It’s time to reclaim minutes, and maybe even an hour, from your daily schedule. The latest iteration of Microsoft Office 365 includes handy features that equate to major time-savers and easy collaboration. Let’s look at five key features of Microsoft Office 365 that unlock employee efficiency and enhance overall productivity.
Quick Parts in Microsoft Outlook
How much time do you spend typing the same text over and over to colleagues? Ten seconds here and 30 seconds there add up if you’re an avid emailer, considering that office workers send and receive 126 emails per day. Pro tip: save a snippet or a whole paragraph of text you tend to re-use in Outlook’s Quick Parts. To do so, just type the text in an Outlook email message window, highlight it, open the Quick Parts drop-down menu on the Insert tab, and then select Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. Outlook prompts you to give the content a name and then click OK. In the future when you begin typing the same text, Outlook presents the entire snippet or paragraph. Just press Enter to insert it automatically.
As you know, letters, memos, reports and proposals need to be as error-free as possible. That usually means keeping a browser window open while you’re writing so you can check information for accuracy as you go along. The next time you need to search for information, try Smart Lookup. It essentially brings the Internet into Microsoft Office 365 apps. Just highlight a phrase in any Office app, right-click and select “Smart Lookup” from the context menu. A sidebar will open on the right, listing short descriptions of related web articles and links to more information – it’s like your own personal research assistant.
Most employees crave the interactivity of social media, so why not make it work for your business? Yammer lets workers collaborate on work-related projects by keeping conversations and files together. For example, when you’re ready to start a team project, invite team members to join a group on Yammer from the get-go, creating a place for them to ask questions and respond each other. Yammer even provides the option to invite outside business associates to join.
As a business owner, you can spend a lot of time scheduling meetings. This process usually requires you to reach out for availabilities, sorting through responses and emailing again with suggested meeting days/times. To combat this task, consider FindTime, an Outlook add-on program designed for Microsoft Office 365 users. FindTime locates open timeslots in all participants’ schedules so you can send out available times for participants to vote on, and complete the loop by sending out invitations. This feature makes scheduling much easier and less invasive for yourself and employees.
Skype for Business
You’ve probably noticed that meeting participants appreciate reliable, feature-rich conferencing and collaboration tools. Skype for Business is a mobile and desktop-friendly tool that can be used for voice calls, video calls, instant messaging (IM) and online meetings. Skype’s IM feature offers much faster and more collaborative ways to interact than email. The presence feature in the interface lets you see who’s available and who’s busy, saving you from calling, leaving a message and waiting for an answer. Also if your employees aren’t working in the same location, they can easily share their screens, leading to more productive meetings.
Getting Microsoft Office 365
Although some internet service providers provide Microsoft Office 365 free of charge as an added value for their business customers, other companies will have to choose one of the Office 365 subscription plans. If you must subscribe, consider which features your business needs and how much you are willing to spend on the software. Remember, Microsoft Office 365 can benefit your business’ productivity, efficiency and collaboration, which will all impact your overall growth and success.