COVID-19 has forever changed how we work and communicate with our co-workers. As the pandemic ramped up, companies around the world found themselves rapidly transitioning to remote work. The companies who have been most successful in making this shift are those that quickly provided their people with the hardware and software they needed to work well at home.
We went through this transition period ourselves here at Celero — moving the remainder of our in-office employees to remote work in a matter of days. For us it was relatively easy, since 40% of our work force was already remote pre-pandemic. But for many of our credit union clients this shift meant widespread organizational change and a new way of work-life that took some getting used to. In our experience, the transition to remote work is much smoother when you have a robust suite of software that allows employees to stay organized and supplement the in-person interactions that are integral to business operations. Office 365 (and especially Microsoft Teams) has been instrumental in allowing us and our clients to make the shift to remote work as easy as possible. In fact, Office 365 has allowed us to achieve some operational efficiencies and increase productivity in certain areas of our own and our clients’ businesses.
To demonstrate how our Office 365 solution has helped drive the transition to remote work, our product manager of client solutions and business development, Brandee Vaselenak, sat down with CTO at Christian Credit Union, Ed Dubbeldam, to find out how the credit union has remained productive during COVID-19. Here’s what Ed had to say:
Brandee: What are you liking about Office 365 since your migration?
Ed: Having everything I need available on my phone and my PC, whether I’m at home or at the office, offers true mobility and flexibility that we didn’t have before Office 365. Being able to store and access documents on OneDrive from anywhere is very convenient.
The analytics feature of Office 365 has given us insight into our employee’s day-to-day lives and highlighted opportunities for increased efficiency and collaboration. For example, since we began using Microsoft Teams as our phone system, we have seen that our employees are making and receiving way more calls than we thought. We are challenging our employees to explore and leverage these tools to find new ways to use the technologies they have on hand to collaborate when working from home.
Brandee: How did Office 365 help Christian Credit Union remain productive during COVID-19?
Ed: Well, we have discovered that we only need one employee with a VPN connection to get our documents from the LAN. This employee can upload all our necessary documents onto Microsoft Teams for everyone to access, making working remotely possible for Christian Credit Union.
We also like the multi-factor authentication (MFA) capabilities of Office 365, especially with the increasing cyber-attacks we seem to be seeing more regularly. There’s nothing more disruptive to productivity than an easily preventable a cyber-attack that can shut you down for days, or even weeks. Celero’s security recommendations for Office 365 has given us an added layer of protection while working from home during the pandemic.
Brandee: What do you like most about Microsoft Teams?
Ed: Some of the Microsoft Teams features that I have been enjoying the most include using Teams as our phone system, screen sharing during calls and meetings with employees, creating Teams for different projects (including our Celero Xpress™ project) and committees to collaborate on, saving shared content on Teams instead of local drives, and having the ability to use the chat function to answer quick questions since we can’t walk over to each other’s desks like we would in-branch. Having the automatic Teams installer on all desktops is also a nice feature so employees can sign on to any desktop and move around as needed.
Actually, thinking of these features reminds me of an interesting use case we experienced during the beginning of the pandemic. We were able to use Teams to hold a meeting with the church to discuss if they would host church on a particular weekend. Using Teams allowed us to stay socially distant while meeting virtually and collaborating in a safe environment. The Teams meeting ran smoothly with employees and church participants as the platform is very user-friendly. Most of our credit union employees are active in their community and Teams has helped them stay connected to their communities even when faced with coronavirus.
Remote work is going to be the reality for many companies into the foreseeable future. If you’re looking for an all-in-one software solution to help you team work smarter from home, contact us to learn more about Office 365 or to sign up.
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Celero is a leading provider of digital technology and integration solutions to credit unions and financial institutions across Canada. Clients trust Celero’s proven track record delivering innovative banking technologies, digital and payment solutions, cloud computing, outsourcing, IT and advisory services.
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