Thursday 22 March 2018

Already a mobile business? 7 ways to work smarter in the cloud

Eleanor Collier

A workforce ‘without walls’, increased productivity, happier and healthier employees, a more positive culture and diverse business environment… remote work and mobile businesses have become much more common.

The range of communications now available for business is wider than ever with cloud storage, Internet and mobile devices and increasingly digital roles in the mix.  If you’re already a mobile business and are seeing the benefits but want to innovate and evolve even further to succeed in 2017, here are 7 ways to work smarter in the cloud:


1.  Increase Productivity and Work / Life Balance

Working together in the Cloud has proven productivity benefits. The convergence of cloud and mobile technology accommodates different work styles and reduces costs significantly. With the correct cloud-based productivity tools, workers can communicate and collaborate much more effectively, as businesses that have already gone mobile will testify.


In a survey of IT professionals in over 300 SME’s, the answer was almost unanimous – 97% of respondents said that anytime, anywhere access to data and applications “makes employees more effective”.


A flexible work / life balance can relieve stress for many.  For those who now want to move away from the ‘always on’ mentality, employees can redefine and rebalance and construct a comfortable and efficient work environment for themselves that they can tailor to their needs while still achieving targets.


2.  Going Mobile Will Capitalize on the Evolving Workforce

Going mobile is an obvious way to open up the talent pool and is a massive employer benefit. Allowing employees to work remotely means that you can hire the very best, without geographical limits. Time tracking software can help to monitor productivity and maximise efficiencies. Offering the option to work remotely is also a key retention tool for staff as one size no longer fits all when it comes to the new approaches to working.


Mobile devices began to outnumber people for the first time in 2014 and mobile technology is now multiplying five times faster than the global population. Businesses now have the opportunity to capitalise on the evolving mobile workforce as their companies grow.


The emerging global generation is mobile by nature and many now want to avoid a daily commute and maximise valuable family and free time and work remotely.  Companies have been quickly catching up with this trend and for some employees it can make all the difference.  They are still as accountable as ever – but on their terms.


3. Synchronize Your Business – Become More Fluid

The most successful businesses have moved on from 9 to 5 to become much more fluid, using cloud and mobile technology to broaden their reach and compete within the market.  Cloud storage synchronises information across different devices so teams are always viewing the latest version of file, no matter where they are working.


At certain times in their life and career, employees may want to vary their work patterns and timings. Equally others may work more naturally and efficiently at certain times of day – whether they are morning people, afternoon people or work better in the evening. They can optimise their own schedules but still be up-to-date and in the communication loop at all times.


4. Be Forward Thinking – Work Out Loud

A growing number of forward-thinking businesses are taking collaboration to a new level by adopting, for example, Microsoft OneNote shared notebooks as a centralised place to share all project information. In addition, the adoption of social technologies like Yammer, an enterprise-grade social network that connects remote employees and enhances collaboration, helps employees to work better internally and with those outside of the business. 


One of the big benefits of having a team together in the office is the sharing of information and conversations, but this can also be a distraction. Using technology to keep everybody up to date will allow employees to share and communicate.


If you want flexible communication in the moment and to keep everyone in the know or see content and chat history any time, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365 Microsoft Teams is a new way of giving teams instant access.  It’s customizable with pull in Connectors for updates from third-party tools and services.  The security includes data encryption at all times and multi-factor authentication for enhanced identity protection.


5. Optimise by Simplifying Meetings and Modernize

While meetings will always be essential, they can now be modernized and simplified.  For employees and employers who do not want to be distracted a number of times a day, the key to productivity can be using tools like video calling, co-authoring or app sharing.  This way, team members can control when they answer calls and emails or have meeting, but also when they decide to ‘go silent’ to get projects completed.

6.  Harness Technology to Create New Opportunities  

For businesses that have already gone mobile and now have the technological tools, the next step is to delve even deeper in to business intelligence (BI) solutions.  This will help to future-proof by spotting trends, identifying risks and finding new opportunities.

Detailed data can be collated in to bite-sized digestible insights and historical data can be turned in to an analysis of future trends to aid in decision making.

7.  Real-Time Co-Authoring Saves Time

Even if a team is working from different geographical locations, across the web, desktop, laptop or mobile devices, real-time co-authoring now makes it possible to edit and contribute to documents simultaneously. These cloud based-features mean that every change will be synced and saved to the cloud.

How can your business work smarter in the cloud in 2017?

Do you want to modernise your workplace and change the way you do business in 2017?  A free e-book from Microsoft – ‘7 Ways to Work Smarter in the Cloud’ – reveals the steps here.

To learn more about how the practical ways in which cloud, mobile and social technology solutions can make your business more collaborative

Sponsored by: Microsoft

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