How to Manage Your Staff Working From Home Using Office 365

Many managers and business owners are struggling to keep a handle on what their staff are doing whilst working from home. It’s a new concept for many people. But this is where technology used in the right way, can be vital.

The first trick is to keep it simple. This is no time to over-complicate things and drown people in red tape. It’s time to be flexible, adaptable and innovative. The way we used to things is going out the window, it’s time to find new ways of working and coping.

As a manager, you can use the following methodology and relevant in Office 365 to manage your workforce from anywhere :

  1. Project Registers and/or Action Lists

SharePoint is your best friend right now. Use Custom Lists to create easy to use project registers or action lists (to do lists) if you need to assign projects or tasks to people and want to monitor progress on those items.

2. Daily Activity / Timesheet Lists

If you want to know what activities people do all day to pick up where the bottlenecks are, create a Daily Activities / timesheet list in SharePoint :

To make the numbers work nicely, use increments of ,25 ,50 and ,75 otherwise it will make odd numbers like this :

You can then start getting information you never had before to pick up where you are under-staffed.

Use Quick Charts in modern pages to do some manual reporting – least it’s free and available instantly. Later on when budget allows, you can point PowerBI to the data and get interactive graphs.

You can also use Kaizala for daily check-ins which can be scheduled to prompt people to capture their information. You can also capture location information using Kaizala.

3. Communicate

You can use Microsoft Teams to send motivational messages to the team.

Arrange online meetings and record them. When you record them, they are automatically uploaded to Stream where they are automatically transcribed.

You can also use Kaizala for one-way conversation to push urgent notifications to all staff and/or your external stakeholders.

Use modern pages to create information sharing sites to keep everyone informed of what’s happening.

4. Collaborate

Use SharePoint libraries to store all documents in a central place and use metadata to tag it correctly so you have one version of the truth of documents. You can @ mention someone in a document to get their feedback and share the document straight from SharePoint.

We’re all going through a hard time, but when you are able to, use this time wisely. The more organised we get now, the faster we can rebuild companies and thus the economy. Let’s use technology for good and empower yourself and your team.

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