Post-pandemic communication and the modern workplace

The ‘New Normal’? No matter how many times we say it, the term never inspires. Instead, it conjures up a composite picture of awkward fixes where things just ain’t quite as good as they used to be.


In the workplace, so many things remain uncertain – at least in the short term. But one thing is 100% certain: there is no turning back from the accelerated digital journeys that many organisations have undergone over the past 12 months.


Yes, the modern workplace will only continue to evolve where communication and collaboration are concerned. And thanks to the array of tools in the Microsoft 365 stack, not only it is the right technology accessible; it is also scalable, flexible, and user-friendly.



A communication revolution?


There can be no doubt that the COVID lockdown has legitimised home, remote, and hybrid working. And given that employees can remain connected to colleagues and clients, it’s becoming difficult for business owners to object – particularly when physical encounters have been so easily replaced by data-driven ways of communicating.


However, certain issues persist – specifically capital expenses (the need for new equipment) network capacity (when users all need access), online security, GDPR compliance – among many other cloud- and on-prem related obstacles.


The ‘communication revolution’ comes with its own set of problems – the ever-increasing number of tools, products, and services making real-time communication and collaboration possible.


This is just as big an issue for small and medium businesses as it is for large enterprises. Why? Because while many offer varying degrees of integration – for features like videoconferencing, audio calls, messaging, information management, document sharing – few offer an all-in-one platform. And those that do often come with a steep learning curve: a whole new logic to mentally onboard.



Choosing futureproof solutions


Although there continues to be a digital acceleration path that many are following, these are still early days for a lot of companies. Just look at the lightning speed with which companies migrated to the cloud when COVID struck. But while this illustrated that, yes, such a rapid response was possible, many are now assessing the risks associated with such a fast transition.


The needs of businesses continue to shift too – we can not overlook that. So when deciding which software to invest in, companies need to choose solutions that can grow and change with them – that will be futureproof.


That does not mean buying all that is shiny and new. What matters is flexibility and scalability. For the most part, that means looking at SaaS platforms in particular – cloud-based services which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, using any device: with the correct permissions, of course.



The rise of Microsoft Teams


One platform that continues to thrive is Microsoft Teams – the software giant’s communication platform that offers a variety of modern workplace essentials, including :


Chat – communicate and collaborate with your team


Screen sharing and recording – simply share your screen and record your meeting


Videoconferencing – use the built-in groups or one-on-one audio or video calls for your meetings


Live events – Create a real-time meeting for your team, audience, or customers


As a SaaS product, license owners can rest assured that they’ll always have the most up-to-date, supported version of the software. Updates are delivered digitally too, making it easier than ever for employees to collaborate and communicate.


But perhaps the biggest benefit of all is that Teams is part of Microsoft 365. This means it easily integrates with all of the ‘office’ software programmes that everyone is already familiar with – specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, Outlook and more. As a result, there’s no learning curve needed – the same familiar Microsoft interface is already in place.



Looking ahead


As we look toward the future, it’s clear that the communication and collaboration technologies will only grow in sophistication. For example, 3D technology and advanced Virtual Reality (VR) will enhance – and add new dimensions to – videoconferencing software. But right now, those features don’t add an enormous amount of value to the way we communicate – not yet at least.


Issues like capacity, stability, and latency are more pressing issues to address – which is ultimately a back-end technology concern. However, Teams uses Microsoft Azure’s global network to connect users.


As Microsoft partners with thousands of internet service providers, the number of times that information has to switch networks is minimised – optimising online meeting quality for the user.



What OutScope can offer you


Here at OutScope , we’re both modern workplace experts and Microsoft Silver partners. This means we have an excellent working relationship with Microsoft in Portugal and remain closely aligned with their modern workplace solutions. Plus we’ve relied on their products for years, both on-premise and in the cloud.


As digital workplace specialists, our sales and success teams are on-hand to walk you through the available solutions and recommend ways in which you can make best use of Microsoft Teams as well as the wider Microsoft 365 stack.


For more information about how to better use Microsoft Teams and optimize Microsoft 365 licensing, contact Ana Correia on [email protected]