If you are looking to optimise productivity and improve collaboration within your company, then Office 365 is the solution. Getting the most out of Office 365 is easy once you know how to use all of its fantastic features, so keep reading to find out what they are!

Your guide to getting the most out of Office 365

Being one of the most technologically advanced and sophisticated tools on the market, Office 365 promises to be the perfect office companion. Guaranteed to increase productivity, improve daily practices and provide robust security. This innovative software is currently the leading integrated experience of apps and services. In fact, in CASB’s 2018 Cloud Adoption Report where software usage of more than 135,000 companies globally was analysed, it was found that Office 365 remains to be the preferred office companion over Google’s G Suite. As such a comprehensive office productivity platform, new features and capabilities are always being added, making it somewhat difficult to utilise the software to its full capability. For this reason, one of the best ways to get the most out of Office 365 is to ensure everyone using it has access to initial and on-going online training. However, we all know how tedious and time-consuming training processes can be, so we have devised the ultimate list of quick tips that will allow you to implement Office 365 more effectively.

team collaboration

Get creative with Sway

Microsoft’s lightweight, cloud-only, story-telling application Sway is ideal for companies that regularly utilise presentations and newsletters to captivate their audience. In comparison to PowerPoint, it provides more narrative devices than the standard slide after slide of bullet points – bringing your content together beautifully. This creative application is even integrated with notable social channels such as Bing, YouTube and Twitter in order to make image and video integration/insertion into presentations simpler. With Sway, you can also do the following:

  • Place text next to an image in vertical layout
  • Make an image stay fixed on the page while users scroll through the text
  • Add colour/an image for a heading background
  • Make text scroll over an image
  • Add interactivity such as Forms, Stack and Comparison

If you are still not convinced by the extensive capabilities of Sway, you should know that it even dynamically adapts to look great on any device, and can be shared or co-edited with a simple URL.

Utilise anywhere/anytime access

By having all of your documents stored securely in the cloud, you can easily access your work at any time from any device – super convenient! A lot of businesses have now ditched their in-house servers because there are so many benefits of storing your data in the cloud. For this reason, we offer seamless cloud migration services in Brisbane which are guaranteed to reduce implementation costs and ultimately improve your services.

As a society, we are becoming a more mobile workforce as many professions are beginning to run their company from a home office. With remote working becoming more common, the anywhere/anytime features of Office 365 are all the more prevalent. If you want, you can easily start a document at work, save it to your OneDrive for Business folder and then pick up where you left off when you get home, at a coffee shop or anywhere you can concentrate.

video call

Make video conferencing more convenient

Connecting to clients and other businesses using smart online platforms is becoming a necessity in our tech-centred world. To avoid unnecessary expenses and paying for services such as Zoom or WebEx, you can simply use the video communication apps that are part of your Office 365 subscription. When using Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams, you and your team can talk to each other internally using video and audio calls through the Office 365 platform. Impressively, you can even host video conference calls with external members, such as clients. Microsoft Teams is considered to be an instrumental tool for increasing productivity because employees can host meetings on the go, and in real-time, using a well-designed and professional service. Hosting online meetings internally and externally is extremely beneficial in today’s society as everyone is always on the move, and there is always an internet connection!

Sign the dotted line

In collaboration with DocuSign, Microsoft have now made signing documents online easier than ever. Once you have configured DocuSign with your Office 365 account, you can effortlessly add the required signature to all the necessary places. Digital signatures are regularly used by businesses as it eradicates the need to send important documents, such as contracts, in the post. We understand that the idea of your signature being easily accessed online can be quite unsettling, but with public key infrastructure, you can rest easy knowing your documents and eSignatures are completely safe and secure.

making presentation

Improve collaboration with Teams

Effective collaboration and the promotion of healthy employee relationships are key contributors to any company’s success. Microsoft acknowledges this, which is why they have incorporated Microsoft Teams into Office 365.

Allowing departments within a business to work together in a more fluid and productive manner, Microsoft Teams provides a dedicated space for employees to complete set tasks on time with precision. When using the application, each individual with access can converse with one another, share files and simultaneously work on documents. While it does appear to offer similar functionalities to Slack, Microsoft Teams is hard to compete with thanks to its ease of use and integration. For example, when using Microsoft Teams, it is easy to integrate calendars, essential reminders and documents but the process is a lot more complicated if you try to do this using Slack or other similar services. The user-friendly experience of Teams ensures all employees are kept up-to-date and informed of the latest project developments. This is important as it will result in a better work environment, increased productivity and provide a return on investment as a result.

using smartphone

Become a champion employee

Microsoft’s champion program is targeted at employees who excel in their day-to-day work and wish to increase their visibility within the organisation. The primary aim of this useful program is to support you with regular communication, connect with peers/thought leaders and streamline your Office 365 education journey. If you sign up to join the champion community, you will have access to these beneficial opportunities:

  • Regular email communications
  • Regular champion-peer networking and sharing
  • Partnerships with Microsoft at premier events and meetups in your industry
  • Access to Microsoft subject matter experts and unique Office 365 training and content

Security education and awareness program manager in Microsoft CSEO, Eva Etchells, took advantage of the champion scheme in order to drive awareness around enterprise security at Microsoft. She stated that when working for such a large commercial company, the security champions served as a voice of influence, helping to accelerate consumption and create feedback loops. By doing this, the entire team gained a greater understanding of how enterprise security education was landing across the organisation. In fact, the champions even received credits towards their professional industry security certifications!

Manage tasks more effectively

One of the best task management and organisational systems available comes in the form of Microsoft Planner. Whether you want to take notes, add important events to your calendar or track, organise, and complete tasks, you can do all of this with Planner. If completing complex projects is part of your job, Planner will make your life so much easier as you can transform big projects into simple, achievable steps. Many businesses utilise Planner because team leaders can allocate tasks to other team members with ease. Once allocated tasks, it’s super simple to view what tasks you have been assigned, and you can prioritise them strategically according to deadlines and importance. Increasing visibility and transparency in this way means the chances of work being duplicated are significantly reduced, and everyone is kept well informed of their personal tasks and goals.

busy office

The ultimate office companion

By properly training and integrating Office 365 and its applications into your business’s daily workflow, you are guaranteed to benefit from improved productivity, effective collaboration and increased security. Thanks to our years of experience providing successful IT support in the Gold Coast, we understand how to implement Office 365 effectively. We hope our expertise has improved your understanding of Office 365 and what it has to offer. If you know someone that may need help using Office 365 to its full potential, why not share this article with them on social media?