There’s no doubting that Office 365 has been a huge commercial success story for Microsoft. It boasts almost 50 million users per month and, according to Microsoft’s Kevin Turner, is a service used by upwards of 80% of Fortune 500 companies. Clearly, there are significant swathes of the global business community convinced by the merits of the product. Key to this prolific take-up is the benefits that the system can deliver when it comes to productivity.
Of course, as with all new products and services, simply adopting it into the workplace without correct ‘buy-in’ or understanding from staff won’t do much to aid productivity. However, by understanding the key features, and tools available within Office 365 can deliver exceptional productivity improvements in traditional office set-ups and, in particular, for multiple location or businesses with remote working.
Here are some of ways in which Office 365 can be used to boost productivity in the workplace.
Data Sharing & Accessibility
As a cloud-based service, Office 365 makes work material and data accessible to users wherever and whenever it’s needed (albeit via a 3 or 4G connection or WiFi).
Having the ability to retrieve and send data while outside of the office delivers a multitude of productivity benefits. From the field based account managers who can call up the data required to respond to client queries within the meeting (as opposed to the traditional ‘I’ll get back to you on that one’ response) to the ability of those remote workers, home workers or train commuters (to name a few) who can compile, edit or respond to reports on the move.
Being able to deliver efficiency in collaboration between colleagues or departments is a key factor for many businesses when it comes to seeking productivity improvements. It’s an area in which Office 365 excels; with a portfolio of tools – each one seamlessly compatible to the other – designed to vastly improve collaborative work.
Sharepoint offers a vast array of collaboration tools from content and data management to project management and even news feeds. Add into this the online conference facilities, such as the integrated Skype for Business application and you have a virtual office environment that can instantly connect and keep up to speed each team member, wherever they may be in the world.
Instant sharing, instant messaging, instant discussion.
By utilising the tools available within Office 365, ultra-efficient collaboration can be realised; reducing time lost through slower communication means such as telephone and email. As well as cutting the need for staff meetings – reducing travel time and expense in the process.
Synergy between tools
Of course, there’s a plethora of cloud-based software as a service tools available in today’s crowded digital market. Many of which can offer excellent productivity benefits. Few, however, are as all-encompassing as Office 365.
What sets 365 apart in the eyes of many businesses is that within the virtual office suite that it purports to be, there are tools which cover most of the needs of a day to day working operation. Within Office 365 you have the means to store and share data, instant message, email, conference and collaborate remotely.
Each aspect works in synergy with each other in one complete system. Cutting the need for training or learning about new software. Or potential downtimes that can arise from trying to integrate incompatible software.
Add the tried and tested office tools from Microsoft’s heritage: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook et al, and you have a package that’s familiar, trusted by users. And when users trust their tools in any industry, efficiency tends to follow.