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Working with Office 365 is not the same as working with traditional IT


To be fully productive with Office 365 the users need to change their behavior. It is not like working with traditional IT-systems with files on a server and an email server inside of the firewall.
The change of behavior and way of working is most likely the biggest challenge. For users that try to work like they have always been doing, the services of Office 365 seems strange and a blocker.


The first issue comes with sending attachments, my advice is to ditch sending attachments as much as possible. Send links to the files on SharePoint or OneDrive instead of attaching the file.
What are the benefits of ditching attachments?

  • You are sure that everyone is using the same version of the file. When you attach a file the recipient will store the file locally, modify the file and then send it back to you.
  • Your inbox will be filled with attachments that will eventually make opening your mailbox a slow process.
  • You may send the email with the attached file to the wrong recipient(with the same name as another user). With a link you know who can access the fil.

Ditch sending emails that can be replaced by other forms of communication. Use Skype, Yammer, Groups, Teams to replace som emails. Sending an email to the colleague on the floor above asking when you will meet for lunch is not what emails are meant for. The alternative is chat in Skype or a direct message on Yammer or Teams.

Ditch explorer when working with documents and store them directly in SharePoint. Some companies are mapping the document libraries in SharePoint as a network drive. Do not do it!
To open SharePoint as a network drive is not best practice, the way of communicating is not always working and is slow.
What you can do is to you sync the files using OneDrive, but only the files you need. Best practice is to sync on or off libraries. An easier way is to use a new feature with the use of Windows 10 version 1709(Fall creators Update). You can choose to sync only the filetree without the content.

The way of working with Office 365 and other cloud services requires users to change their behavior, not a lot but a tiny bit, the changes above can seem like a to giant step for most users.

Exchanging emails to other ways of communicating is as much change as they have done for years, swapping phone calls with text messages using their smart phone.

Not sending attachments is not a big change either for the users. Instead of sending pictures in letters or postcards the user are privately swapping that for social media posts.

To ditch using the explorer to work with files is not a huge step either. The user are privately swapping file explorer for web-browser for Netflix and Spotify.

Even though many people fear change am I certain they will see that the change will do them good. They will most likely thank you as they will be more productive.