Client Success

Remote Working & The Flexible Office

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With government guidelines slowly easing the UK out of lockdown, many businesses are starting to plan their return to the office after an extended period of remote working. The question is – are offices going to be utilised in the same way? With a revolution in remote working, many businesses are realising that with the right technology, a partial remote working structure has been easier than expected to implement.

So, how is this going to change your business? Undeniably, there are pros and cons to working in the office and working from home, and both are certainly still required. Many organisations are now opting to stagger the return to the office in order to abide by social distancing regulations – with employees alternating days in the office and working remotely for the remainder of the week. In the midst of this pandemic, it appears that this new flexible working structure will likely be commonplace for many organisations going forward.

Luckily, with the right technology, businesses can be empowered to appropriately support this new way of working. Digital innovation means that employees are qualified to collaborate and work efficiently from any location and any device. The Microsoft suite has multiple collaboration and productivity tools which undeniably empowers remote workforces to work to the best of their ability both in the office, and at home – We thought we’d list the key applications you need here…

For collaboration use Microsoft Teams

Within Microsoft Teams, your remote workforce can access all their documents, spreadsheets and files, editing them in real time with changes being automatically synced – ideal for remote team collaboration. The instant messaging system provides a great and easy way to stay in touch with your team throughout the day, keeping those all-important virtual connections.

The video chat and conferencing tool allows you to host virtual meetings with ease – you can choose to present solely via audio or video, and even record the meeting for those who have missed it. The additional screen sharing feature also means that despite not being in the same room, you and your colleagues can still view the same screen, providing the same virtual experience for all.

Top Tip – Use the video conferencing tool to keep staff morale high and host regular informal catch up’s or even the Friday afternoon quiz!

For file sharing use SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint empowers remote teamwork through the ability to simply share your data and resources between every team and department, whilst also being able to collaborate effortlessly between your teammates. Having one central location that everyone can access from any device, means that you are able to maintain version control and say goodbye to lengthy email chains with multiple attachments!

Available as both part of the Microsoft stack, and as a standalone solution, SharePoint also provides you with a powerful enterprise search, delivering you whatever information you require, whilst allowing you complete control over access management and viewing permission for your employees. With this complete control and visibility over your files, underpinned with the tools needed to increase employee engagement, even a remote workforce can feel connected – both to one another and the company roadmap.

For remote access to documents use OneDrive

OneDrive for Business allows you to access, share and collaborate on all files from any location or device – you can even create, edit, view or share these files on the go with the OneDrive mobile app. The app also delivers additional benefits, such as scanning receipts or other paper documents – ideal for someone always running around! OneDrive will also back up and protect your files, giving you higher security control. You can easily recover these files from accidental deletion or even malicious attacks.

For remote security use Intune

Now you know that you have the tools to maintain collaboration and productivity from anywhere, what about data security? That’s where Microsoft Intune comes in… It’s essentially a cloud-based mobile management tool which assists with the management of the mobile devices that employees work from – undeniably an essential tool for data security during remote work. As part of Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) offering, Intune is designed to conserve the separation between business and personal data. For example, Intune allows employees to securely access business data such as work emails from their mobile, whilst protecting this data through access controls and mobile configurations. Using this cutting-edge information protection, you can safeguard your data without compromising user productivity, whether your employees are on or offsite.

Key takeaways

These are just a handful of key applications that demonstrate how the Microsoft stack can empower a remote workforce, and it barely scratches the surface. By now, you’ll hopefully have gotten used to remote working technology, but for those who still need a little help – look to Microsoft to support your needs moving forward. By investing in the right business technology, your modern workforce can be empowered to have collaborative experiences, aid business relationships and facilitate business growth – both in and out of the office.

For more information on Microsoft 365, or if you have any questions about remote working technology, get in touch with one of our experts here

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