Nowadays, productivity is a challenge for the majority of companies, both startups, SMEs and corporations. Constantly distracted employees who also struggle to find files and information they need to do their work, generate billions of dollars of loss. It’s a more significant challenge than it used to be, for various reasons: the ubiquity of mobile devices that ping with notifications all the time, the fact that work more and more often happens on the go (which also goes hand-in-hand with the mobile revolution), a growing distribution of teams, a culture of open office spaces, and many more. It seems impossible to reverse the trend, but it is possible to create a digital workplace where everyone thrives, where productivity is enhanced by effective teamwork and where security issues do not limit it. All of that is possible thanks to Teamwork with Microsoft 365.
Collaboration is our culture. So, the more we share ideas, the more we drive innovation and creativity… We see the collaboration tools in Microsoft 365 as essential for our business transformation. – said Simon Sproule, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Aston Martin. We could not agree more.
Inner and outer loops of teamwork and collaboration
Teamwork is often associated with a group of people working on a project in the office. The reality is far more complex as teams are often distributed. Companies have offices in several locations, managers cooperate with independent contractors and give their employees more and more freedom – to work from home, while travelling, with flexible hours. Teams can fluctuate, and team members need to connect not only with other employees (we have called them an inner loop) but also with external consultants and leaders – an outer loop.
An inner loop: In need for a hub for teamwork
The inner loop consists of people with whom you work every day. It doesn’t matter whether they share office space with you or work remotely from a different continent – what matters is working on a project together. The inner loop requires a hub for teamwork that includes chat, files, built-in Office 365 apps, and a complete voice and online meeting solution, complemented by purpose-built devices. According to i4cp, people from the inner loop are 5 times more likely to be high performing when a company effectively promotes teamwork.
The inner loop needs purpose-built devices for everywhere work happens and a secure location that brings together everything a team needs in order to be more productive – chats, calls, meetings, files and office tools like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Stream and SharePoint. A distributed team also needs an online meeting solution in the cloud and a voice solution: phone system, calling plans, third-party voice connections.
Teamwork with Microsoft 365 is also an answer to the most common concerns regarding the digital workplace, like disorganised and unengaged meetings, multiple logins and incompatible tools. Thanks to Intelligent Communications & AI, communication experience within a team is more connected and insightful.
An outer loop: In need for employee engagement
The outer loop, on the other hand, consists of people with whom you connect across the organisation, but not necessarily work every day, like leaders and top management. Effective teamwork in the outer loop requires excellent internal communication that makes it possible to keep people informed and involved. Building an ongoing, two-way connection between leaders and the rest of the organisation is a key to drive clarity of purpose. When employees are highly engaged, the company gets 21% higher profits.
Employees expect that their digital experience at work is similar to the one they have at home. Moreover, the latter is increasingly mobile. No wonder organisations need to focus on what matters to their employees: mobile-first communication solutions that are secure and intelligent. If you don’t provide the collaboration tools that workers want, then they will find a work-around – 80% of users report using non-approved SaaS apps. With Teams it is possible to adopt effortless email, search and calendar with AI infused messaging to help prioritise and plan what’s essential, proactive people and document suggestions, data protection and encryption, and a compelling experience designed for screens of all sizes.
Security as a key to productivity
Do employees have a secure way to stay connected and organised when on the go? It is an essential question for all modern organisations. We have asked several managers about their biggest concerns regarding the security of their digital workplaces. Here are the most common answers:
- Gaining visibility into attacks is difficult, but the threat of a costly data breach is high.
- Putting data in the cloud may make us less protected.
- Protecting users’ personal mobile devices seems out of the question.
- Managing multiple security products from multiple vendors is difficult and time-consuming, plus it could put us at a higher security risk.
With Microsoft 365 E5, security is built into the platform. Powered by the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, Microsoft 365 offers unique intelligence plus a holistic approach to security. It has information protection and data loss prevention capabilities that help prevent sensitive financial and customer data from leaking.
We are using Microsoft 365 to support a workplace culture that fosters the creativity and teamwork that we need to make our strategies a success—while protecting our environment with intelligent security solutions. –said Mario Ferket, IT engineering director at Dow Chemical.
In fact, the cloud can provide better security than many retailers can provide with on-premises solutions. Microsoft has offerings designed for the unique security needs of government and defence organisations, such as data location requirements. Customer lockbox can help satisfy some requirements for special security clearance. It also has information protection and data loss prevention capabilities that help prevent sensitive financial and patient data from leaking.
Teamwork with Microsoft 365 is a single solution for connecting, communicating, and engaging with people across geographic and organisational boundaries. Its highly integrated solution meets the needs of today’s team-oriented work environment. With chat, files, meetings, voice, apps, and social, all backed by Microsoft’s enterprise-grade security and reliability, it provides employees with the tools they need to collaborate any time, any place, and on any device.