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Collaboration – The New Poster Boy for the Modern Workplace

‘The modern workplace’ – a phrase being heard more and more in meeting rooms, business conferences and all over Forbes articles. With this phrase comes terms like ‘millennial’, ‘the gig economy’ and ‘flexible working’ and then, of course, the benefits buzzwords including; productivity, mobility, creativity and collaboration.

Examples of modern workplaces can be found all over the world from a Dutch startup called Heldergroen installing desks that literally get pulled up into the ceiling at 5:30 p.m. forcing employees to go home to Greek designers NL Studio who have developed a desk that converts into a bed, encouraging overnight work schedules. There’s also all the common big tech innovations for a modern workplace like renting out spaces for start-up projects to communicate with outside talent, creating spaces that have defined roles for different business objectives to encourage certain results and of course the beanbag chairs, ping pong tables and barista style coffee that are now obligatory for any modern office.

While such incredible initiatives are great for inspiration they can seem a bit unachievable to smaller companies who want the modern workplace benefits but don’t have the budget or technology.

No need to fear, a modern workplace is still achievable!

Collaboration is King:

As we said in the title, collaboration has become the poster boy of the modern workplace. For without collaboration and efficient communication none of the other benefits are attainable. Successful collaboration in the workplace can be seen when two or more people work together through idea sharing and thinking to achieve a common goal.

For this to be achieved multiple factors need to be set including; vision, defined roles, resources, record keeping, accountability, commitment, trust, planning, diversity and flexibility just to name a few. So where do you start?

The most important factor to begin is having a communication system in place to record everything. This is where you introduce Microsoft Office 365. With over 135 million commercial monthly Office 365 users most companies will have this tool at their fingertips. Find out more about how you can purchase Office 365 licensing here.

The Office 365 stack is made up of an array of collaboration tools to aid you in your workplace, from setting a vision to successfully communicating across large teams on projects.

Microsoft Teams


Teams is Microsoft’s flagship collaboration tool and with the announcement this July of a free version of the app, there’s no better time to get started. Microsoft Teams is essentially a chat-based workspace tool in Office 365 but it’s also so much more.

  • A Hub for Teamwork:

Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI and Delve are all built into Microsoft Teams so people have all the information they need at their fingertips. Easily check the activity tab to catch up on any mentions or replies sent from co-workers while you view your Outlook calendar in the meetings tab to see if you have time to Skype, Dave from Accounts on Wednesday.  Finally collaborating of different documents see all your recent files from OneDrive in the Files tab.

  • New You, new Team:

Since all teams are unique, Microsoft Teams offers ways to customise your workspace to collaborate most effectively. Have a specialised project that involves your team? Create a channel within your team to keep track of progress and notify your team of updates.

  • Security:

Finally, for true collaboration, teams must trust that their data is safe. Microsoft Teams provides advanced security and compliance capabilities. With data encrypted in transit and at rest.

Skype for Business

Skype for Business:

Skype for Business is integrated into Office 365 across all your collaboration tools. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Meet from Anywhere, Anytime and Any Place:

Skype for Business opens up a whole new dimension to team meetings. You can collaborate from home, on the road or even when you’re abroad with free phone and video calls.

  • Clear out the Email Clutter:

With the Skype for Business IM feature, you can move a lot of internal email threads into the private messenger clearing out your inbox to focus on what matters.

Microsoft Flow


Microsoft Flow is a gem of an application on Office 365. As mentioned above successful collaboration involves several factors. Flow allows you to create workflow rules across the Office 365 tools and third-party SaaS apps that all business users rely on. Cutting down on the time you spend on planning, defining roles and record keeping.

  • Create Multistep Flow:

Turn repetitive tasks into multistep workflows at a click of a button.

  • Approve Requests:

Create workflows that notify managers of teams when certain parts of the project need to be reviewed or approved.

  • Work Securely:

With built-in or customised data loss prevention policies in Flow, you can decide what data everyone has access to.

*Tip: To get started, check out the most popular workflows that are currently being used on the app.

Office 365 contains several other applications ideal for encouraging collaboration. Read our expert articles on SharePoint and OneDrive to find out more.

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