Microsoft 365: The Foundation for Remote Collaboration

Microsoft 365 is the foundation for remote and hybrid collaboration. Learn why by reading our article today!

Table of Content

    In the modern workplace, collaboration between remote and hybrid workers is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity. Today, 54% of remote-capable workers are hybrid workers, and they acknowledge that collaboration tends to be more difficult online, with only 35% reporting collaborative work is best done remotely. Leaders and managers further emphasize the point, stating that communication (48%) and collaboration (44%) are the two biggest challenges their teams face in a hybrid work environment.

    Tips for Remote and Hybrid Collaboration

    Effective remote and hybrid collaboration is essential in today’s digital workplace. Here are some tips to help ensure that your team works together efficiently, even when physically apart:

    1. Clear Communication: Be explicit in your communication and avoid assumptions. Since digital cues can be easily misinterpreted, it’s crucial to be as clear as possible in your messages.
    2. Regular Meetings: Use regular virtual meetings to set vision, align roles, and agree on goals, with your camera turned on, if possible. This helps in maintaining a sense of direction and purpose within the team. Also, be available for one-on-one meetings. Once a stronger bond is created and nurtured, some employees might need to talk to you in a more private space, so let them know you’ll be there if needed.
    3. Asynchronous Workflows: Share documents and collaborate asynchronously to allow team members to contribute at their own pace, which is especially beneficial across different time zones.
    4. Focused Work Time: Balance the need for communication with the need for focused, uninterrupted work. Be mindful of how and when you send messages to avoid overwhelming team members.
    5. Celebrations and Socializing: Create space for team bonding and celebrations, even if they’re virtual. This can strengthen relationships and foster a collaborative spirit. This helps participants feel relaxed and have fun. Consider creating a theme for these get togethers. One theme idea is “bring your pet” so everyone brings their dog, cat, bird, or stuffed animal to the meeting. You can even share pictures of past pets and school mascots. Or plan on playing a game or answer trivia questions.
    6. Leverage Collaboration Tools: Utilize the various tools available for remote collaboration, such as shared calendars, project management software, and virtual whiteboards.
    7. Feedback and Performance Tracking: Regularly provide feedback and track performance to keep everyone aligned and informed about their contributions and areas for improvement.
    8. Respect for Work-Life Balance: Recognize the importance of work-life balance, especially in a remote setting, and encourage team members to disconnect after work hours. Gartner suggests HR and business leaders should together invest in improving the personalized worksites of employees who will continue to work from home at least some of the time (e.g., with ergonomic chairs, caregiver support or fitness memberships).
    9. Inclusivity: Ensure that all team members have an equal opportunity to contribute and that their voices are heard, fostering an inclusive environment. Remote work can create cultural divides and inclusion challenges, in which employees working remotely can be “out of sight” and forgotten about during important moments. Naturally, some individuals feel more comfortable speaking up in remote meetings than others, which can add to preexisting communication barriers in work settings. This includes inclusion and equity risks if off-site workers miss key opportunities for participation and development, which could ultimately impede their career advancement.
    10. Cut out Unnecessary Meetings: While meetings foster collaboration, remote workers can suffer from meeting burnout. A survey of 632 workers across 20 industries asked how many meetings they attend in a week and whether respondents felt their presence had been critical. The answer? Respondents said they didn’t need to be in 30% of the gatherings they attended. Too many online meetings can even lead to physical symptoms such as dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and back and neck pain. And few organizations are investing in asynchronous modes, with only 17% implementing no-meeting days and only 11% providing dedicated mental health days, according to Gartner.

    By implementing these tips, teams can overcome the challenges of remote collaboration and thrive in a digital-first workplace.

    How Microsoft 365 Help with Hybrid Work

    The hybrid work model presents unique challenges and opportunities for businesses. It demands a robust infrastructure that supports collaboration, communication, and security, regardless of an employee’s location. Microsoft 365 addresses these needs by providing a connected ecosystem that empowers employees to work from anywhere in the world, at any time.

    Enabling the Modern Worker with the Microsoft PlatformEnabling the Modern Worker with the Microsoft Platform

    Microsoft 365 unlocks modern ways of working. No matter if you’re working from home or if there’s an emergency while you’re away, you can have the peace of mind that you’ve got the tools to help you adapt from wherever you are. Whether you’re using a laptop or your mobile device, you can easily attend meetings online, share Office files, co-author in real time, and be productive from anywhere.

    Microsoft Teams

    At the heart of Microsoft 365’s collaborative capabilities is Microsoft Teams, a platform that integrates chat, video calls, and file sharing to create a virtual workspace that is as dynamic and productive as any physical office. Teams enable real-time communication and collaboration, allowing for instant messaging, video conferencing, and the ability to work on documents simultaneously with colleagues across the globeMicrosoft Teams

    To get the most out of Teams, here are some best practices to consider:

    • Effective Channel Management: Organize your channels effectively to ensure that conversations and files are easy to find. Pin the most important channels for quick access and consider archiving inactive ones.
    • Consistent Team Communication: Use the ‘General’ channel for announcements that affect the whole team and encourage team members to use specific channels for project-related discussions.
    • Regular Cleanup: Periodically review the Teams set up to remove or archive content that is no longer relevant, which helps in maintaining an organized and efficient workspace.
    • Meeting Etiquette: Encourage the use of video to foster a more personal connection among team members. Also, make use of features like ‘Raise Hand’ and meeting recordings to improve the quality of meetings.
    • Security Practices: Regularly review and apply the appropriate security settings to protect sensitive information, especially when collaborating with external parties.

    OneDrive and SharePoint

    These tools further enhance this collaborative environment by providing cloud storage solutions that ensure files are accessible and up to date, facilitating a single source of truth for all team members.

    When you work with your files in OneDrive, you’ve got a foundation to share, edit together, and collaborate. No more email attachments, no more juggling multiple versions, and no longer restricted to your office computer.

    • Save your file to OneDrive and access it anywhere using the browser or office app.
    • Share a file from your OneDrive to specific people or use a link.
    • Rest easy your files are safe and secure.
    • Always have the most up-to-date version.

    Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

    Real-time co-authoring in Microsoft 365 applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint allows multiple users to work on the same document at the same time, seeing each other’s changes as they happen. This feature not only increases productivity but also enhances the quality of work through collective input and expertise.

    These applications support seamless integration with Microsoft 365 and OneDrive, providing a shared storage area that’s essential for co-authoring. Documents are saved in modern file formats like .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx, which are designed for compatibility and collaboration. Additionally, features like AutoSave ensure that all changes are recorded without the need for constant manual saving, reducing the risk of data loss and version discrepancies.

    For organizations, these collaborative features translate into increased productivity, improved communication, and a more efficient workflow. The ability to work together on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, regardless of physical location, is a game-changer in a world where remote work and digital cooperation have become the norm.


    One of the standout features of Copilot is its ability to streamline communication. By utilizing natural language processing, Copilot compiles updates and communicates effectively across documents, emails, and meetings, thereby enhancing teamwork and communication efficiency. In Microsoft Teams, for instance, Copilot can transcribe meetings, highlight key points, manage tasks, and schedule follow-ups, which greatly improves meeting productivity. I’ve been using this effectively for several months, and it has saved me a ton of time.

    The Right Microsoft Partner Can Drive Business SuccessThe Right Microsoft Partner Can Drive Business Success


    Microsoft 365’s security features ensure that remote collaboration is not only efficient but also secure. With advanced security measures in place, organizations can rest assured that their data is protected, even when accessed from various devices and locations. A Zero Trust security model can help your organization stay secure through strong user identity, device health verification, and least-privilege access.

    The integration of these tools within Microsoft 365 creates an ecosystem that supports a variety of work styles and preferences. Whether it’s a quick chat to clarify a point or an in-depth video conference to brainstorm ideas, Microsoft 365 provides the flexibility and functionality required for effective remote collaboration. I feel like it was the natural progression of Microsoft 365 productivity tools to enable remote workers.


    Microsoft 365 is the foundation for remote collaboration because it offers a comprehensive, secure, and integrated set of tools that enable teams to communicate and collaborate effectively, regardless of their physical location. As the workplace continues to evolve, Microsoft 365 will undoubtedly remain a key player in facilitating the collaboration that drives innovation and productivity in the digital age. Regular check-ins, virtual meetings, and collaborative projects can help maintain team cohesion and prevent feelings of isolation. Learn more about how Velosio can help foster collaboration for your remote workers with Microsoft 365.

    Business Leaders Guide to the New Digital AgeBusiness Leaders Guide to the New Digital Age