July 19, 2021
Freedom Day has happened! And it is interesting seeing what this is bringing in terms of people going back into the office. Certainly, from our perspective there is a dominance with the SMEs we work with and are talking to who are looking towards adopting a hybrid way of working. What does that mean for them?
Practically, it is having the ability to take a laptop or be at a computer anywhere, anytime, and still access everything they would have done in an office. The last year or so has shown us that this dynamic mix of home, potentially office and sometimes somewhere else is truly workable. The constraints of the same four walls are no longer. And with that is the opportunity to creating a work life balance that delivers for both employees and employers.
Granted not everyone has this luxury. Obviously, it does depend on what you do! However, where it is possible it is made all that easier by remote and Cloud computing systems. So, while many have or are taking that leap (including in extreme cases, closing physical working environments), time is also revealing that we are not always using the systems available to us to the best of their abilities. Take SharePoint. Yes, we upload files and send links to others, but the beauty of it is in the very nature of its name. Share! The opportunity to have a virtual meeting with everyone seeing the same file, be in the same file and being able to update it centrally is key. Yet, we are discovering that many use the tool to view files sharing their screen, then leaving it to one person to update it and send to all after the meeting.
But first things first, we thought it a good opportunity to spell out what this platform even is.
What is SharePoint?
At its most primitive and basic level, it is a document storage and collaboration tool. It features folders, in which are documents where employees can create, edit, and share. These folders can only be accessed by those that are authorised. If any changes are made, the document is then automatically saved and propagated to all the connected devices who are part of that authorised group, so the latest version is always available.
Bearing that in mind, let’s explore just some of our top tips (there are more, but these are just a key selection of what we think are critical ones that are being missed, but will make your lives easier).
Make sure documents can be found
Sounds simple, and while the search function is great; by agreeing simple companywide measures we promise life will be made even easier. So, make sure documents have meaningful titles with keywords relating to the content and make it unique to that file. Multiple files with the same basic title will end up with multiple files being revealed when doing a search and the one you are really looking for could be lost way down the list.
Use the SharePoint alerts
True…this means more emails, but it enables users to receive email alerts when anything changes including updates to a folder or document. These can easily be set up and you can find out more about how to manage them on Microsoft Support.
Take advantage of simultaneous editing
Every document and every edit of a document is regularly saved to the cloud. This means everyone has access to the latest version. What is more it doesn’t have to be just one person accessing, editing and annotating a document. In fact, simultaneous editing means that people can properly collaborate regardless of whether they are sitting next to each other or not.
Let’s face it we had tools like this that encouraged team collaboration way before we entered into a pandemic focused world. But being forced to turn to an effective way to communicate, share information and work, SharePoint has epitomised the dynamic workforce culture we are now living in. Microsoft SharePoint, alongside Office 365 and cloud computing has probably become one of the more dominant in this arena, however we are frequently seeing it not being used to its true potential.
Whether you are a small to medium business considering it as an option or currently using it, there are probably far more features than any of us can properly comprehend. In addition, it has a multitude of powerful SharePoint Add-Ins which mean that it could be further tailored to suit you and your employees needs even further. Making lives easier and more productive! If you think you maybe want your business to go down this route or that you are sure there is much more your operation could benefit from, then why not reach out for a chat.