In our modern modes of work, gone are the days of traditional nine-to-five schedules, with long commutes on the train or in the car. While these schedules remain a reality, for many, they only occur a few days a week, among work-from-home or time spent travelling for business.
The modern workplace provides many benefits, such as flexibility and productivity. Still, it also comes with some challenges, such as ensuring smooth communication and securing devices as people work outside the office. Cloud platforms have played a significant role in supporting hybrid work, with Microsoft 365 being one platform designed to accommodate the demands of modern workplaces worldwide.
Now that our time of rushing into remote work and making do with the systems we had on hand has primarily ended, how can you adequately support your modern workplace? And what role does Microsoft 365 play?
Empowering and engaging your distributed workforce
One of the most convincing reasons to adopt Microsoft 365 is to support your distributed workforce. With many people working between home and the office, sometimes even while in transit, you need a platform that allows people to access their work regardless of location or setup.
As up to 88% of employees expect their employers to provide work-from-home options, you must deliver an experience where people can open their laptops and do their best work, no matter what.
Microsoft 365 helps organisations support distributed workforces by providing a complete set of tools for collaboration and communication. It includes familiar applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as applications with the latest communication features – like Teams – which makes it easy to connect with colleagues online.
When you empower people with the tools they need to do their best work from anywhere; you can increase employee satisfaction and even your talent pool.
A suite of applications for communication and collaboration
You might have encountered some serious roadblocks to collaboration since adopting hybrid work, such as files shared via email, stored locally on PCs or being unable to tell if someone is online.
Microsoft 365 serves as a solution for enhancing collaboration. It is a cloud-based platform that enables users to collaborate and communicate as long as they have an internet connection.
Tools such as Microsoft Teams enable collaboration from one application, with messaging, document sharing and video calling available in one central location. You can also make your SharePoint site available via Microsoft Teams so that this app becomes the place people go for more information about projects.
Regarding communication, Microsoft 365 also breaks down siloes to improve collaboration. Where you once might have sent an email to a colleague and then called them or sent a text, you now can send the relevant documents and call them via Microsoft Teams.
Cost-effectiveness and scalability
Traditionally, your IT infrastructure would have existed as physical servers that you would need to purchase, maintain and store. You would need to update these systems every three to five years, and such infrastructure does not have the flexibility to scale as your business grows.
Microsoft 365 offers great opportunities to optimise your IT costs and scale as your users increase or decrease, meaning that you save money on infrastructure costs while gaining access to the flexibility of cloud platforms.
Another of Microsoft 365’s benefits in supporting the remote workforce is that it covers a broad range of applications that integrate and work well together. If your business only leveraged the Microsoft 365 suite, you would have many tools to work with, including reporting capabilities and endpoint management.
You might be using solutions from third-party vendors and paying for monthly subscriptions. With Microsoft 365 Business Premium, you could access all of the functionality provided by these disparate apps in one solution and for a much lower monthly price than all of your third-party apps combined. When you need to add or remove users, you can add or reduce the number of licenses you pay for, allowing you to scale to your business needs quickly.
Cybersecurity tools for securing your data
Cybersecurity is one of the most critical concerns for businesses everywhere. A recent Notifiable Data Breaches report covering the period of January to June 2022 found that 63% of all reported breaches occurred as a result of malicious or criminal activity. With the proliferation of distributed work, the threats will likely increase in severity.
Microsoft 365 includes some enhanced cyber security features for better securing your business, in addition to collaboration and communication tools. It includes built-in security tools, such as:
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) requires someone to use two or more methods of verifying their identity when logging into their accounts. You can enforce MFA on users to ensure they receive a code texted to their mobile device or supplied via an app like Microsoft Authenticator.
- Conditional access blocks people based on conditions, such as their location. For example, if someone logs into their account from Sydney at 2pm, and then attempts to log in again from London an hour later, you can block their access and secure the account. You can also leverage conditional access policies to prevent users from syncing company data to their personal devices.
- Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based solution for managing endpoint devices, including mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers and virtual devices. You can also manage access to company data on personal devices, which becomes useful if people use their personal devices to access company data.
The above are only a few of the many cybersecurity solutions you get with a Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription.
RODIN can support your transformation to a modern workplace
The technology and applications leveraged within your business can hugely impact productivity and the employee experience across a distributed workforce. Building a modern workplace is about more than simply purchasing the technology needed; you need to fully implement and optimise it to ensure that your team can get the most from it.
We can work with you to understand your business goals, requirements, and unique applications and then build a strategy to optimise your technology and transform your business into a modern workplace. Even after finishing the project, we will ensure that the technology performs as expected and that your staff use it appropriately. If necessary, we will make tweaks to the solution. We like to think that’s the RODIN difference.
Please visit our Microsoft Modern Workplace page for more information on how RODIN can support your business. If you think you may need some IT support Wollongong, simply give us a call on 1300 138 761 and we will be happy to help.