Updated: Jul 26
Let me ask you this: what is the secret ingredient to getting work done efficiently?
Well, the answer is COLLABORATION!
And collaboration is even more critical now than ever before in modern workplaces. This is because employees are now telecommuting, working from home, having varied working arrangements, or even communicating with international partners.
And the thing is that these workers need the ability to talk and collaborate in real-time with team members around the globe. Even teams who do work in-office need to be able to work with coworkers around the world.
So, Online Team Collaboration is Critical in Today's Workplace
Repeat after me. Online Team Collaboration is Critical in Today's Workplace.
I mean, think about it.
Missed deadlines, miscommunications, and wasted time due to lack of communication can reduce efficiency and even result in project failure. In fact, a study showed that nearly 30% of teams whose projects failed cited failed communication as the main cause!
So, what is the solution to bridging the gap in communication? Well, nearly 83% of professionals depend on technology solutions to aid in collaboration.
However, there are dozens of tools in the market, all with a variety of bells and whistles. It can be difficult to determine which tools will work for a company's unique needs.
So here are 10 Microsoft 365 Online Team Collaboration Tools to Improve Productivity:
#1: SharePoint Online
SharePoint is a cloud-based storage and collaboration tool that helps organizations share and manage content and files with secure file sharing, document collaboration, metadata management, and advanced search features. It is best used for familiar teams to collaborate; however, higher plans also offer enterprise features.
Communication sites for organization-wide collaboration
Hub sites for aggregated collaboration
MySites for personal profiles
Enterprise Wikis and internet
#2: Outlook Groups
Outlook Groups is a feature within Microsoft 365 that allows you to create a group chat and collaboration space based on a discussion in email, SharePoint, Team, Planner, and others.
All members are added as guests and have immediate access to a shared inbox, calendar, project planner, and document library. The creator of the group can add and remove people, conversations, and threads without help from IT.
#3: Microsoft Teams
Used for chat-based teamwork, Microsoft Teams is incorporated with channels, commenting, and one-on-one messaging features. It also allows team members to call, chat, and web conference.
Microsoft Teams is ideal for fast-paced companies looking to collaborate on tight deadlines.
#4: Yammer Groups
Similar to Outlook Groups, Yammer works well for forum-like team collaboration in a social media-like setting. It integrates with Outlook and OneDrive and creates a 'feed' where users can see the most popular posts, follow posts, and even leave comments.
Designed to foster open communication within large groups, this tool works well in a changing workforce where many younger workers are familiar with social media.
#5: To Do
One of the best ways to improve productivity is to get all of your tasks out of your brain to make room for developing solutions, ideas, and creativity.
To Do lets you do just this by helping users track tasks, stay organized, and, hopefully, be more productive.
Features include lists for items such as restaurant recommendations, important tasks, flagged email, the ability to add due dates, share lists, and break down large tasks into more manageable parts.
#6: One Drive
One Drive is Microsoft's cloud storage service. It is incredibly popular and integrates with most other Microsoft 365 tools. Features include real-time co-authoring, share at will, offline access, and syncing across devices.
For example, you can update a document from your phone while on the go, and then move to your desktop to continue working.
OneNote is a program designed to gather, organize, and share free-form information in a collaboration space. For example, users can save and share drawings, audio files, screenshots, and more all in one space.
Because there is no enforced page structure, it provides the flexibility that can help teams collaborate more creatively.
Shifts is a Microsoft mobile app designed to help teams manage tasks and shifts across organizations or teams. For example, a manager could open shifts to workers in a specific group or organization-wide. They can also assign tasks to specific users or set reminders.
Employees can view their upcoming schedule, see who else is working, request a shift swap, and request time off.
Tired of wasting time on tedious manual tasks? Flow is ideal for increasing productivity by automating and streamlining workflows. For example, workers can use Flow to get a push notification when their boss emails them or when a new file is shared via SharePoint.
It integrates with a wide range of tools, including Dropbox, Outlook, Google Files, OneDrive, Gmail, and much more. The template library makes these rules easy to implement.
Our productivity software is designed to make collaboration easier by streamlining labor-intensive tasks related to booking meetings through Outlook and Microsoft 365. Features include hot desk booking, meeting room booking, the ability to order catering, reduce double bookings, and even manage visitors.
The Average worker reports wasting 15 minutes a day looking for meeting space. A one hour meeting is never just a one hour meeting!
It integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 so you can spend more time working and less time setting up times and spaces to collaborate.