In light of recent events, a lot of companies have transformed into online businesses overnight. Many of them fear the limitations that remote work brings and the negative effect on the productivity of their teams. If you’re one of those companies – fear not, because we’ll show how you can reach maximum effectiveness with the help of online collaboration tools.
Reason 1: Build relationships with video conferencing
The well-known phrase says: “Out of sight, out of mind. ” But, it doesn’t have to be like that. In the world of digital technology, there are so many tools that bridge far distances and bring people together. Microsoft has made several collaboration tools that do the same for businesses.
Microsoft Teams, a central hub for offline and online team collaboration, has a video conferencing option. With a single click, you can make one-on-one video calls or calls with multiple people. You can invite people from your team, freelancers from external agencies, or members of other departments in a company. No expensive video conferencing gear is necessary.
You can also record your Microsoft Teams meetings, and have it ready for later use. All your recordings are automatically saved to another Microsoft platform called Microsoft Stream. There you can arrange your recordings into watchlists and share them with others like on YouTube. If you’d always like them to be available to all your team members, you can add your essential recordings in your Microsoft Teams channels as a tab.
Reason 2: Keep things organized with Cloud storage
Cloud. The word of the century. It started with smaller businesses and IT startups whose agile approach was the ice breaker for new kinds of platforms. But, with the evolution of the security of cloud technologies, even big companies with layered governance processes and strict privacy rules, have been starting to see their benefits.
Microsoft has one of the most secure cloud platforms in the world – Azure, where Office 365 lives. Office 365 consists of several tools specific for different kinds of use. These days when a lot of businesses work remotely, Office 365 cloud collaboration tools have become even more popular.
SharePoint Online is an online collaboration platform. You can use it to save different kinds of business files to collaborate on with your team. You can also invite guest users from other companies, such as freelancers and consultants, to see or edit your files. If you sync the documents to your computer, you can use files even if you’re offline.
Microsoft Teams is another excellent place for real-time collaboration. All the files that you share in a channel are automatically saved to a channel-specific folder in SharePoint Online as well. So, you can rest assured that by sharing files in Microsoft Teams they are safely stored in one place. If you’d like to have access to existing SharePoint Online files inside a channel, you can add them via tabs.
Now, we went through the platforms for the storage of shared files, but what about the files you need just for yourself? OneDrive is the platform that answers that question. You can save all your documents there, such as your business goals and ideas. You can also sync local files from your computer to OneDrive, making sure you have a backup of them. Planner is also integrated with Microsoft Teams, so you can do all your tasks from within Teams.
Reason 3: Keep everyone in the loop with real-time document revisions
Office Online is an online version of the good old Office products. Word Online, Excel Online, PowerPoint Online, and OneNote Online – free tools for real-time co-authoring. Everything you write, calculate, present or note will be saved to your OneDrive or SharePoint online folder. You can switch between offline and online versions of documents – whatever feels more natural to you. If you get your online folders synced to your computer, your revisions will be saved to both storages.
The beauty of real-time collaboration is that no matter how many people work on a single file, their modifications will save in real-time. You don’t need to worry if you sent the latest version of a document to your manager – there’s just one version! Do you remember the time when your computer battery turned off before you had time to save the document on which you’ve been working? With Office Online there are no more unsaved edits.
Reason 4: Plan and track your tasks in a smart way
Planner is a simple task management tool for teams. Whether you’re working on one-man-band tasks or projects involving multiple people, Planner is an excellent way to track and organize your work.
Who will be the members of your plan in Planner will depend on how you set it up. If you set up a public plan, it will include everyone in the company. If you choose a private option, you will be able to select an existing group in the Office 365 platform that you wish to associate with the plan.
Once you set it up, you will be able to see all your members’ tasks and their progress on the planning board. This way, you can organize the work between your team members evenly. You can assign each other tasks and set up conditions such as due dates and priority levels. You can attach files to a task directly from the SharePoint Online folder of the group for which you made the plan.
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