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Many companies have been completely remote since March of this year; however, they are struggling to utilize Microsoft to its full capacity for remote communication. In this article, we’re going to touch briefly on different ways your business can take advantage of Microsoft Suite features. After everyone on your team is comfortable using these tools, we promise remote work is going to feel a lot more doable. 

Microsoft 365 

Microsoft 365, formerly known as Office 365, “is the productivity cloud that brings together best-in-class Office apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security.” Microsoft 365 functions include: 

  • Productivity with Office Apps 
  • Word 
  • Excel 
  • PowerPoint 
  • And More 
  • Email and Calendar with Outlook 
  • Chat, calls and meetings 
  • Cloud Storage 

Below, we’ll go over some of the VGM Forbin team’s favorite features since becoming a fully remote staff. 

Teams 

Microsoft Teams is the instant messenger that you didn’t know you needed until you were stuck at home during COVID-19. The app is a great way to “collaborate without compromising privacy and security.” You can download the app for your desktop or mobile device to communicate with coworkers from anywhere. Consider it the communication hub of Microsoft 365. 

Here’s the breakdown of what you can do with Teams. 

Individual Chats: Have a one-on-one conversation with coworkers and revisit it to remember what you talked about!  

Group Chat: Rather than having the same conversation multiple times, message multiple people at once!  

Team Chat: Create a permanent group chat to keep all the information and conversations for a project or business vertical in one place. 

Meetings: Schedule conference calls with coworkers through Microsoft 365. When it’s time for the meeting, open your invitation and click on the Join Meeting link. You’ll be taken to the scheduled conference call where you can choose to use video or not. If you don’t have a meeting scheduled but would like to have a phone conversation with someone, you can also start a meeting from an individual chat, group chat or team chat where video is also an option. Since Microsoft understands that your home isn’t always the ideal background for important video meetings, you can choose from different special effects as your background. When it’s time for you to present your amazing work, you can even share your screen to help you communicate with your team. 

In Teams, not only can you send instant messages in individual chats, groups and team chats, but you can send documents and images as well. While face to face communication is always valuable, Teams provides an easy way to communicate with anyone in your company and keep track of files sent. 

SharePoint 

Microsoft calls this product a “mobile, intelligent intranet.” This cloud-based platform allows your team to do more than store documents online. You can custom organize information and folders to “collaborate seamlessly across the organization.”  

SharePoint is designed for you to create your own micro-websites for each project team, department, and division. In order to protect sensitive information, you can change permission sharing to one of the following: 

  • Anyone with the link 
  • People in your organization with the link 
  • People with existing access 
  • Only specific people 

You can also set up two-factor authentication with SharePoint, so the only individuals who can access your micro-sites are in your organization. At VGM Forbin, we have two-factor authentication, but we also have some SharePoint sites that we have joint permissions with a specific customer. This allows us to collaborate with customers, record notes from monthly meetings and keep track of task lists for both teams. 

OneDrive 

OneDrive is a simpler cloud-based platform that allows you to store documents, spreadsheets and most kinds of projects that you would typically store in desktop folders. This eliminates the need to send emails back and forth when working on documents, and also maintains privacy and security for your team. 

If your team needs a better or more permanent solution for remote employees, our IT team can set up Microsoft 365 for your company within a couple business days of your request. Fill out the form below to contact one of our team members and we’ll reach out to talk to you about Microsoft solutions for your organization. 

 

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