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Remote work 2021: Benefits, tips and teamwork with Office 365

Theresa Spiller
February 10, 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have fully integrated home office and remote work via Office 365 and other applications. What is remote work and which advantages of Office 365’s cloud technology play a role in thisIn this article, learn how you can access PowerPoint slides from anywhere, edit them, and save them in the cloud. That allows your colleagues to access and edit an Office document on the go. We will also introduce you to helpful tips for successful remote work. 

Remote work became normal with 27% of workers shifting to 5 days/week at home

remote work statistic

What is remote work? (remote work definition) 

At the beginning of the Corona pandemic, almost half of the office-based employees were sent home to work, in whole or in part, at short notice. Since then, such or similar situations have been part of our everyday working lives: The video call starts in a few minutes. Employee A has logged in. He has a laptop set up on his patio. Employee B writes e-mails in the café or reads the annual report in their hotel room. Remote work: work anywhere and be productive. 

Definition Remote Work


Remote work generally translates to working at a distance - working away from a fixed workplace in the company. Although the term home office is still largely used interchangeably, it refers to a workplace set up at home.

Regular meetings with the team, for example, are replaced by online meetings in remote work. Everyone connects digitally with colleagues via email, video, or phone call. 

Requirements for remote work

The key requirement for remote work is the right technology. Nowadays, broadband connections, reliable laptops, tablets, and cell phones have become essential, along with software for web conferencing and secure data transfer. All programs that can be run on a computer and via the Internet are compatible with remote work.  

Remote workers need various tools to collaborate and talk with colleagues.  

  • E-mail services
  • Content management systems
  • Team collaboration tools
  • Project management platforms
  • A stable Internet connection 

A Secure connectivity via a VPN connection ensures privacy. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, in which the connection to your company server is established via the Internet. When all this is set up, you can work remotely 

Home Office requirements

Working remotely on documents or PowerPoint with Office 365

With cloud services such as OneDrive, SharePoint, or GoogleDrive, colleagues can work together on Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. Documents can also be edited simultaneously. OneDrive is fully embedded in Office 2016 and is the default cloud storage location for all Office programs. Similarly, GoogleDocs documents are backed up to GoogleDrive cloud storage by default. 

In addition to file access, communication plays an important role for many processes. One popular tool, for example, is Microsoft Teams, with more than 44 million daily users worldwide. Teams includes the same function as SharePoint for collaborating on documents, but directly in Teams.  

How to share files with Office 365

Files stored by Microsoft 365 are always up to date, can be used on any device, and can be shared with anyone. Here is an example with PowerPoint:  

  1. Select Share and save the file to OneDrive. 

    share powerpoint office 365
  2. Select the appropriate permission for the people you share your document with, and then add names.  

    OneDrive Remote Work

  3. Enter an optional message and click Send. 

    send link OneDrive

Tip: With the empower® Teams app you can find all your PowerPoint presentations, slides, and templates directly in Microsoft Teams via the empower® library.

Benefits of remote work

  • Reduced stress from working in a comfortable, familiar (home) environment
  • Seamless productivity working in the office or remotely
  • Short or no commute necessary
  • Healthier work-life balance
  • Family-friendly
  • Increased employee satisfaction 
  • High flexibility
  • Cost savings on office rent / less office space needed
  • Savings on all costs of office infrastructure
  • Protection of the environment
  • Reduction of former location disadvantages such as lack of skilled workers (for e.g. rural located companies)
  • Expanded job recruitment opportunities 

benefits and struggles remote work
Disadvantages of remote work 

  • Disruption of usual office life
  • Increased sense of isolation among workers due to lack of personal contact
  • Distracting environment
  • Reduction of a secure sense of structure
  • Less attachment to the company
  • More difficult to assess and categorize employees
  • Little control for supervisors
  • Wi-Fi issues and technical difficulties 
  • Different time zones slow down implementation of projects
  • Difficult to separate personal and professional life

Remote work: 7 helpful tips

When working remotely, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure effectiveness and success:

  1. Make sure that you have a stable Internet connection. If there is no Wi-Fi, connect your device your smartphone’s data hotspot.

  2. Never use public Wi-Fi like in a hotel or on a plane without a VPN, to ensure your connection is secure and private. Your smartphone data connection is also a good secure connectivity option.
     
  3. Sometimes power outlets are not availableso make sure you have a full laptop battery when you are not working at home.

  4. Avoid distracting or noisy workplaces. Traffic noise, loud noises, and even wind can interrupt phone calls and video conferences with colleagues. 

  5. Create a to-do list for yourself and work on a set schedule to reduce your daily workload. 

  6. Regularly remind yourself to separate personal and professional matters. 

  7. Take data protection into account. Protect yourself from data loss due to viruses or ransomware. Perform regular backups and updates.

Additional tip: Quickly find PowerPoint presentations and templates in MS Teams

With the empower® Teams App you can find all your PowerPoint presentations, slides, and templates directly in Microsoft Teams via the empower® library. You select one or more keywords and the chatbot delivers the matching search results. This eliminates tedious searching for specific PowerPoint slides and presentations. Other content from your empower® library, such as charts, tables, images, videos, and icons, can be found quickly in the same way. For more information on this topic, read our article "How to use the empower® Teams App – The starter guide.

How to increase your productivity with remote work

Versatility in the workplace delivers many advantages. Companies enjoy financial benefits and employees experience less stress. The coronavirus pandemic has prompted everyone to question the old office work model and accelerate adoption of new digital ways of working. It is time to gain added value from modern technologies. 

Are you looking for a solution for efficient remote work? empower® slides offers location-independent access to a central corporate library. With empower®, PowerPoint templates and slides, images, diagrams, and much more are easy to find, design-compliant and always up to date. In addition, with the empower® Teams App you can effortlessly open all Office templates and documents in Teams or in the browser. Get started now with empower® to create your presentations up to 30% faster. 

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