The Remote Office - Collaboration Tools for a Changing Workforce

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.

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