Business Continuity

Microsoft 365: 7 Tricks to make you more productive

Mastering the latest Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) productivity tips and uncovering new Microsoft Office 365 hacks are a really useful way to, firstly, get the most out of your Office 365 experience – but more importantly, to work smarter and be as productive as possible when working from home.

Here are 7 tips and tricks to use when using Microsoft 365 for work:

Learn Microsoft 365 as you work:

1. Make use of ‘Tell Me’

Are you feeling like a Microsoft 365 newbie? Then you need to use Tell Me – a text field where you can enter words and phrases about what you want to do next, and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform.

When editing a document, spreadsheet or presentation in Office Online, you can access Tell me by tapping the light bulb to the right of the tabs as seen in the image below:

Collaborate effectively:

2. Co-authoring in documents

One of the best features in Microsoft 365 online, is the ability to collaborate and edit documents with your colleagues – no matter where you are.

By saving your files to OneDrive or SharePoint, you can instantly share them with your co-workers and track their changes as you work toward a finished project or document. Work together on contracts and Excel Workbooks from the comfort of your home office. Find out more about how you do this here:

3. Attach files with Sharepoint

Rather than going through the laborious process of attaching files via e-mail, use the Share+ function in Sharepoint to add a shareable link to your emails). This saves valuable space in your inbox and shaves minutes off a task – giving you more time for other responsibilities.

4. Create groups

Creating Office 365 Groups allows you to maintain communication with specific departments and colleagues in your business, using the parameters you set. Once you create a group, you can share a calendar between members, exchange files, and of course, conveniently chat.

Continue signing agreements & contracts:

5. DocuSign

Did you know that you can get any document in Word or Outlook signed without bothering with a print-and-scan process? DocuSign allows you to Sign, send, and manage documents anywhere on any device, and they are also secure and legally compliant.

Save valuable inbox space:

6. Scheduling assistant for meetings

Instead of emailing back and forth for half an hour to find a convenient meeting time, take advantage of Microsoft Scheduling Assistant. When you’re sharing your calendars, you can use Scheduling Assistant to come up with a time to get together.

How to do this: Create an event on your calendar and add the people you want to invite. Then, use the Scheduling Assistant time picker to drag and drop to a time on the calendar that turns green. That means everyone’s available. Done!

Teamwork over the internet:

7. Mention someone to get their attention

One of the things that people really miss working from home is not being able to pop over to someone’s desk to get their attention, or when we’re working in the office alongside someone, we can say “Hey, John!”

To help with this, use Outlook’s @ mentions. If you @John in an email message, the recipient will see they’ve been called into the conversation and are expected to pay attention or respond. Not only this but when other people @ mention you, the inbox displays the relevant sentences around your @ mention directly in your message excerpt. This feature lets you know at a glance what you need to heed.

These tips will help you adapt to being as productive as possible whilst working from home. Do you have any Microsoft 365 tips and tricks? Let us know!

WebMicrosoft 365: 7 Tricks to make you more productive

COVID-19 Business Continuity

Prepare for Remote Working: Phones – Emails – Data Files

COVID-19 Business Continuity: A number of small and medium size businesses are undoubtedly considering the effects coronavirus may have on your business.

Ensure Business Continuity: Plan ahead and engage with us now before the situation concerning corona virus forces your team work from home. We are here to support you and your business.

If your staff need to work from home, do they have the correct equipment and resources to do so? Are they able to forward office calls to their mobiles? Can they access work files? Are their systems secure? See our checklist below to ensure you and your business are prepared:

Preparing for remote working:

PHONES | EMAILS | DATA | FILES

Time needed: 6 minutes.

  1. Phone Number Failover: Ensure your office phone system has capabilities to divert calls to designated numbers.

    ITCS Cloud Phone Systems are ideal for COVID-19 Business Continuity. Along with a PC/Laptop soft-phone and mobile app, the system will let you connect your office phone to your preferred business device. Your PC/Laptop or Mobile becomes an extension of your desk phone, allowing you to make and receive calls, transfer to colleagues, view any missed calls and record call statistics, just as you would from the office.

  2. Emails and Calendars are available with Office 365: View and edit files on Windows Phones, iPhone®, and Android phones with Office mobile apps.

    Office 365 and Outlook work wherever you are. Outlook mobile delivers a connected experience across email, search and calendar and deeply integrates with Office apps, files and teams to power your productivity and collaboration. Protect your data without compromising productivity with security, with the world’s leading email solution.

  3. Files and Data are accessible and secure from home: Sharepoint enables staff to work as normal from wherever they are. Ensure you have this software, or similar, on employee devices.

    Share your files from anywhere with SharePoint: Get more done with secure access, sharing, and file storage at home, or on the go. Microsoft file storage and sharing products are designed to help you store, access, co-author, and update files from anywhere, and easily share files inside and outside your organisation. 

    OneDrive gives you anywhere access to all your files, seamlessly integrated with Office and pre-installed with Windows. Automatically sync your files to your desktop so you can work with files offline. Access files on Windows, Mac, or mobile devices.

  4. Off-site Backups:  offsite backups to a loan server at your IT Providers’ preferred location


    Ensure you have server hosting off-site, in a secure data centre. ITCS can provide your business with a private cloud service that enables your business to run even in the case of system failures or technical mishaps. Cloud hosting also ensures everyone in your business can access data across multiple offices or different locations on the go. With ITCS, you can be sure your data is stored safely and securely by professionals who care about your business.

  5. Secure VPN for remote working: Ensure your team are working on a secure network, wherever they are

    A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is an encrypted, virtual “tunnel” between off-premises devices and on-premises information. Connecting to your business files and data through a VPN whilst working remotely prevents data theft between the server and your off-premises device.

  6. Inform Staff and Clients of your Plans: Make sure all relevant stakeholders are made aware of your plans

    Put both employees and clients at ease by letting them know of your COVID-19 Business Continuity plans. Make sure you include key messages, processes, avenues for feedback and updates. If Covid-19 does impact your business directly, let staff know what happens if they need to self-isolate, as well as reminding all staff about policies regarding group meetings, travel and policies regarding remote working.

WHAT ITCS ARE DOING:

As of Monday, 16/03/2020, ITCS will be engaging its own contingency plan so that we can continue to provide emergency support to our customers. We are prepared to support our clients through this situation.
As a control measure to ensure ITCS staff don’t all come down with COVID-19 at the same time, as of Monday we will split the workforce into two working groups. Some of us will work from home, and some from the office. We will not be engaging with opposite working groups in person.
Anyone office-based will be refraining from going into other departments and remaining within their own working areas. Wipes and hand sanitiser will be readily available on premises, along with regular washing of hands.
Site engineers will be using gloves if they are required to attend site, or handle any materials/devices.
WebCOVID-19 Business Continuity