Microsoft Office 365: Preparing your staff for the upgrade

Microsoft Office 365: Preparing your staff for the upgrade

Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most powerful business productivity tools of today, but one challenge managers face is how to prepare their staff for the upgrade.  As support for Microsoft Office 2010 draws close to an end, and more businesses are making the switch to the cloud, how can you reassure your employees what’s coming is more flexible, collaborative and streamlined?

Show the benefits upfront

People resist change, but what’s even more challenging is when that change happens overnight.  Preparing your staff before the new service arrives allows them to get a good heads-up of what to expect. You’ll want to demonstrate the benefits of Office 365, and how it can specifically help each department of your organisation. 

To find out how Office 365 can benefit your staff you first need to understand what problems they have.  You might already have an idea of what these might be through performance reviews and general word of mouth.

Here are some examples of how an employee can benefit from Office 365:

Employee:  I want to work remotely whilst on business travel.

Office 365 benefit:  Work anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.  You can have access to your email, files and Office programs. 


Employee: I keep getting confused about who is working on what file.

Office 365 benefit: The collaborative features of Office 365 means that instead of having multiple versions of a file, everyone can work from one document.


Employee:  I can’t focus because there’s too much clutter in my Inbox.

Office 365 benefit: Office 365 users have access to the latest features of Outlook, including Focused Inbox.  This automatically sorts emails into what’s most relevant to the reader, naturally decluttering the Inbox. 


After you’ve discovered how Office 365 can help your staff become more productive, you could then ask your IT team to prepare a short presentation highlighting the overall benefits, whilst also detailing specific ways each department can make use of the available features.  


Make use of the Office 365 Training Center

To help employees with early adoption, Microsoft has put together a handy set of videos, cheat sheets, infographics and more which can all be easily accessed through

Let’s explore some of the training materials in a little more detail:

6 simple steps

The first thing the Office 365 training center prompts readers to do is Start with 6 simple steps.  These pages quickly guide the reader through the main new features of Office 365 such as Sharing and Collaboration and working with Teams.  This is a great option if staff are short of time or need a quick overview of what’s on offer. 

Learn the basics

This section contains several clear videos that take the trainee through the basics of Office 365. All the clips are around 2 minutes or so, and some contain a quick step-by-step guide so they can try the feature out. 

Office quick starts

Here the trainee will be presented with videos and step-by-step instructions for a wider range of Office 365 features, along with handy downloadable guides.  The content remains easily digestible, so they can easily dip in and out.

Save time with tips

Everything from benefits of working in the cloud to smarter meetings with Skype and OneNote is included in this section.  This is another area staff can delve into quickly when they have time to spare.    


Downloadable in PDF form, cheat sheets are perfect for referring to things like keyboard shortcuts, locating settings and learning the basics.  These could be directed to different employees in your business depending on their needs, and are particularly useful for when they’re offline. 

Transition to Office 365 with ease      

Overall, the switch to Microsoft Office 365 isn’t something your employees should be concerned about.  The core features and functionality of the previous versions remain the same, and employees should be encouraged to seek ways in which this cloud-based solution can improve their daily tasks.

Microsoft has been hard at work to produce a wealth of training materials to encourage early adoption.  From short, easy to follow videos to downloadable PDF cheat sheets, staff can successfully train in a way that suits their learning style.    


Total Group can make your transition to Microsoft Office 365 worry-free.  Whether you’re looking for guidance on best practices, or deployment and migration services, our experts are ready to help your business transform.  

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