Do you know why Office 365 is very similar to the human brain? Because most organisations that use it only make use of a fraction of what it’s actually capable of!

Whilst they love its better-known tools (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and others), they’re losing out on the additional productivity value contained less visibly within it – and so they’re failing to maximise returns on their IT investment, too.

Sound like your organisation? Here’s our take on just a few of the ‘hidden’ ways Office 365 can deliver productivity gains you never knew about!

1. It can automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks

Your calendar automatically accepts a meeting invitation based on the seniority of the sender, saves the meeting pack attachment to your OneDrive and sends you notifications if the content of the pack changes…

Wouldn’t that be great?

(Admit it: currently, you’re managing all this – and myriad other similar repetitive tasks – manually. How much time and effort is that costing you?) In Office 365, automating these workflows is simple, using Microsoft Flow. Select tools from a list, and pick the tasks you want each tool to perform within the workflow – or use one of the comprehensive range of ready-made workflow templates Flow also provides.

2. It helps you plan more effectively and less wastefully

Teams are now often distributed between offices and sites, and even across the globe, with many projects and deliverables due simultaneously.

They risk spending so much wasteful time and effort trying to keep on top of the complexities of the planning that they fail on the execution. That’s expensive – twice!

Enter Microsoft Planner, Office 365’s tool to move planning and task management into the digital age.

Planner makes it quicker and easier for your teams to create new plans, organise and assign tasks, share files, work collaboratively on them, and get updates on progress.

How? By ensuring all your team’s discussions, conversations and deliverables stay with the plan and don’t get locked away across disparate applications where people then have to then spend precious time searching for them!

To see Planner in action, check out the video on this page.

3. It fixes those broken online meetings

You know those pointless online meetings spent mostly trying to get everybody to successfully hear and see each other and look at the same thing?

They’re gone.

Within Office 365, Microsoft Teams gives you a complete online meeting solution from one tool, combining not only all the media channels you need to use (audio, video, web conferencing, even live broadcasts) but also adding productivity value through scheduling assistance, note taking, desktop sharing, file upload, chat, and direct calling.

4. It removes the barriers to collaboration

The barriers to collaborative working of the offline past have made the leap to the online world depressingly effectively.

But Office 365 has tricks up its sleeve to break them down.

Did you know, for example, that collaborative work-space SharePoint is now also part of a much more extensive productivity suite?

No longer do users have to spend time manually searching across only traditional content types. Instead, suggestions are delivered and personalised to them in real time, and from sources as varied as the constantly developing conversations in corporate social network Yammer, the evolving content in SharePoint itself, and even valuable nuggets of information in individuals’ own profiles (expertise, projects, education, etc.)

A trusted IT partner: the key to Office 365 productivity

But with several different Office 365 business variants and plans, and many optional add-ons also available, it can be difficult for businesses to understand, navigate, and make best use of the choices on offer.

Equally, like any IT investment, Office 365 can only truly deliver maximum value if it sits within a defined IT roadmap that ensures a close strategic fit with the organisation’s wider goals.

But you’re too busy running a business to sort all that stuff out – you just want it to work.
(Lucky, then, that a trusted IT partner will take care of all of it for you…)