looking to deliver the best customer experience, Microsoft 365 removes the headache of managing day-to-day minutiae. Organisations can replace many of their teamwork, process automation, compliance, and security solutions with one suite of fully integrated products. With proper adoption and change management, the fully integrated solution can drive individual and organisational productivity at a lower cost. Estimate your ROI here.
11. Enable and Foster Innovation
Every company in the world wants to be a place to enable and foster innovation. With Microsoft 365, you can provide your teams with the tools to drive better innovation. Meetings are streamlined with digital whiteboards and areas to keep notes and record the interaction. Information can be easily shared and retained. Employees feel empowered, connected, and engaged, regardless of their locations. By utilising Microsoft 365, companies can effectively enable and foster innovation within their teams. The platform offers various tools, such as digital whiteboards and note-taking features, that streamline meetings and facilitate collaboration. This easy sharing and retention of information enhances employee empowerment, connectivity, and engagement, irrespective of their geographical locations. Ultimately, Microsoft 365 helps organisations create a conducive environment for innovation, which drives productivity and success.
Ready to unlock the full potential of your business with Microsoft 365?
Contact us at OPENSHOP today and let’s transform your workplace into a thriving hub of productivity and connectivity. Let’s embark on this journey together!