If you do one thing this month… learn how to use your Office 365 account better

You’d be surprised how many business owners contact the Q2Q team on a regular basis, asking how to get the most out of their Microsoft Office 365 accounts. And, what we’ve come to realise is that many organisations have invested in it, but only a limited number use to it to its full potential – with many not even knowing about some of the key features it offers.

So, that’s the inspiration behind our latest blog. We’ve put our tech-minded heads together to come up with five easy ways you can maximise the ROI on your Office 365 software – improving staff productivity, time efficiencies and letting the creative juices flow.

1 – Creative collaboration

Ok, so your SME has invested in the Office 365 software package, but do you know what that really means for your team dynamic?

Well, where collaboration is concerned, it’s great! Gone are the days of having to wait until one colleague is out of a document before you can go in and edit it. If your firm has a document that more than one person needs to contribute to, you can easily collaborate on the same version with any changes happening in real-time.

This not only means that everyone is one the same page, but it affords more room for creativity and ideas-bouncing between colleagues – which is often how the best results come to fruition.

Psst! You can also share files between colleagues or external clients via a sharing link – ensuring clear, concise communications at all times.

2 – Exciting email features

How many emails do you send every day? We know that sometimes you just can’t firefight the inbox inferno fast enough, so while you’re trying to get on top of your e-correspondence, it’s at least worth knowing about some of the cool hacks which can make the whole experience better – right?

If you frequently want to send an email to the same group of people – but need a quicker alternative to painstakingly typing in each recipient’s name, it’s time to discover the ‘Contact Group’ feature. Essentially, it’s a function which allows you to create a distribution list – and, with the click of a button, you can email as many people as you’d like. Great for project work and seamless departmental communications.

We know it’s easy for email inboxes to become cluttered, so it’s also convenient that Office 365’s Outlook offers a useful ‘Focused Inbox’ feature which streamlines your inbox – separating your emails into ‘Focused’ and ‘Other’ category tabs, based on their importance to you.

3 – Embrace Microsoft Teams

Have you heard that Skype for Business is slowly being replaced by Microsoft Teams? – a cloud-based communications platform that combines video meetings, workplace messenger and Office 365 into one single, easy-to-use platform.

And, because Teams includes all the features and functionality that Skype for Business offers, there’s no stand-out reason for SMEs to favour the latter anymore…

The rationale behind creating the new Teams platform was that Microsoft wanted to create a single, optimised hub which offered every aspect of workplace collaboration. So, from creating appointments, sharing files, taking part in video calls and creating groups – to name just a few of the many features – Team has SMEs covered.

Definitely something for companies to get on board with if they haven’t already.

4 – The wonder of OneDrive

The great thing about Office 365 is that for businesses with staff who work remotely, file accessibility and recovery is super simple – thanks to OneDrive.

If you didn’t know about what OneDrive can do, you’ve come to the right place. There are so many features which can contribute to a smoother – headache-free – running of your day-to-day tasks.

OneDrive actually connects you to all your Office 365 files, enabling you to work from anywhere – in a secure, reliable way – so, it’s not surprising it has many USPs. One of which is that it’s cloud-based. Storing your organisation’s files in the cloud not only saves on local storage space, but also allows you to sync updates, recover and back up files across multiple devices – on various operating systems and hardware!

But wait, what happens if one of the document’s collaborators accidentally makes changes you want to undo or overwrite? Well, gone are the days of having to redo the entire document. Version History is a functionality which allows users to restore older versions of any OneDrive files, at the click of a mouse – and, it’s compatible with all file types!

There are also many other cool features to discover, if you ever want to up your OneDrive game even further.

5 – Anytime, anywhere access

With Office 365 being cloud-based, this means you can keep your important files up-to-dateat any time, from any browser – as long as you have a device that’s connected to the internet, of course!

Whether you’re working on your laptop, smartphone or tablet – it doesn’t matter. There are software versions for all device types, so you can access emails and update your files from any location. And, this is a key feature which should be utilised by SMEs offering remote working as an option, as employees can now start a piece of work in the office and head out to finish it in another setting of their choice – home, coffee shop, you name it!

We know that with so much on the daily SME agenda, processes need to be slick and easy-to-use if they’re ever going to become a mainstay of your organisation. So, with this in mind, why not take stock and see if you can better utilise your Office 365 account to improve the way your business works?

If you’d like to chat to one of the team about how to optimise your current IT infrastructure– including software and hardware – feel free to get in touch!

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