Microsoft Collaboration Tools for the Remote Office

microsoft collaboration tools

In the past decade the corporate world experienced a steady trend toward remote work, however even a year ago, no one could have predicted this alternative method of working would experience such immense growth in such a short period of time. As it turned out, remote working options were a key component of not only keeping many companies and even nonprofits afloat, indeed, it allowed many organizations to notably flourish during a very challenging time.

As internet service continues to improve, both in terms of speed and available access, it’s likely that remote work is here to stay for many industries. 

A Changing Landscape

Many organizations managed within a matter of months, to successfully shift almost their entire workforce to a new working environment. The fact that so many organizations were able to pull off such a massive undertaking with minimal disruption to their customer base, is a testimony to the ability of their employees to quickly deliver agile and creative solutions to solve complex issues.

It’s impossible to predict when the pandemic will fade into history, but given the success of the rapid transition to remote working, it’s probably safe to say that even as COVID-19 fades, the option of remote working will continue to see very strong growth for the foreseeable future. 

A New Kind of Work Environment

If employers view remote work as a loss of control over their employees, today’s sophisticated collaboration tools, along with other useful software tools and apps will prove over time that employers are still very much connected to their workforce. In fact, very large companies that traditionally housed thousands of employees within a massive skyscraper may actually see a significant improvement in communication and collaboration levels within their workforce.

Whereas formerly, an employee had to get on an elevator and walk through multiple cubicle areas to speak with someone in person, now these same employees have chat apps or video conferencing software right at their fingertips for conversations with management and other co-workers.

Of course, some organizations will require training for staff that formerly worked in a more traditional office setting. It’s important for these companies to invest in adequate staff training as much as they invest in the collaboration tools themselves, in order to take full advantage of all the rich features of today’s remote work software tools.

As companies become more comfortable with the shifting work environment, they will likely rely much less on face-to-face communication. Organizations may find that renting a conference room for weekly face-to-face meetings is more than sufficient for their needs. 

Microsoft Teams 

If there is any communication and collaboration tool that is ready to fully support an entire workforce, it’s Microsoft Teams. From the beginning, Microsoft understood that all forms of online communication are only truly successful if they reside on a safe and secure foundation. Regardless of an organization’s size, if they decide to use Microsoft Teams, they will have access to Enterprise level threat protection that meets more than 90 regulatory and industry standards. 

Residing on the Teams secure foundation are a wide range of helpful tools designed to offer both management and staff a variety of ways in which to communicate and collaborate, not just within their own company, but with members outside their organization.

Employees have a multitude of tools to help them communicate in a group setting, or as a simple one-on-one conversation. Along with traditional voice communication, Microsoft Teams also offers video conferencing, a chat feature, and file-sharing that works intuitively with Microsoft’s other productivity apps such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Microsoft Teams also provide useful bots to automate tasks within an organization, as well as private hubs for individual departments that can be specially designed to meet their unique needs.

We Can Help

If you would like to know more about the Microsoft tools that can make remote working a success for your organization, please contact us.

Technology As a Solution To Productivity Barriers

Technology As a Solution To Productivity Barriers

In the wake of spiked adoption of technology, lots of tasks have been revolutionized. As such, it comes as no surprise that technology is viewed as an essential tool for running a business.

Even though technology provides effective solutions for handling business processes, it’s almost impossible to overlook its role in mitigating productivity barriers.

After all, the success of modern business is measured by its ability to turn efforts into revenue.

This means that an ideal technological solution is one that not only helps you run a business efficiently but also increase the productivity of your staff.

For this reason, here are some software tools to help you avoid productivity hurdles:

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows your staff to work remotely on a particular project. This also enhances their collaboration eventually increasing their performance. 

Moreover, moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud saves you the cost associated with maintaining on-site infrastructure. These resources can be channeled to other core areas of your business.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management software helps your employees respond faster to clients and even sell products/ services easier. This is due to the fact that the software records all the clients’ data in one system, making it easier for your sales team to automate the process; from marketing to selling and everything in between.

VoIP Phone Services

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) software reduces the downtime, thereby increasing your business’s availability. The software relies heavily on an internet connection; so, as long as you’ve got a stable internet connection, your phone system will be available 24/7.

The software can also transcribe voice messages from customers and email them directly to a customer support desk. This reduces the time spent on retrieving messages from mailboxes, freeing up your staff to concentrate on other important tasks.

 Contact us now for more information on how you can remove productivity barriers with a software.

Daily Time Saving Tips for Office Computer Users

Daily Time Saving Tips

It is a fact that all employees have a particular number of hours to work every day. So, your employees should maximize on time during working hours because it impacts their productivity. As an employer, you need to appreciate that office computers offer a platform for employees to access information that is not in line with their daily activities.

The implication is that staff can easily suffer distraction while working at the office from their computer due to pop-ups from unfamiliar sites, a cluttered inbox, disorganized files, among other things. Any distraction that affects your work at the office can lower your productivity considerably, which prevents you from maximizing on time. Here are some daily time-saving tips for office computer users that employees can consider adopting.

Day One Time Saving Tip

Eliminate The Clutter

Most computers are full of programs and old files that users do not require. The challenge is that cluttering your computer may slow down its performance, which will ultimately affect your productivity. Organizing and labeling every folder on your computer will enhance your ability to deliver the necessary results on time.

Getting rid of old files and any programs on your computer that are no longer necessary can also enhance the performance of your PC or laptop by providing vital details promptly.

Day Two Time Saving Tip

Avoid Time-Wasting Sites

It is frustrating for most employees when they discover the amount of time they are losing every day by dedicating a few minutes of their time to social media or YouTube. The truth is that committing time to non-work-related websites while at work robs you of the opportunity to achieve your daily targets and that may affect your relationship with your employer.

If you want to win the trust and the confidence of your superior regarding your ability to deliver the results they expect, you need to steer clear of any site that does not relate to your daily office tasks. The fact is that time-wasting websites will ultimately compromise your work at the office.

Day Three Time Saving Tip

Monitor Your Productivity

Sometimes, it is difficult to keep track of your activities at the office as you aspire to find out where you spend most of your time while working on your computer. Downloading such a Google Chrome Extension as RescueTime can help you monitor your online activities and the time you spend away from your computer.

Consequently, you are capable of establishing your office hours productivity levels to make adjustments where necessary to avoid wasting time. If you need more information on daily time-saving tips for computer users, contact us today!

5 Productivity Tips for Google Docs

5 Productivity Tips for Google Docs

Productivity Tips

While most people are used to using Microsoft Word for their writing and editing needs, Google Docs remains a worthy alternative. Since everything is in the cloud, it’s a great way to collaborate with other users and share documents. It will also free up some space on your computer. Here are a few tips for working with Google Docs.

Type With Your Voice

Google Docs has a voice to text feature that lets you type with your voice. Simply go to the Tools menu or click CTRL + SHIFT + S and click the microphone that pops up. Talk clearly into the microphone and give your arms a rest. You can choose any language you want.

Go Through Your History

Accidentally overwrote an article and now need the first version? With Google Docs, you can see the revision history of an article by clicking CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + H. You can also find this option in the File menu. Simply go through all the dates and restore the version you want.

Make Comments

You can highlight blocks of text and make comments or suggest edits by right-clicking. You can then share the document with other users. However, if you want someone specific to be informed about your comment, simply type @ in the comment box, followed by their Gmail address (which will appear in a drop-down menu if you have already communicated with them).

Bookmarks and Links

If you have a really long article, you can bookmark a certain section in the article. You can also insert links by clicking CTRL + K. You can link not only to articles online but to other Google Doc documents and bookmarks in the same article as well.

Use It Offline

Although Google Docs is thought of as a cloud-based app, you can also use it offline. All changes made offline will be saved and synced when you get back online.

Contact us today for more computer help.

Folder Configuration – Computer Tip of the Day

Folder Configuration - Computer Tip of the Day

Folder Configuration

A simple issue that can cause stress during the workday is organization. It’s simple to see when someone is disorganized in the office–their papers are everywhere, perhaps their coat is strewn on a table, their desk drawers are half-closed. But having an unorganized computer system is just as detrimental to productivity. It’s a simple task to spend five minutes a day cleaning up your work computer, and the benefits can be seen almost immediately.

Messy Desktops

The most obvious disorganization issue is messy desktops. Icon after icon spilling off the right side of the page. The fastest fix for this is simply to create a new folder for any documents that need to be kept and deleting anything unnecessary. To do this, simply right-click on the background of the desktop and a pop-up menu will open. Select “New”, and then “Folder”. Once you’ve created the folder, right-click again and select Rename to give it a descriptive name like “December 2018 documents” or “Jones Client Files.” You could even go so far in this example as to make a folder for all your December 2018 files, then create sub-folders within it following the same procedure. The key is to get those hundreds of icons off the desktop and into a system where they can be easily organized and retrieved.

Further Configuration

Creating new folders isn’t just for cleaning up the desktop. While folders can be used for that purpose, they’re equally effective in other parts of the operating system as well. For example, whose Downloads folder isn’t a mess? Sorting by date makes it easy to find the most recently-downloaded file, but do you really need to keep all those space-cluttering bits and bytes? Take a couple minutes every week to review your Downloads folder and clear out anything unnecessary. For the files that do need to stick around, create a new folder right there in Downloads and move them in.

Creating new file folders is the easiest way to kick-start your computer organization process and will give you a breath of fresh air instead of a vague sense of dread every time you see your Desktop.