Workforces have changed across the globe. Businesses are undergoing digital transformation to better support distributed work environments, amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Some say they’ll never go back to a traditional office plan. This shift is impacting employees, productivity, and even revenue—for better and for worse.

Many businesses were adopting more flexible work environments before the Covid-19 outbreak. According to Forbes, 70% of employees say going into the office isn’t necessary. Employees aren’t just wanting to work more flexible hours or work from home. Entire companies have taken flexible work to the max and become fully distributed- even if this shift was forced by the recent pandemic restrictions. Here are four tips for a newly distributed workforce and tools that will help you along the way.

1.) Foster Communication and Team Collaboration

This might seem impossible in a remote capacity. Employees everywhere are being forced to find new ways to interact with each other and achieve business goals. It’s important that they have the tools to facilitate this and know how to utilize them. Encourage video meetings and tool use.

Microsoft Teams

Teams is the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365. It allows employees to chat, meet, call and collaborate all in one place- no matter where you are. See what the free version of Microsoft Teams has to offer.

Microsoft Planner

Beyond getting a plan in place for who’s doing what when, Microsoft Planner can also help you actually do some of the things you have planned.

 2.) Automate In-person Processes

Business executives and employees are being forced to transform formerly in-person processes into digital ones. PTO requests, expenses, etc. still have to be submitted, so automating these processes is pertinent for digital transformation.

Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate

With Power Apps and Power Automate, you don’t need to learn to code or rely on developers to find new ways to solve business problems. The intuitive point and click visual tools require no special skills or code.

3.) Create a Platform to Stay Organized

Some people are naturally organized. Others require structure and forced habits to stay on track with their tasks. Give your employees organized “storage” for their documents and ideas.

Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint sites are a secure place to store, organize, share and access information from any device and from anywhere with an internet connection. It is an attractive option in today’s technological landscape, as many business are functioning remotely.

Microsoft OneNote

This is exactly what it sounds like. Get organized with digital notebooks that you can divide into sections and pages. Share ideas with your team and encourage collaborative planning.

4.) Leverage Your Data

Executives should be looking more closely at their metrics, especially with a newly distributed workforce. Take charge of your workforce and technology assets. With interactive reports, you can set business goals, appraise your organization’s metrics and assess your IT system’s structure and health.

Microsoft Power BI

Migrate business data to the cloud and allow for better collaboration. Explore your data, identify trends, and, most importantly, gain actionable insights that can change your business.

Communication is essential to a newly mobile business. Utilize these helpful resources to strengthen your distributed workforce. Check out our webinar, How to Manage a Distributed Workforce, or email [email protected] if you have any questions.