10 ways to improve productivity in your small business


With 84% of organisations now having a remote workforce according to Gartner, being productive is no longer confined to the desk or office. It requires the ability to work and collaborate from anywhere. 

It’s for this reason that we’ve focused on enhancing your productivity with Office 2016, and especially Office 365. We’ve selected 10 tools that will help your small business be more productive this year.

1. Edit in real time
See what your colleagues are typing in real time, and collaborate on one Word document or PowerPoint presentation at the same time – wherever you are. That means no more different versions of the same piece of work crossing each other in cyberspace, and enhances collaboration as you work together regardless of location to produce the best final product.

2. Share your resources
Office 2016 allows you to share OneNote notebooks with as many people as you want, so that your whole team can be on board with your latest project. OneNote works with text, images, worksheets, emails and other documents, making it a great central resource.

3. Share documents with a click
It has never been easier to share documents with your colleagues. Office 2016 has added a Share button to the upper right corner of your Office apps, which allows you to share your document with anyone in your contacts list with just one click.

4. Attach in a flash
Sending email attachments is part of everyday office life, and Office 2016 makes it that much simpler. Instead of having to navigate to the location where the document is stored, you can find documents you have recently worked on in a list of shareable documents in Outlook.

5. De-Clutter your inbox
As a business owner, you probably receive more emails than you can read – and wading through your inbox to prioritise each email takes precious time. With that in mind, Office 2016 has added a new category to your inbox called Clutter. You can designate certain emails as low priority and future similar emails will be moved automatically into a Clutter folder in Outlook.

6. No need to rewrite history
Collaboration and creativity can be a messy process, with shared documents changing drastically over time. Office 2016 compensates for potentially lost ideas by keeping past versions of documents and making them available directly from Office applications simply by clicking on the History section of the File menu.

7. Visualise data in new ways
The ability to visualise data with an Excel chart has always been a powerful tool for businesses, but Office 2016 has added several new charts to help keep your ideas fresh. New charts on the templates list include Waterfall, which helps you to track the stock market, as well as Histogram, Treemap and Sunburst.

8. Understand your data better
Your business may be just starting out, but as it grows you will produce more data than you consume or gain insight from. Getting valuable insights from these huge sets of data can be challenging. When you enable your business to become more responsive and quickly seize opportunities, growth will follow. With Microsoft’s Power BI on Office 365, you gain familiar and easy-to-use tools that enable anyone to discover, visualise, and analyse data — anywhere, on any device.

9. Delve into your work
When your team has been hard at work, it can be tricky to find the document you’re looking for among. Delve helps you discover the information that's likely to be most interesting to you right now – across Office 365. You don't have to remember the title of a document or where it's stored as Delve shows you documents no matter where they're stored. It also lets you view your colleagues' profiles, or edit your own. Your profile is like an electronic business card you share inside your organisation.

10. Keep the conversation going
No matter where you and your colleagues are, the key to keeping your business going is good communication. Social tools like Yammer help to facilitate this. Yammer is your business's private social network that helps you and your teams stay on top of it all. Start conversations, collaborate on files, organise around projects and bring your team together to work smarter and faster.

As we head into 2016 now is the time to embrace these tools to give your small business the competitive edge and the opportunity to grow.

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