No Matter Whether You Work From Home Or The Office, Microsoft Has Revolutionised The Way We Work

15th October 2020

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The Top Microsoft Products To Help You Work Smarter


The Top Microsoft Products To Help You Work Smarter

Microsoft software and apps have revolutionised the way we work with greater flexibility, efficiency and connectivity. Gone are the days of trying to integrate different software applications resulting in poor productivity. Now all your solutions talk to each other effortlessly whether you are preparing a document, collaborating or communicating.

According to Microsoft’s Windows is the most widely used computer operating system in the world, accounting for around 72.86 percent share of the desktop, tablet, and console OS market in February 2020.’ That accounts for more than 1 billion devices running Windows 10!

Why use Microsoft products? Well security for one, every day Microsoft analyse over 6.5 trillion signals to identify emerging threats and protect customers. But there is way more to it than that, Microsoft makes work easier with a solution for every problem and continual developments resulting in more user-friendly efficient systems.


Collaboration And Communication With Teams

Meet, Chat, Call and collaborate with Microsoft Teams. The ultimate communication platform, Teams allows for complete flexibility in the way you communicate and collaborate. With today’s workforce becoming more and more remote, Teams allows for a more flexible workforce to operate in a business as usual approach. For those of you yet to be acquainted with Microsoft Teams, it’s a collaborative platform that integrates video, audio and chat functions, providing something to suit everybody’s communication style. In true Microsoft fashion, Teams is integrated and synced with Outlook, allowing you to schedule meetings on either application and automatically add these to your Microsoft calendar. With multiparty video and audio calling, you can add up to 250 users on your call, allowing you to host virtual meetings and conferences whilst working from home or across multiple offices.


Video conferencing

Make meetings more personal and increase your productivity by collaborating in real-time.


Screen sharing

Keep everyone on the same page by sharing your screen so they can see the same content.


Custom backgrounds

Create the perfect virtual setting by choosing, uploading, or blurring your background.


Together mode

Digitally sit in a shared background, making it feel like you’re in the same room with everyone else.1


File sharing

Co-author files in real-time. Securely store, access, share, and collaborate on files from anywhere.


Apps and workflows

Streamline tasks and critical business processes by integrating apps and workflows.


Market availability

Available in 53 languages and 181 markets. Connect across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.


Privacy and security

Meet regulatory, legal, and organisational needs with industry-leading compliance offerings.


‘Teams Hack’


If someone shares a document with you via Teams, there are three ways to view and edit it:

  • Open in the desktop app
  • Open in browser
  • Edit in Teams

When you choose to edit in Teams, you can chat with your colleagues whilst editing your document. This trick makes it even easier to collaborate and exchange ideas on joint projects or documents.


Organisation With Planner

Use your knowledge of Microsoft 365 apps to start using Planner fast. With a familiar getting-started experience, you can create new tasks in minutes, without expert help. Plans are comprised of content-rich task cards that contain expected elements like due dates and extra elements like files and labels. Everything is in Planner, so you can search less and work more. Skip building complex status reports for your plans. Planner automatically visualises task status into pie and bar charts for you with no setup required. Use Planner wherever you’re working. At your desk? Open Planner from On the go? Update tasks from your mobile device. Collaborating in Teams? Select the Planner-powered Tasks app. Planner is part of Microsoft 365 so it’s just as secure as the other apps. Microsoft 365 also connects Planner with Microsoft To Do, SharePoint, Power Automate, and more for efficient task management. Planner and Teams work well together. The Tasks app in Teams combines all your Planner and To Do tasks and pairs team and personal to-dos with advanced collaboration tools.

‘Planner tips’

Do you have a single task that you need to recreate? Don’t bother rewriting the same task multiple times, just copy it. Open the task you want to copy, click the three-dot menu icon in the top right and then select the “Copy Task” button. Choose the elements of the task you want to copy and then click “Copy.”

The Schedule shows the current month by default, but you can click the “Week” button to show a week view instead. The Schedule view is the best way in Microsoft Planner to get a bird’s-eye view of everything you have to do. It’s much easier to understand your workload when you can see it visually. Whether you view by Week or by Month, you can drag and drop any task to a new date to change the due date.


Mail Communication With Outlook

If you use Microsoft Outlook for email, we’ve got some handy tips to improve your inbox workflow and keep on top of your emails. With Outlook’s ‘Rule’ functions, you can automatically file emails into folders depending on the recipient or subject contents. This helps you better organise your emails and group them accordingly.

To support this organisational structure, you can prioritise your inbox with ‘Flags’ to highlight important or urgent emails, which colour them yellow to ensure they stand out from the rest. With Outlook’s ‘Categories’ function, you can further colour code your emails, helping you to organise correspondence by sender, subject or importance, as well as assigning emails to individuals in a shared inbox.

When it comes to keeping on top of your emails, you can right click and select ‘Quick Steps”, which allows you to easily forward emails to managers and teams, as well as moving the email to  ‘Done’ status or selecting ‘Reply and Delete’ to clear out completed tasks or correspondence. To help you keep your inbox clean, you can also click ‘Assign Policy’ and put a retention policy in place to delete the email after a specified time period.

‘Useful Outlook Shortcuts’

Ctrl+Shift+M to open a new email

Ctrl+Shift+A to create a new appointment

Ctrl+F to forward an email

Ctrl+Shift+B to open the address book

Ctrl+O to open a received email


Make It All Easier With One Drive

Perhaps the pièce de resistance of Microsoft 365, OneDrive offers sophisticated cloud-based storage that unifies Microsoft’s office applications. By saving documents to the Cloud instead of your computer’s hard drive, you can access your applications and files from anywhere, on any device, including portable devices such as laptops and smartphones. This flexibility ensures you have everything you need to seamlessly transition to remote working, allowing you to pick up where you left off at the office.  With remote working never more important for business productivity, moving your documents and files to the Cloud gives you the flexibility you need to work from anywhere.

For an added bonus, OneDrive also provides protection against damage or loss of data. Imagine losing your laptop or having it stolen. Without cloud storage, you not only lose an expensive bit of kit but also potentially years’ worth of documents and files, not to mention the latest projects you’ve been working on. By uploading your files to OneDrive, you have the peace of mind that your work is accessible and recoverable 24/7/365.


Do you have more questions? You could ask Cortana, Microsoft’s intelligent assistant who has been asked 18 billion questions since being launched or you could talk to the Elite team and find out how we can assist your business to integrate the perfect Microsoft solution.


Elite Group is one of the UK’s leading unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and telecoms services to organisations seeking Business Mobile, Cloud, Networking, Connectivity, and Telephony solutions. 


For more information on how Elite Group can power your unified communication solutions, call us or request a quote today