Remote working during lockdown: how any team can work from anywhere

By Lucy Wright - November 10, 2020

With the second UK lockdown starting last week, workers that had recently been able to return to the office found themselves working from home again, for at least another four weeks. 

Many organisations were caught off guard with the first lockdown, hurriedly implementing remote working tools that didn't fit with their company's needs and inadvertently introducing shadow IT to the business which could cause problems long after normality in the workplace resumes.

With the future mired in uncertainty, periodical lockdowns may be a fixture of working life for months to come; so it's imperative organisations deploy the right remote working solutions that enable all of their teams to work from home securely and effectively. 

When the first lockdown was introduced back in March 2020, Core was able to transition overnight from a business with a workforce the majority of which had come into the office every day, to a remote working business, without any hassle. Our teams simply took their devices home, turned them on the next morning and logged in as usual to securely access all the files, data, emails and documents they needed. What made this possible, was Microsoft 365. 

What is Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based solution from Microsoft that makes remote working effective and secure. The apps bring together every aspect of remote working, from teamwork and communication to file storage and sharing, email and calendaring, security and compliance, as well as tools to build and manage your business, and PC and mobile device management. In short, it enables employees to be as productive and secure while working from home as they would be in the office; and that’s what every business needs right now.

Let’s take a closer look at the tools that are making the transition from office-based to home working seamless...

Teams

Teams is the communication and collaboration hub within M365. It can be used to host online meetings and video calls for up to 250 people and has an instant chat function for immediate responses and quick questions that don't need an email. Users can create different teams for different projects or departments, and use these teams for chats, meetings, to share files and collaborate without ever leaving the Teams app. Teams can be used on desktops and mobile devices, so employees can always stay connected, even if they’re on the move. 

Web and mobile Office apps

Microsoft 365 includes cloud-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, so your teams can access them securely from any location and have global access to the files they need. Because these are cloud-based, you don't have to be in the office or using a specific device to access them. And each app is always running the most up-to-date version, on up to five mobile devices and five tablets. Multiple users can co-author documents and work on the same files simultaneously, so you avoid issues with version control and can make changes in real-time.

Email and calendaring

Even though Teams is the quickest way to stay connected with colleagues, email isn’t obsolete just yet. M365 includes email hosting through Outloo. You can manage your calendar and schedule, send and respond to meeting invites and get reminders for appointments and meetings, all within the app. New user accounts can be created, deleted accounts can be restored and custom scripts can be created from anywhere, so new joiners can quickly be setup with email despite not being in the office.

File storage

Secure and effective file storage is one of the most important aspects of remote working. OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud-based storage that provides a secure space (Enterprise tenants get 1 TB plus 10 GB for each licensee) for saving, sharing and working on files. Users can work on a file and save it directly to their own personal OneDrive, a shared OneDrive or SharePoint, with changes being synced across devices. Authorised users can access shared files within OneDrive or SharePoint which removes the need to send documents via email and means only those people with the right permissions can access information.

Security and compliance

Security is a top priority for any organisation at any time, let alone when the majority if not all employees are required to work from home - and could be using their own devices to work.

More than 1,000 security and privacy controls are built in to Microsoft 365 and meet key international, regional and industry standards. To protect email from spam and malware, Exchange comes with Exchange Online Protection. Security groups and custom permissions can also be created so you can control who can access your information and when. 

Access and identity management tools like multifactor authentication, which requires a user to enter an additional piece of information as well as their password, like a pin code or face identification, means only authorised users can login.

Next steps

These are just some of the features of Microsoft 365 that make remote working a completely viable alternative to working in the office. 

Wherever you are on your Microsoft journey, Core can help you get maximum value from the solutions you use and assist with everything from licences to deployment to user adoption.

Speak to us today about improving your home working scenario. 

Join our webinar

Find out how to strengthen your security and compliance posture, and optimise the value of your Microsoft 365 licences, at our webinar on 26 November. Led by experts from Core and Microsoft, this 90-minute session takes an in-depth look at the security and compliance capabilities of M365, and how they can be used to help organisations collaborate while staying secure and compliant, as well as governing data more effectively. 

Sign up for free here

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