As many organizations strive to foster a more efficient, productive and, innovative workplace, they are digitally transforming to enhance collaboration. Companies are quickly realizing the need for effective teamwork in an increasingly globalized business landscape. Seventy-five percent of employers believe collaboration and teamwork are very important. 

Employee preferences for flexible work environments and healthy work-life balance are also redefining collaboration in the modern workplace. In fact, many employers have no choice but to hire remote workers across multiple time zones and diverse cultures and demographics. 

One of the main challenges when building an effective collaboration-based workplace is setting up the right infrastructure to facilitate employee communications and interactions. One way to solve this problem is by adopting Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). To promote teamwork, Microsoft 365 provides digital capabilities that can completely reinvent your workplace structure to favor productivity, innovation, and efficiency. Let’s look at the value Microsoft 365 brings to your workplace and the essential teamwork features available on the platform. 

Microsoft 365: the new face of collaboration

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based platform with a suite of products designed to bring employees together and enable real-time communications and collaborations between co-workers. Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) was launched in 2011, and it has since become a powerful toolset that contains all the elements to create a virtual working platform for thousands of companies worldwide and millions of individual users. 

And it is not just the unprecedented adoption rate of Microsoft 365 that sets it apart. The platform’s feature-rich tools give organizations a competitive edge by providing opportunities to adopt progressive workstyles and modern HR trends. MS 365 covers all your remote and virtual working needs, from HR management, employee hierarchy, mobility, and accessibility to data and user security. Many organizations also augment their physical workplaces by empowering their employees with digital collaboration tools through the Microsoft 365 suite. 

Microsoft 365 teamwork and collaboration tools

Microsoft 365 Business suite contains several useful enterprise tools and services, including MS Office applications, Yammer and Outlook. But for now, we’ll only discuss the four main Microsoft 365 collaboration tools: Teams, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint.

Microsoft Teams

Teams is the hub of communication and collaboration in Microsoft 365 that allows co-workers to collaborate through online meetings, document sharing, customizable workspaces, conferencing, and live chat. Teams users converse through chat boards called channels, and administrators can monitor and control their team members’ activities across the platform. The teams and channels structure enables employees to communicate and work together within closed groups and to discuss organizational topics within the larger community. 

MS Teams integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft 365 features and third-party apps, including Word, OneNote, Yammer, Planner, Excel, and Power BI, to give your employees all the tools and features they need to work remotely. It also directs information to a central hub where it is accessible to everyone, minimizing the information mediums employees have to track at any given time. 

Teams is set to replace Skype for Business since it offers so much more than just basic communications. In most cases, Teams is the only virtual working platform that remote employees need.

OneDrive for Business

For Windows users, OneDrive is a cloud-based solution for organizing and storing personal files. And although OneDrive for Business (ODFB) is often defined as a professional version of OneDrive, there is a lot more to it than that – technically, the two are totally different tools.  

Unlike OneDrive for personal use, OneDrive for Business is part of Microsoft 365. ODFB is a hosted storage platform designed with enterprise features allowing employees to collaborate on file or document-based tasks. Users can store and manage files from a central location through ODFB’s SharePoint-based storage infrastructure and easily sync their data repositories with SharePoint sites and on-prem servers. 

The main advantage of ODFB lies in its capabilities for facilitating collaboration. Co-workers can share files between OneDrive accounts and other Microsoft 365 apps such as Teams, Exchange Email, and SharePoint. Plus, employees can sync their files with other data hubs and co-author documents in real time. 

SharePoint

SharePoint is the Swiss army knife of collaboration and content on Microsoft 365. It allows users to create sites where employees can securely store, share, organize, and access information from any web browser. With SharePoint in Microsoft 365, your employees can share data across multiple platforms without an on-prem SharePoint Server or data center. 

The three main SharePoint features are collaboration, content management, and business intelligence. It also has templates for two types of sites: communication SharePoint templates designed for content creators and publishers, and team-based sites ideal for collaboration among groups. Team sites are managed by Microsoft Teams, while Outlook handles internal communications. 

Think of SharePoint as a highly advanced file drive with web interfacing, apps integration, powerful indexing and searching, and file versioning. It’s an integral part of data management across the entire Microsoft 365 suite. 

Boost collaboration and teamwork with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 has so many distinct features because no two workplaces are exactly the same. Different organizations have unique communications, data management, and staff administration requirements. Identify your workplace requirements and analyze the existing work infrastructure to determine the best Microsoft 365 solution to increase your staff’s collaboration, teamwork, and productivity. The good news is, Microsoft 365 subscriptions are conveniently packaged so you only pay for what you need. Plus, since you can use most of the features as standalone apps, it’s easy to scale your Microsoft 365 footprint. 

Softlanding is a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner, so we know a thing or two about Microsoft 365 features and their uses. Contact us today and let us help your business leverage the most powerful and versatile enterprise collaboration platform yet. 

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