The last two years have forced many organisations to quickly shift to a remote working business model. In the past, remote workforces have been difficult to manage, but the digital age has created the opportunity for a modern workplace to thrive.
Traditionally, businesses invested in the physical workspace, but the pandemic and following lockdowns have pushed organisations to shift their investment to the digital workplace. When the workforce is outside the physical business space, it’s important to provide the tools to ensure productivity, communication, and collaboration are all possible. Microsoft 365 is the modern workplace solution that provides businesses and employees with the ability to achieve.
Microsoft 365 offers remote workers the opportunity to stay productive, collaborate, and communicate in ways unheard of only a decade ago. Microsoft 365 has unparalleled capabilities, including a suite of tools and apps that support managers to encourage employee engagement and efficiency.
As time goes on, it’s clear more companies will continue to encourage and support a remote workforce. For many businesses, the cost of physical office space, IT infrastructure, and maintenance is no longer viable. Offering potential employees options for remote working also encourages a more diverse pool of talent, lowers staff turnover, and cuts the overheads associated with maintaining a physical work environment.
Managing a remote workforce can be a challenge, particularly if there is a lack of cohesive IT infrastructure available. Creating a modern workplace takes some thought, and having the support of a team of experts who understand how to integrate the right tools and technology for your business is key.
Microsoft 365 is a comprehensive cloud-based service offering organisations a broad range of tools and apps that not only support a remote workforce but enhance the management and ongoing collaboration needed to stay productive, relevant, and ahead of the competition.
How can Microsoft 365 help you to manage your remote workforce?
Outline best practice policies
One of the most popular features of Microsoft 365 is Microsoft Teams. Teams allows for real time collaboration between managers, employees, teams, and other departments, whether that’s using chats, channels, calls or video conferencing. But it’s important to create guidelines that set expectations about what to use and when, to avoid employee frustration and reducing productivity.
Facilitate communication and collaboration
Microsoft Teams has become one of the most popular communication tools available for businesses in every type of industry. This tool allows people to chat or call, as well as create and share documents to collaborate on.
SharePoint is another tool that allows managers to create automated workflows, store files, and integrate with other Microsoft 365 tools such as Excel or Word. Sharing information in real-time encourages employees to focus on collaborating and ensure a productive remote workforce.
Teams also enable managers to stay connected with remote employees, arranging regular check-ins to ensure they have the chance to voice concerns or receive guidance. Some employees feel isolated when not in the office workspace, so regular catch ups, or even casual meetings for social interaction, can be a great way to keep employee morale up.
One of the biggest concerns companies had with the switch to managing remote employees is how to monitor workload and productivity. It has been shown that almost 80% of employees feel they’re just as productive when working from home, even if their work hours were more interrupted. Microsoft Teams can help managers recognise when tasks are completed, with the use of apps and add ons such as Tasks or Planner. These apps bring teams together to work on projects, and managers can assign specific tasks to employees, monitoring deadlines and goals, and creating a workflow that encourages employees to be productive.
It’s vitally important workforce management includes being able to ensure employees are only accessing the technology and tools they need to get their jobs done. Microsoft 365 allows managers to set access on user devices, define allowed apps and add ons, and enforce compliance with security settings. This oversight means team members can work effectively at the same time as protecting your business data, without being exposed to potential cyber threats.
Like never before, businesses need to be flexible and shift quickly to meet the changing demands of their market. Whether managers need to add new staff or create new project workflows, having a workplace that is scalable and can adjust quickly to these changes is paramount to business success. Microsoft 365 productivity tools and features allows managers to efficiently and rapidly meet the demands of future changes and growth.
There’s no denying business technology is changing the way we go about work. To keep up, you need to make sure your business is fully utilising it – whether that means using solutions like Microsoft 365 for managing remote workers or training employees on new productivity strategies.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner with specialist knowledge and broad industry experience, the team at RODIN are best placed to support your business to achieve a modern workplace with Microsoft 365.