Before the current public health crisis, having the ability to work from anywhere was a perk but not a necessity for many of us. However, as we now seek to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), remote work has become the standard for those who can fulfill their professional obligations without leaving home.
The portion of American workers with flex time or remote work options available increased from 39 percent in mid-March to 57 percent in a poll conducted March 30-April 2, according to Gallup. Overall, the majority (62 percent) of employed Americans included in the late March/early April poll said they’d worked from home at some point during the pandemic.
This development has presented some significant challenges for employers, who must ensure their staff members have all the tools they need to complete their work and stay connected with colleagues without compromising security and compliance. If you’re a business leader seeking reliable IT solutions for your newly remote team, you might want to consider the Microsoft Office 365 Office suite.
Even before the pandemic spurred a mass migration to remote work, Office 365 had already gained popularity as a convenient way to accommodate trends like the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the growing prevalence of mobile devices like smartphones. If you’re considering whether the 365 suite could benefit your staff, here are some key remote work capabilities you should know about that facilitate collaboration and productivity for distributed teams.
1. Microsoft Teams can serve as a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platform.
If your team needs full UCaaS capabilities while working from home, Teams offers advanced communication and collaboration options, including the following:
- Group and one-on-one chats
- Audio and video conferences with up to thousands of attendees
- Voice calls
- File sharing (including Word documents, PowerPoint files and Excel spreadsheets)
- And more
You can install Teams on mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops, so end users can stay in touch with clients and colleagues on the go. Additionally, the app has comprehensive built-in security controls, such as information barriers, retention policies and data loss prevention.
2. SharePoint Online allows you to establish a secure mobile intranet.
This app enables information and document sharing via a cloud-based intranet, which is ideal for keeping everyone connected and on the same page, even if you’re not all working in the same physical office space. The SharePoint Online platform is available through an Office 365 plan or a standalone subscription.
Basically, this app lets you set up team sites where everyone can share resources (data, files, news, documents, etc.). It’s also available for mobile devices, in addition to PCs and Macs, so you can access the intranet from anywhere. Key features include the following:
- Communicating with colleagues about deadlines and updates
- Sharing files and folders across team sites and organization-wide
- Tackling routine tasks with Power Automate
- Creating lists, pages and libraries to share important resources
- And more
3. OneDrive offers secure file backup and storage in the cloud.
This app allows you to save all your work files in one safe place. Because it leverages cloud technology, end users can also access the documents, spreadsheets and other resources they back up in OneDrive from any device, including mobile ones like smartphones and tablets.
OneDrive comes with the following notable capabilities:
- Uploading files from a PC or Mac
- Sharing files with colleagues and giving them permission to edit files
- Syncing with your Mac or PC, allowing for offline file access
- And more
Ultimately, if your goal is to maintain high levels of communication and productivity with your team members logging in from various locations, these business apps promote effective collaboration and accommodate remote workers while still keeping your data secure.
If you’d like to learn more about the Office 365 suite, our team of trusted technology advisors have extensive experience working with Microsoft solutions and can help you identify the right platforms for your organization, based on your pain points and goals. Feel free to contact us at 877-599-3999 or email@example.com for more information about Office 365, as well as other remote work tools.