According to Cursum, the modern workplace has embraced the reality of digital collaboration as the way of the future. Many organizations today, however, don’t have the best tools in place to cultivate productive and fruitful collaboration, especially when employees don’t all work together onsite. Learn about Microsoft’s top collaboration tools that empower fully remote and hybrid businesses to work together—from anywhere—to achieve success.
The Modern Workplace Requires New Ways to Collaborate
Current statistics indicate that 16% of companies are fully remote, with roughly 60% of people opting for employers that offer remote-work flexibility vs. those that don’t. Despite its newfound popularity, however, fully remote and hybrid organizations often find effective collaboration challenging.
With onsite working, team members can easily meet in a conference room and gather around a whiteboard to plan and brainstorm. With remote work, on the other hand, employers and teams must get creative to conduct these routine yet essential meetings.
Microsoft 365 helps modern workplaces collaborate in real time with digital tools designed to foster productivity and efficiency.
6 Easy Ways to Collaborate with Microsoft
When selecting digital collaboration tools in your workplace, look for these features:
- Easy integration with other productivity software
- Quick access to files, messages and other documentation
- The ability to seamlessly switch from collaboration via desktop, tablet and smartphone
- Advanced security
The Microsoft 365 real-time collaboration tools detailed below offer these features and more to simplify work for fully remote and hybrid teams.
1. Real-Time Document Editing
With real-time co-authoring and document editing, a file is stored in the cloud, and a unique link is shared to provide people in various locations access to the file. Team members using the same collaboration software or integrated apps can then contribute to the document simultaneously, whether they’re writing, editing, or giving approval.
Traditionally, this process took place by one person creating and preparing a document to save locally and email to the necessary parties. Then, each contributor would have to resave each subsequent version of the document, risking having up-to-date files get lost in a stream of emails.
Real-time document collaboration “eliminates back-and-forth communications and replaces the chaos of multiple versions with a single, shared document living in the cloud,” according to Microsoft.
2. Mobile Device Collaboration
Microsoft’s collaboration tools aren’t limited to your desktop. The Office mobile app gives you instant access to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from a unified app so you can view and edit files from your phone—anywhere and at any time. And because files are stored in the cloud, you can collaborate with other team members in real time.
3. Live Chat
Smartphones and social media have made instant messaging and group chats simple and common, but businesses can also greatly benefit from team chat applications.
Microsoft Teams’s chat feature streamlines communication through instant group or one-on-one messaging. Employees in organizations that use live chat can minimize unnecessary and irrelevant emails, customize project notifications, and ensure they’re connected to the right people with the touch of a button.
Microsoft’s instant messaging feature also offers enterprise-level security and compliance so that employee and company data is always protected.
4. Video Conferencing
The increased use of video conferencing software that stemmed from the pandemic has largely shifted from being a necessity to being a convenient and effective collaboration tool. Even hybrid and onsite teams enjoy video calls to communicate with clients, contractors, and coworkers across the office.
That said, secure and reliable video conference software is a must for fully remote and hybrid organizations. With the Microsoft Teams video conferencing tool, you can record team meetings, easily share presentations and reports, add video captions for enhanced accessibility, and more.
5. Project Management
The video, phone, and instant-messaging functionalities of Microsoft Teams are fairly well-known, but the software is also equipped with a powerful, yet simple project management tool to help organizations plan and execute projects of all sizes.
Choose between Grid, Board, and Timeline views to suit your preferences, plus leverage Microsoft Power BI to create and share data-driven insights among your team.
6. Cloud-Based File Storage
Many of the collaboration capabilities mentioned above are only made possible through Microsoft’s cloud-based file storage. As stated, storing files in the cloud makes it possible to access documents anywhere, anytime.
Additionally, Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage offers other features, which include the ability to:
- Create shareable links
- Grant expiring access to files
- Automatically sync offline edits
- Scan receipts other work-related documents
- Recover accidentally deleted files
Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, and Office software equip fully remote and hybrid businesses with seemingly countless collaboration tools to streamline processes, boost productivity, and enhance teamwork.
Ready to modernize and transform your organization? Request a consultation with the experts at Sikich to get started today.