How Does the Microsoft Cloud Support Hybrid Work?

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Microsoft Cloud

The Microsoft Cloud is a collection of Microsoft’s top services that are built in the Cloud. Since the onset of Covid-19, more and more businesses have been looking for solutions to enable Hybrid Working – and the Microsoft Cloud has been instrumental in many businesses achieving this.

Hybrid work is the practice of enabling employees in a business to work both remotely and on location at the business’ office or site.

This involves enabling good communication protocols and ensuring employees always have access to the data they need to work. TechQuarters, a London-based managed service provider and Microsoft Partner, have been helping customers old and new with migrating to the Microsoft Cloud so that they can support hybrid work arrangements. But what Cloud solutions are needed for this style of work?

Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is the collection of productions that most people will likely think of when they hear about Microsoft’s software for business. From Office 365, to Teams, to Outlook and Exchange email services, it has everything a business needs for daily operations.

It’s the service that businesses have been migrating to as part of the managed IT services London provider TechQuarters specializes in, and since the onset of Covid-19, it has helped many businesses develop their remote and hybrid work models. Below are some of the key services in Microsoft 365 that help businesses going hybrid. 

Microsoft Teams

At the core of the Microsoft 365 workflow is Microsoft Teams, which is a unified communications and collaboration platform. It combines instant messaging, video conferencing, and cloud telephony into a single interface.

It integrates with Office 365 – meaning you can create, edit, and co-author documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and notebooks all within the app. It also integrates well with Outlook – as your calendars for Teams and Outlook will reflect your schedule synchronously.

SharePoint and OneDrive

These two products give a business a complete Cloud storage and file management solution. With SharePoint, businesses can create organization-wide storage solutions – including backup services, departmental sites, etc.

With OneDrive, each licensed user gets 1TB of personal storage – by default, any file created by one of the Office 365 applications will be saved to OneDrive automatically.

Enterprise Mobility + Security

Security and compliance is extremely important for hybrid working. There may be times when users are connecting to Wi-Fi networks that have security vulnerabilities. Unless they have been provided with work devices by the business, they will also be using personal devices that might have a mix of personal and business data on them.

With Enterprise Mobility + Security, businesses have all the tools they need to guarantee the safety of company data, even in the BYOD (bring your own device) scenarios that are common with remote and hybrid work models.

Windows 11

While the operating system of one’s device isn’t critical to hybrid working, it can still make a big difference when it comes to productivity and interoperability with the other applications one uses on a daily basis for work.

Windows 11, the latest version of Microsoft’s hugely successional operating system, is geared entirely towards supporting productivity. Microsoft have built upon a number of features that were introduced in previous iterations of Windows, but improved them significantly.

A good example of this is Snap Layouts – the ability to arrange windows on your screen into different configurations, thus allowing you to view multiple apps simultaneously. In Windows 10, 8 and 7, the Snap feature was limited to simply snapping apps to either the left or right of your screen. Now, you can occupy 50% of your screen with one window, and then snap two more windows to fill 25% of the screen each; you could snap up to 4 windows into a layout, with each filling 25% of your screen.

Windows 11 makes this very easy to do – simply hover your mouse over the maximize button in the top right corner of a window to view the Snap Layouts. Additionally, Windows 11 automatically remembers the Snap Layouts you have created – this is a feature they called Snap Groups. Even if you minimize all the windows, you will be able to restore the Snap Group from the Taskbar.

Other productivity features include the focus features. The Focus Assist setting was first established in Windows 10 – allowing you to limit notifications so as to focus better. This features remains in Windows 11. Focus sessions can also be accessed from the Windows 11 clock app – these focus sessions allow you to set dedicated periods to help you focus, as well as dedicated rest periods between each focus session.