By Ric Riddle



What’s true for marriages and friendships is true for the workplace – communication is the key to happiness, achievement and unity. But if your company is using too many different communication tools, you may be stressing out your younger team members.

You read that right. A Microsoft study recently found that more Millennial (43%) and Gen Z (50%) workers admit to feeling stressed when new communication tools are introduced than either Gen X (40%) or Baby Boomers (38%). Maybe not what you’d expect from these highly communicative digital natives, but there’s something to be said for keeping communication channels simple and consistent.

Still, 79% of workers overall said that using the latest technology gave them more satisfaction with their workplace. So how do you reduce friction in your workplace’s collaboration without overwhelming everyone with tool options? The trick is to hone your communication toolset to a few essential, modern tools that will be updated regularly with new features.

If you’re offering the Office 365 suite, you’ve got a shortcut. Even beyond Microsoft Outlook, Office 365 delivers a complete communications toolbox:

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1. Microsoft Teams

Teams serves as a hub for all of your workplace communication. It gives workers a single dashboard for conducting video meetings powered by Skype; engaging in thread-based chats as they would on Slack; creating team Wikis; and making phone calls.

Teams also serves as a shortcut to the apps your workers use on an everyday basis, such as Adobe, Github, Jira Cloud and anything else you want to connect.

2. Yammer

Yammer is more than a typical chat app. Workers can share, create, assign and edit content right in the app. It’s highly searchable thanks to intelligence from the Microsoft Graph, so your workers can find the conversations, people, files, and groups they’re looking for.

Workers can even create communities where they share best practices and crowdsource ideas from their colleagues.

Chat may not be the preferred communication tool for most of the workforce, but Gen Z rates it as their number one communication method, above email or cell phone. That means we’ll likely see the rise of chat in the decade to come as this generation enters the workforce in greater numbers.

3. Microsoft Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics

Workplace Analytics tracks data as your workers use Office 365 to help you connect collaboration patterns to business outcomes. For example, you can identify which meetings were less productive based on worker engagement with the meeting channel. You can see how much workers are collaborating during work and after work, and other metrics to give you insight into productivity and engagement across your organization.

MyAnalytics is the micro-level version of this app, giving individual workers insight into their own patterns and behaviors. Workers can see where their time is spent, set goals for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to cut out the work tasks that are reducing their productivity, such as unnecessary meetings.

Making the Most of Microsoft Office 365

As a SaaS offering, Office 365 is updated frequently by Microsoft, making it a future-proof investment that gives employees the latest technology without having to learn a completely new application.

As more workers become remote, your teams will need clear communication policies and procedures in place. If you’re already offering Office 365, dig in to learn its full suite of capabilities before setting your policies.

If you aren’t yet offering Microsoft Office 365, Codero is here to handle licensing, implementation, and management for your company. Having managed Office 365 makes your communication tools run more smoothly and reliably, and gives you a single point of contact for questions.

It may not seem like it, but your technology choices play a large role in your long-term success, from worker happiness to productivity, innovation, and much more. Why hold your workers back by allowing a communication free-for-all? Give them the powerful tools they need to do powerful work, and reap the benefits.

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