The workforce is constantly evolving — and with remote work and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies now becoming commonplace, a modern business will need modern technology to improve collaboration. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workforce report, remote work is predicted to continue its pattern of high growth, and six out of ten businesses already have BYOD policies in place — with even more looking to start.
What does this mean for you? When you have employees that are working from various locations and across different devices, it becomes even more essential to have the best possible workplace collaboration tools in place. Without them, productivity will suffer and frustration will skyrocket. In fact, 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication as the reason behind workplace failure.
That’s why we’ve broken down the basics of three Microsoft collaboration tools for business. Keep reading to learn how they can optimize communication efforts within your modern business!
Microsoft Teams is one of the top five workplace collaboration tools, as noted by TechRepublic. This collaboration app is a hub for teamwork, both between internal employees and your external clients. On one shared workspace, team members can chat, hold video or audio conferences, share files, and work within seamlessly integrated business apps — quickly, easily, and from any location.
Many businesses are still bogged down by the traditional approach of communicating through emails and sharing files through a variety of third-party services. This increases the potential for missed messages and wasted time working on out-of-date versions of files, which can make collaboration more frustrating than it is effective. Here are some of the major benefits of collaboration through Microsoft Teams that can help solve these common communication hurdles:
- Built-in Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint that makes collaboration seamless;
- Ability for multiple users to simultaneously add comments and make edits to a file;
- Ability to give and get final approval on files in real-time, rather than having to wait for a decision-maker to see an email or respond to a message;
- Integrated business calling solutions for clear and reliable phone calls;
- High-quality audio, video, and web conferences for effective meetings and trainings;
- Praise, a unique employee recognition tool that allows you to communicate positive feedback to employees, even when you aren’t face-to-face;
- Integration with other Microsoft or third-party apps; and
- Increased data security with region-based data residency and data encryption (both at rest and in transit) so your data can be secure, no matter where employees are working from and how they collaborate.
All your employees need is internet access to take advantage of these capabilities. Microsoft Teams helps you enhance workplace collaboration — especially in modern businesses where all team members may not always be physically in the workplace.
Office 365 for Business
One of the major draws of using Microsoft Office tools is the ability to get work done efficiently and effectively — especially in a modern workforce full of remote workers and mobile devices. Microsoft Office 365 for Business includes fully-integrated Office applications, like Word and PowerPoint, that can be accessed across all devices. It also comes with online file storage and sharing capabilities, so you can quickly find, open, and collaborate on any file exactly when and where you need to.
Office 365 collaboration tools are enhanced by being a subscription-based service that offers the online connectivity features you need to get the job done. With Office 365 Business Premium, users will also have access to Microsoft Teams — further amplifying collaboration when they can virtually edit documents, share feedback, and connect over audio/video conferences. Some of the main Office 365 collaboration capabilities include:
- Easy access to files that are stored online, which can be shared and collaborated on with anyone in real-time;
- Automatic syncing so files are always up-to-date, no matter where you’re accessing them from;
- The latest versions of familiar Microsoft tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, with increased collaboration possible when connected with Microsoft Teams;
- 1 TB of personal cloud storage for each user, which can be accessed from any location or device;
- Cloud storage that syncs with the user's PC or Mac for offline access, making it possible for employees to view a file even from a remote location without Wi-Fi;
- Microsoft Kaizala, a chat interface that allows you to virtually connect and coordinate with your Firstline workers, partners, and customers;
- Five layers of security and proactive monitoring for increased privacy and data protection, no matter where an employee is working from and what connectivity method they’re using; and
- Access to Microsoft Support, so your employees can ask questions over the phone or online or leverage how-to resources if they’re working remotely and experiencing technical difficulties.
Office 365 collaboration tools can transform the way your employees complete their own work — as well as the way they share it and collaborate on a wide variety of tasks.
Microsoft Surface is a modern desktop specifically designed with evolving business needs in mind. It was made to seamlessly pair with Office 365 software and Microsoft Teams, meaning you can experience cohesive workplace collaboration. There are various models of the Microsoft Surface on the market, allowing your team members to pick the version that will help them work and collaborate at top productivity.
Perhaps one of the greatest workplace collaboration capabilities of the Microsoft Surface is its business LTE connectivity. A major obstacle to business mobility is the constant need for a stable high-speed internet connection — and this need is even more amplified when you have remote workers or employees that meet with clients or conduct business off-site. The Microsoft Surface with LTE uses radio frequency communications similar to that of a cell phone to connect to an LTE network tower. This allows employees to utilize their workplace collaboration tools from anywhere, as long as they can get a cell phone signal. Here’s a few more benefits of collaboration on a Surface device:
- Enhanced productivity and communication from connecting Surface devices with Microsoft 365;
- Always-connected LTE1 (on select models) or Wi-Fi, allowing users to work securely from any location;
- High-quality cameras, mics, and speakers so meetings can always be clear and productive;
- Deployment tools and dashboards so new employees can start working and collaborating with their new coworkers from day one;
- Peace of mind when collaborating thanks to the latest security features, like sign in with Windows Hello and encrypted security with UEFI firmware drivers; and
- Ability for customization with devices that can adapt to all the unique ways your employees work and collaborate, whether that means a tablet or laptop.
When your employees are equipped with the tools they need to get their work done efficiently and effectively, they will have additional time and brainpower to put towards innovative collaboration.
Experience the Best Collaboration Tools for Business
Improved collaboration empowers your business to get better work done faster — plus, it fosters connections amongst employees that increase morale and company loyalty. As a matter of fact, organizations that communicate effectively are 4.5 times more likely to retain their top employees. The right workplace collaboration tools can help you drive revenue while also keeping your employees satisfied!
At Protected Trust, we simplify technology while still empowering people to communicate in new and innovative ways. When your business is able to leverage technology to improve collaboration, it gives employees the flexibility of where and when to work that is most productive for them.
Are you ready to start implementing Microsoft’s powerful and valuable workplace collaboration tools in your modern business? Schedule a meeting with one of our experts today.