5 Ways Microsoft Office 365 Can Supercharge Your Productivity
Are you feeling accomplished by the time you head out of the office? Or is there usually that one little task you just couldn’t get to?
There’s a way to boost your in-office productivity so that you can feel truly accomplished when you leave your workspace, and it’s all thanks to Microsoft Office 365.
It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t use Office 365 today. It includes essential software like Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. But how often are people taking full advantage of the secure collaboration tools that are available? Using other Office 365 applications such as SharePoint, Skype for Business, Planner, Teams and OneDrive can all help supercharge your productivity. Here’s how:
1. Streamline Team Communication With Collaboration Tools
The best performing teams spend a good bit of time communicating outside of formal meetings (Harvard Business Review). Collaboration tools provide the ideal platform for your team to communicate outside of those (dreaded) formal meetings.
As you look for the right collaboration tool for your organization, ask yourself:
- Is it easy to learn?
- Can it work with my other applications?
- How do I measure results?
- Is it secure?
Our firm has found that Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Teams – included within your Microsoft Office 365 subscription – answer all of those questions with a “yes.” Microsoft Teams facilitates group communication with a clean, simple interface that allows staff to track project correspondence and house relevant files. Create tasks with deadlines and link them to specific projects in Microsoft Planner. When Planner is linked to Teams, staff can use these two as a project headquarters to facilitate productive team conversations and blast through assignments
2. Minimize Disruptions With Instant Answers
When you’re focused on a project, or have a client on the line, the last thing you want to do is wait for an answer to a simple question. Rather than emailing or running to your colleague’s office to get the information you need, it’s easier to send an instant message because it’s, well, instant. Microsoft Office 365 has the right solution for that: Skype for Business.
Skype for Business is simple to use and provides a platform for communicating with colleagues, whether you need to get quick answers, share your screen or host informal group meetings. Its integration with Microsoft Outlook makes it easy to check a coworker’s availability at a glance. It’s the dream solution for team members who want quick responses that’ll help keep their project on track, or for client-facing team members who need immediate answers while they have someone on the phone.
3. Get Measurable Results From Projects
A whopping 57% of projects fail due to poor communication (IT-Cortex). Project management software offers teams an easy way to coordinate with each other and set clear goals. Supervisors can easily check on how quickly a project is getting completed, without disrupting the team by asking for updates.
Microsoft Planner helps supervisors and staff alike. Supervisors can assign specific tasks with deadlines to staff members. If they’re integrated with other Microsoft software, supervisors can then track relevant correspondence, check on live documents and measure results, thus ensuring that the project gets completed without problems.
4. Incentivize Superstar Staff Members
Having an employee recognition program can really incentivize your staff to deliver quality results. The easiest way to identify those rockstar employees is by way of project tracking.
See who is taking charge of the team, who is producing stellar work, and how efficiently projects are being completed with Office 365 applications like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Planner. Then, find a way to show that superstar how much you appreciate their hard work. Handwritten thank you notes, gift cards, or even access to the VIP parking spot are all great ideas…if you’re willing to give up your spot for the week
5. Keep Confidential Documents Out Of The Wrong Hands
There’s nothing more disruptive to productivity than a hacker, and it’s usually one random employee who accidentally lets a hacker in. Organizations can spend millions to fix a malware hack or data loss. Keeping your files secure will help your team complete projects without major delays.
A document management platform like Microsoft SharePoint ensures files are going exactly where they should. Not only is SharePoint integrated with other Microsoft applications, but it’s an easy way to securely send files to clients, employees, vendors and anyone else you trust.
Our team is skilled at providing the right solutions to your biggest productivity obstacles. If you need help supercharging your team’s productivity, contact us here or give us a call at 410.685.5512.
About Bill Walter
Bill, our lead networking guru, loves showing clients how technology can be worked into their existing processes to improve efficiency. His expertise includes high level planning for internal and external networks, research and selection of hardware and software products, and hands-on installation and configuration of networks. Normally a pretty easygoing guy, Bill thinks there should be a law against wearing a Bluetooth headset when it’s not in use.