Two person home office


With the pandemic going on for more than two years now, people who were so used to working at the office were forced to work from home to stop the virus from spreading. Who would’ve thought that the discussion would lead to something like, “Hi, we’re going to a meeting in sweatpants” or “I haven’t showered today but I’m working already.” Such scenarios weren’t something we would think about years ago, but look where we are today.

Now that it has been more than two years since we started working from home, certain guidelines and restrictions are implemented for those who are required to go back to the office. While working from the office (WFO) is mandatory for employees in certain companies, it’s not for other companies. It’s called Hybrid Work-blending WFO and remote work at the same time, or even fully working remotely from other locations.

But the question is, are we ready for that? Waking up last minute logging into our work laptop and starting working, unshowered, still in PJs have been a comfortable routine. This kind of flexibility still makes employees deliver as usual, regardless where they’re located. According to research conducted by Edelman Data x Intelligence, 66% leaders consider their companies to accommodate hybrid work, 73% employees want remote work option to stay, and 67% employees want more in-person work.

With the recent variant called Omicron starting to spread, companies are reconsidering having employees back to the office. According to The Washington Post, there’s a downside of remote work, where person-to-person interaction helps the shape of company culture. Maintaining performance and collaboration at work also remain as top concerns. Therefore, companies put a lot of considerations during transition time for hybrid work. They need to redefine the role of physical office for employees and refine their approach to risk management such as ensuring availability of in-house IT teams to cater to technical issues. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also help drive the environment as it thrives on data, as a centralized repository for all company data is necessary that can only be achieved in the cloud. By having it in the cloud, data access can be maintained for workers at home, office, or everywhere else. It helps employees easier in searching and sharing documents, emails, or any other files while still having tight security.

However, hybrid work can be emotionally exhausting. As mentioned, working from home can be comfortable but doing hybrid work means maintaining two workspaces at a time-home and the office. Readjusting back to “normal” office life before COVID-19 or commuting back to work can be exhausting for some people, as it disrupts the working life schedule at home that employees are used to by now. With the uncertainty of when this pandemic is ever going to see its end, it’s a constant gamble for employees to go back to the office although there are certain guidelines and restrictions in conducting in-person meetings or conversations. But going to the office is important for employees to have social activity with fellow colleagues or even expand networks not only with colleagues but also with clients.

In the end, employers need to keep an eye on how employees feel about hybrid work models regardless of how supportive and ready they are on the technical side. Employers need to ensure that they create new workspaces that accommodate it (e.g. social distancing, efficient schedule, effective communications, etc.). If these things aren’t put into consideration, employees might feel that the new normal would be more inflexible than flexible.

[Gambas:Audio CXO]

(DIG/HAL) Which Office 365 Subscriptions Do I Need for My Small Business?

Office 365If you’ve landed on this page you have probably heard a bit about Office 365 or been told that you should start using it.  You may be using free email addresses which have been OK but you want more than just email. You may want shared Calendars, Shared email boxes, somewhere to store personal documents and somewhere to store documents which everyone can see and access. Maybe you also want a way to communicate with the team in the office or with employees out on the road via their mobile phones.

We’ll the next step for you is to move to a proper business platform like GSuite or Office 365. Both offer apps and web pages which give you all of the above and both do a great job.

I’m a Microsoft guy, I know how Word, Excel and Outlook work, its what I know and likely what you know too. If that’s the case you want Office 365, Its awesome so good choice!

Which subscriptions do a typical 1-50 employee business use?

OK so your going to run your business systems on Office 365 so next you need to decide which subscriptions you will be using. There are a few to choose from and some can cost quite a bit every month.

Below I will discuss the two most common subscriptions used by small businesses from 1 employee up to 300. 300 is the maximum number of users supported on the small business packages. If you have more than 100 employees I would typically recommend an E3 or E5 subscriptions, you can review those here.

Most of my own small business clients are below 100 users, typically 1-30 employees and all use a mixture of two subscriptions. They use Office 365 Business Premium for all normal employees who need access to email and company files. For remote employees who only need access to email they use Exchange Online Plan 1.

There are other subscriptions such as Office 365 Business and Office 365 Business Essentials but they don’t include everything you need to run your business such as access to the office programs or somewhere to store company files used by everyone.

I just need web based email

Exchange Online Plan 1If you literally just want a few email addresses like, and Then you can purchase an Exchange Online Plan 1 subscription.

This gives you web based email, so a mailbox for your employees, shared calendars but nothing else. You can setup the email on your mobile phones using the built in email program. If you have an iPhone or Android based phone then its no problem, you can setup the email programs to send and receive emails.

If you already have Office on your computer you can connect Outlook up and access your email that way too. If you don’t already have office then you can use the email web page to access your emails.

You wont get anywhere to store your files (OneDrive / SharePoint) and you wont get any of the chat services like Skype or Teams.


  • Web based email
  • Access to email on mobile phones
  • You can connect Outlook on your Mac or PC if you already have Office installed (Office is not included).
  • Shared email boxes
  • Shared calendars

Does NOT include:

  • Office programs
  • Any ability to chat with your employees (Skype / Teams)
  • Anywhere to store files in the cloud (OneDrive / SharePoint)
  • Plus lots of other useful services

I need the full office programs, Word, Excel and Outlook. I need Email, shared calendars, somewhere to store personal files. I need somewhere to store company files which all employees can access and update. I need a way to communicate with the whole team using online chat.

Office 365 Business PremiumOK that’s quite a list but its no problem, Office 365 has a subscription called Office 365 Business Premium. This subscription gives all employees the ability to install the latest version of the Office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint). It gives them all an email address and a calendar. They all get somewhere to store personal files in the cloud. They can access a central store of company documents which everyone can see and update. They can even talk to each other using the Skype or Teams apps.



  • Everything from Exchange Online Plan 1 above
  • You can install Office applications onto 5 of your own computers (Office computer, Home computer, Laptop etc)
  • Skype or Teams for sending instant messages to employees on their computers or mobile phones.

Does NOT include:

  • Access or Publisher applications
  • Other advanced features (Typically not used by small businesses)


Cutting to the chase if you are a small business 1-100 employees use Office 365 business premium. It includes the Office programs you need such as Work, Excel and Outlook. It includes and email address for all employees and free shared email addresses for things like accounts@ info@ complaints@ etc. Employees get somewhere to store personal files in the cloud and they also get somewhere to store files which everyone else can access (Shared company files). They also get Skype or the Teams app so all employees can talk to each other from where ever they are in the world.

Its one of the greatest and most flexible Office 365 subscriptions for small businesses to use and the price is quite reasonable.