Manage Remote Teams with Microsoft Solutions During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how teams work, collaborate and communicate. Give your employees the Microsoft tools they need to be productive and focused.

Businesses across the country and around the globe are grappling with how to keep employees productive and communicative in the wake of the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Connecting employees across distances is a priority right now, forcing many companies to grapple with the complexities of remote work.

Fortunately, there are many Microsoft tools available to help companies keep employees working productively from home.

Coronavirus Outbreak Working Remotely

What Microsoft Tools Help with Remote Work?

Microsoft Teams is another useful tool to help with remote work and learning. The app fully integrates with Microsoft Office 365 and allows you to create and work with groups quickly. Group members can collaborate in real-time on documents and create group chats while working together.

Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most useful ways to help teams connect remotely. Office 365 includes the popular Microsoft Office apps, including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This cloud-based version of Office lets employees easily collaborate, share and communicate while working remotely.

Teams enhances the Office suite with dynamic tools that enable employees to work, even remotely, on the same documents. It keeps projects moving, Team members informed and work progressing.

With Teams, all materials are stored in the cloud. Teams pulls together the documents, tools and chat capabilities into a shared digital workspace. Teams can create communications channels, make assignments, track communications and create tags to track work.

Using Teams chats can reduce email clutter and help simplify communication. Teams also integrates with other helpful Microsoft tools like OneNote, Skype and SharePoint. The Teams platform can be accessed across devices with automatic syncing. Teams are a useful tool for collaboration beyond your employees, allowing you to add vendors, suppliers, partners and clients as needed.

Teams also provides helpful app integration with other popular programs, such as Adobe Creative Suite, Polly, SmartSheet and Trello.

Teams keeps information protected, too, with automated encryption to keep documents secure while in transit or at rest.

What Is the Cost of Microsoft Teams and Office 365?

Microsoft has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering Office 365 E1 free for 60 days. The 365 E1 version includes Microsoft Teams and can be used on desktops, laptops and mobile devices smartphones and tablets.

365 E1 features workflow automation, online meeting capabilities and audio and high-def video features.

Microsoft includes several other important tools in the 365 E1 package:

  • Sway, a tool for creating web-based digital interactive stories
  • OneDrive for Business, including 1 TB of cloud storage accessible remotely;
  • Stream, a secure service to make, manage and share video content

Available add-ons include phone management, audio conferencing and global data location management.

Microsoft recommends that users think about Teams as a “virtual office.” It can be used for 1:1 check-ins, recording meetings for later use, or large collaborative interactions with hundreds of employees. “Hold every call and meeting on Teams. Use channels, rather than email or group chats, for team-level conversations. Turn on your camera to connect during meetings,” Microsoft notes.

What Microsoft Tools Help With Remote Work?

Here are some other helpful Microsoft tools to assist your company in shifting to a remote work environment:

  • Windows Virtual Desktop. This virtualization service gives multiple users access to remote desktops and apps from nearly every browser type. It’s ideal for remote users and keeps data off of personal devices employees are using. WVD is scalable and flexible
  • Microsoft Intune. As your business migrates to a remote solution, you need to manage more personal devices and applications. Intune uses a mobile app to keep user information private and corporate data secure
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security. This tool helps companies contain access by giving users conditional browser access with controls that prevent data from being downloaded

Does your company need support with cloud-based solutions like Microsoft Office 365? Learn more about how CTECH Consulting Group can help with technical solutions that drive better business results by contacting us today.