Conventional wisdom says that a physical office is something no business can do without. The ideal office should have affordable rental, ample space and a central location that is accessible to visitors and convenient for the daily commute. But in today’s busy and congested cities, an office that fulfils all these criteria is hard to come by, especially for small businesses with a limited budget. What’s more, a poor office location will reduce a company’s ability to hire the best possible employees and stay competitive.
In a high-tech, knowledge-based economy, why should your company be defined or limited by location and office space? What matters most are your skilled workers. The modern office should fit the needs of your people, and not the other way around. And that is what Office 365 proposes.
Office 365 makes telecommuting and remote working a very real possibility for even the smallest enterprise. By subscribing to Office 365, your business will be able to attract its pick of the best and most motivated employees, including Generation Y workers who prize the freedom to telecommute and work flexibly. Your business will gain flexibility by letting employees do their work wherever they are needed – at an office or in the field. You also have the option to save valuable operating capital by minimising the amount of office space you need to rent.
All together now
In the Modern Office enabled by Office 365, people can work more closely together, even when they’re worlds apart. Traditional meetings will be a thing of the past, replaced by online discussions that include audio, HD video and web conferencing. With Lync and Skype, your employees can see who is available at any moment, start impromptu conferences and interact in a more natural and organic fashion. Anyone with a smartphone, PC or web browser access will be able to connect with your team, from just about anywhere.
Office 365 enables documents to be shared through the cloud, eliminating another reason for traditional physical offices. Your teams can remotely create, share and collaborate on Windows, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote files. Project emails and shared documents can be stored together with a dedicated, project-specific mailbox so that each team will stay up to date, no matter where they may be working from. Employees will be able to create and manage their own folders and team sites – simple tasks that no longer require support from IT staff.
Office 365 also supports social networking in the virtual workplace, even as the physical workplace becomes obsolete. Your employees will receive on-going updates on documents, sites and people delivered straight to their Newsfeed. Privacy settings in the Newsfeed let users decide what topics interest them and what activities they want to share with their followers.
Freedom to be productive
Employees using Office 365 can do more than just telecommute – they can work away from their PC altogether, if need be. While visiting clients or attending conferences, your employees can access their email and calendars through just about any platform, including web browser, Windows Phone, iPhone, Android phone, Symbian phone, and Blackberry.
Office Mobile provides your team with a way to access and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on iPhones and Windows phones. Office apps for OneNote, Lync Mobile and SharePoint Newsfeed are also available for these devices.
Even mobile devices are optional for your liberated employees. By signing in to SkyDrive, anyone with a Microsoft ID can start using Microsoft Web Apps right away on any browser. These web applications, which let users create, edit and share files from web browsers, are designed to work well with touchscreen interfaces. Documents can be shared and simultaneously edited by multiple co-workers, without the need to merge different versions later.
Many businesses have long dreamt of the day they could free themselves from the physical office. That dream can now come true. Find out how to buy Office 365 for your business: http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx