A Successful Remote Workforce Depends on the Right Productivity Tools
Remote work was very rare a decade ago. Business leaders were concerned about change management, unsupervised work environments, lack of collaboration, and the impact on their bottom line. However, prominent brands like Microsoft, Amazon, and Glassdoor adopted flexible telecommuting policies to meet the changing demands of the workforce.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, most employers are compelled to rethink remote work policies and procedures. Thanks to cloud-based enterprise collaboration tools, working from home can be as productive as working in the office.
The Most Popular Collaboration Tool and Communication Platform
Thousands of organizations, large and small, use Microsoft Teams. In March 2020, Teams was used by more than 44 million people each day. Apart from being backed by Microsoft, this chat and collaboration platform is also popular because it enables users to be more productive by using familiar Microsoft Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and more. Teams is also highly customizable with a long list of features, including:
- A customizable chat-based workspace
- Built-in access to SharePoint, OneNote, OneDrive for Business, and other Office 365 apps
- Ability to create, edit, and share files directly in the app, which includes real-time document collaboration, enabling your team to work on the same document at the same time
- An ongoing stream of a team, small group, and one-on-one conversations, which enables team members to problem-solve quickly
- Ability to schedule and join meetings and video conferences, which improves teamwork and builds better relationships in remote teams
- Accessibility via desktop, web browser, or mobile device
New Capabilities in the Third-Anniversary Edition of Microsoft Teams
On March 31, 2020, Microsoft Teams celebrated the third anniversary of its launch. To mark this milestone, Microsoft also unveiled new updates and features, including:
- Real-time noise suppression to help minimize background noise during a meeting
- A “raise hand” button, which provides a visual indicator for users if they want to speak
- Offline mode, which allows users to read chat messages and draft responses while there is no internet connectivity
- Separate windows for chats to allow users to switch between chats
In addition to Teams, Microsoft offers several tools you can use to increase collaboration and productivity with ease:
- Microsoft Azure: Azure is a public, cloud- computing service that’s an ideal tool for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications. It also offers cost savings, security, and scalability.
- Microsoft 365 (a recent name change from Office 365): Microsoft 365 is a collection of productivity applications that include Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and are designed specifically for office productivity. Learn about the latest in this “What’s New in Microsoft 365” video.
- Microsoft Outlook: The most highly used email client for businesses today, Outlook is an application that includes a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, and more.
- Microsoft Power BI: A powerful yet flexible and easy-to-use business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization.
All of these online collaboration tools offer features that help make teamwork successful, even when team members aren’t under the same roof. Learn more about best practices in your remote working technology environment.
For more tips, read Working From Home: 5 Tips From Experienced Telecommuting Veterans or view our webinar, How To Successfully Deploy a Remote Workforce.