The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a significant shift in the way we work. With the need to maintain physical distancing and avoid gatherings, many companies have resorted to remote work policies. While remote work offers several benefits, it also poses unique challenges that can hinder productivity and communication.
Fortunately, Microsoft has created a platform to help managers and employees effectively manage their workplaces. Microsoft Places is a powerful tool that enables remote teams to collaborate seamlessly, stay organised, and communicate effectively.
What is Microsoft Places?
Microsoft Places is a cloud-based platform that enables organisations to manage their physical spaces and workplaces. The platform leverages the power of the cloud, IoT devices, and data analytics to provide real-time insights into how spaces are being used.
The platform is designed to help organisations optimise their workplaces, reduce costs, and enhance employee productivity.
Workplace coordination tools
One of the biggest challenges of remote work is coordinating with team members. Microsoft Places offers several tools to help remote teams stay coordinated. The platform allows team members to schedule meetings, book desks, and reserve spaces from anywhere, making it easier to manage schedules and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Another key feature of Microsoft Places is its hybrid scheduling capabilities. Hybrid scheduling allows teams to work from home some days and come into the office on others. This enables businesses to reduce the number of people in the office at any given time, which can help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Hybrid scheduling also provides employees with more flexibility in their work schedules. This can be especially beneficial for those who have children or other responsibilities outside of work. By allowing employees to work from home some days, businesses can help their employees achieve a better work-life balance.
Finally, hybrid scheduling can help businesses reduce their carbon footprint. By reducing the number of people in the office at any given time, businesses can reduce their energy consumption and their impact on the environment.
Office wayfinding and navigation
Navigating an unfamiliar office can be challenging, especially for remote workers who are not familiar with the layout. Places provides tools that enable employees to navigate their office more easily. This includes tools that provide directions to conference rooms, restrooms, and other facilities.
Additionally, Microsoft Places provides tools that enable employees to reserve parking spaces and find available spaces in real-time. It also enables employees to find colleagues in the office with tools that show the location of co-workers on a map, and allow them to send messages to each other to coordinate meetings or ask for help.
Space usage insights
Remote work can make it challenging to understand how spaces are being used. Microsoft Places offers real-time insights into space usage, enabling organisations to optimise their workplaces and reduce costs. This includes tools that track the number of people in the office at any given time, the amount of time that employees spend in the office, and the areas of the office that are used most frequently.
This data can be used to optimise office space and improve employee productivity. For example, if certain areas of the office are used more frequently than others, businesses can allocate more resources to those areas, making it easier to optimise space usage and save costs where possible. Additionally, if certain areas of the office are not being used frequently, businesses can repurpose those areas to better meet the needs of their employees.
Microsoft 365 integration
Places integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365, which is Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools. This means that employees can access their email, calendar, and other Microsoft 365 tools directly from the Microsoft Places platform. This can help to streamline workflows and improve productivity.
Additionally, Microsoft Places provides tools that enable employees to collaborate on documents and projects in real-time, allowing employees to co-author documents, share files, and provide feedback on each other’s work.
Benefits of using Microsoft Places for remote work
Enhanced collaboration: Collaboration is critical to the success of any remote team. Microsoft Places makes it easy for remote teams to collaborate by providing a suite of tools that enable seamless communication and collaboration. The platform makes it easy to schedule meetings, book spaces, and share files, ensuring that remote teams can work together seamlessly.
Increased productivity: Remote work can make it challenging to stay focused and productive. Microsoft Places offers several features designed to enhance productivity, including hybrid scheduling, which allows employees to work from their preferred location. The platform also provides insights into space usage, enabling organisations to optimise their workplaces and reduce distractions.
Improved communication: Communication is key to the success of any remote team. Microsoft Places offers several features designed to enhance communication, including real-time directions and wayfinding, ensuring that remote workers can stay connected and find their way around the office easily.
Connect your remote workforce with Microsoft Places
With its suite of tools and features, Microsoft Places enables teams to collaborate seamlessly, stay organised, and communicate effectively, whether you’re a manager looking to streamline your remote team’s workflow or an employee seeking better ways to stay connected with your colleagues.
Certified Microsoft Partner Steadfast Solutions can help you get started with this advanced management platform. Talk to them today and optimise your remote or hybrid workforce.