The outbreak and rapid spread of COVID-19, commonly known as corona virus, has prompted many
companies to implement emergency work-from-home protocols to avoid exposure in the workplace.
Due to this many business are now encouraging and even mandating that employees work from home
amid this global health crisis over the corona virus. Millions of people can expect to have their daily
routines and work styles impacted. But not everyone is accustomed to working from home and getting
into work mode from a space that’s not your regular one can be a huge adjustment.
The bright side of working from home is that you save time on a commute, spend more time with family,
and maybe get a few more things done around the house. But the challenges, including loneliness,
staying connected, and a heightened penchant for distraction, can have a significant effect on your
psyche and productivity.
If your company has never had a full-time remote workforce, this can be a challenging transition.
However, thanks to modern technology, it’s very possible for many employees to be as productive at
home as they would be in the office, if not more so.
Before we look at how best to leverage technology and Office 365 based solutions to empower your
employees let’s look at some very high-level common challenges and areas to consider –
- Direction from leadership team
- Structuring outcomes and deliverable within deadlines
- Lack of access to information
- Building e- work relationships with co-workers
- Social isolation
- Distractions at home
Here are a few essential tech tools you’ll need to get through the virus outbreak. While you may already
be using many of these tools, they may take on a new function and significance during this extended
period of remote work.
Communication within the team can be the biggest challenge when your workforce is remote. Chat
software like Microsoft Teams allow seamless communication between individual team members,
departments and the entire company. Different chat “channels” allow people to discuss work,
brainstorm ideas and stay connected to each other throughout the workday. Many companies already
use these instant messaging tools, but you’ll want to encourage your staff to pay extra attention to their
messages right now, as this will likely become the primary method of communicating during your
Whether you’re relegated to working from a spare bedroom, the library, or the lobby of your apartment
building, Microsoft’s Office 365 has the tools you need to work anytime, anywhere, on any device. It has
the same Office apps you’ve used for years, plus all the benefits of the cloud.
Video meetings where the attendees can see each other’s expressions and react to one another in real
time can replicate the benefits of face-to-face meetings you would have had in the office. Video
conferencing software typically includes screen-sharing capabilities, recording and live chat, which can
add an extra layer of communication and understanding to your meetings. MS Teams can be used for
this purpose as well.
Keeping your team on track and maintaining everyone’s regular workflows while you’re all working
remotely will require a top-notch project management tool. You can use Office 365 applications
including MS project, project online or planner for this purpose. SharePoint forms a great documents
storage and collaboration platform. Capabilities like version control and co-authoring takes care of the
admin behind managing these documents leaving the authors to focus on the content. Add OneNote to
your Teams to record discussions and action items from your daily stand-up’s. This is shared with your
team and everyone can have access to it based around their permissions.
Access to business documents
One of the challenges of working remotely is the lack of access to your company’s internal servers. You
can use SharePoint online and OneDrive for business for this purpose. By moving all your files to the
cloud, you ensure that your team has uninterrupted access to important documents, spreadsheets,
presentations, videos and more. Plus, it’s easier to collaborate in real time and avoid sending edited
versions of documents back and forth.
Productivity and time trackers
When working from home, it can be easy to get off task — especially if employees are quarantined at
home with their families. MS Planner can be used for this purpose. You can also extend PowerApps or
Power Automate to track employee outputs. PowerApps can be used to enhance organisational
communications to get company updates, share emergency contacts, FAQ, access to important
information and news during these unprecedented times along with ensuring staff safety and more.
Information flow from leadership team
Communions and direction from the leadership team is critical. Intranet can be used for this purpose to
promote messages, news & directions. Quick intranet can be developed as part of SharePoint online
using Modern Site to promote this. This will make employees at ease when seeing constant updates.
Last but most important we wish everyone and their families to be safe and healthy!
As a Microsoft Gold certified partner, we have extensive experience in delivering these solutions and
increase user adoption/productivity. For more information, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org