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February 15, 2019

How to Create A Digital Workplace Solution Using Office 365

Posted By
aureus tech systems

The business world is expanding. The "9 - 5" grind is slowly transitioning into a more robust, flexible workday. Digital solutions provide remote work opportunities and non-traditional work schedules. For businesses, finding a way to communicate and collaborate between workers who are located in various areas can be difficult.

After all, you have to have a workplace that's completely digital, without sacrificing functionality or disrupting your entire communication strategy. So, how do you create this digital workspace? What can you do to connect all of your employees together under one common roof?

Here's how to create a digital workplace solution using Office 365.

What is a Digital Workplace?

A digital workplace is a connected environment where people work. To be fair, trying to define the digital workplace is difficult. Really, the digital workplace is the frictions that exist between the physical workplace and where work actually gets done. Since the physical workplace is slowly fading as remote work and other non-traditional forms of work are introduced in the business ecosystem, where work gets done isn't necessarily at a desk behind a cubicle. It could be in a chair at a coffee shop or on a couch at home.

This evolution of where people work has changed how people work. For businesses, this means the necessity for a connected workplace that goes beyond the physical office and extends to the digital world.

Office 365 and the Digital Workplace

The concept of a digital workplace is driven by the rise in digital work, but the action of creating a digital workplace is driven by tools. Specifically, Office 365 has become the go-to tool for creating a digital workplace. That's not to say that other tools can't tackle specific needs in the digital workplace, but Office 365 is responsible for creating the architecture that drives those tools.

Why?

Office 365 answers four questions that define the digital workplace.

How do businesses enable collaboration across channels?

How do businesses handle applications throughout the organization?

How do enterprises handle the networking and IT infrastructure that a digital workplace would require?

How do businesses measure metrics across workplaces?

As a whole, Office 365 answers the following questions with ease. But, let's get granular and talk about some ways that Office 365 can enable a digital workplace in your business.

To do this, we're going to look at each of those four questions.

How Does Office 365 Promote Collaboration Across Channels?

To be able to successfully implement a digital workplace that allows employees the freedom to work anywhere at any time, you have to have powerful collaboration tools. In Office 365, there are plenty.

Here are a few:

Skype: Let users communicate directly from anywhere at any time using your existing Office 365 profiles.

Teams: Gives employees the ability to communicate freely across the organization on a granular or enterprise-wide level. This includes chats between employees, teams, or even departments.

Yammer: Enables enterprise-wide communication. This could be HR announcements, company memos, or legal notifications.

SharePoint: Gives employees the ability to share throughout the organization. If there's an internet connection, there's the potential for deep collaboration.

How Does Office 365 Help Businesses Share Applications?

Not only does Office 365 boast some powerful cloud technology, but it also helps users create applications. This means that users can share apps business-wide, which will help spark a culture of innovation, automation, and imagination.

What tools does Office 365 have that can help with this?

Here are a few:

Azure Active Directory: Acts as the backbone for your cloud services. You can still utilize on-premise servers and 3rd party cloud support, but Azure helps you integrate that all together under one common infrastructure.

PowerApps: Helps employees create their own applications that can help them on a granular level, which they can share with the team. A common concern for organizations looking to create a dynamic digital workplace is the IT workflow. With so many users in so many locations, how do you utilize a proper tech stack? PowerApps gives employees the freedom to easily create their own drag-and-drop apps.

How Does Office 365 Help With Businesses Security and IT?

For starters, Office 365 has enterprise-level security built-in. This means that all of the apps you're going to be using through Office 365 will be protected. But, on a larger scale, Office 365 natively provides the IT infrastructure by combining all of these services under one common platform. This means that users are shared throughout apps and everything seamlessly works together — no need to worry about legacy systems or integrations.

How Does Office 365 Help Measure Metrics Across Workplaces?

A major pain point of the digital workplace is the ability to track employee engagement, work, and success. To do this, you would need systems in place that could track metrics and pinpoint problem areas — just like in the physical office. Well, surprise! Office 365 lets you do just that.

What tools does Office 365 have that can help with this?

Here are a few:

Delve: Gives employees the ability to see who's working on what, how they can help, and gives management a 360-degree view of everyone's status, work progress, and job function. This means that each person has their own role and jobs, and that's visible throughout the organization.

PowerBI: Let's businesses develop metric-based approaches to workflows. It can also empower businesses by helping them design thoughtful, actionable key performance indicators.

MyAnalytics: Makes employee productivity clear. Want to know where a person's significant areas of loss are? How about what kind of productivity output an employee has? You can do that!

Final Thoughts

Creating a digital workplace doesn't have to be an incredibly demanding process. You don't have to mix-match a ton of different tech and integrate various legacy systems like McGuyver. Instead, Office 365 gives you every tool necessary to jumpstart your digital workplace. The way that people work is changing, and failing to react appropriately to these changes can leave businesses in a world of hurt.