Best practices (ENG)

Table of Contents

  1. Workspace 365 - Everything simplified
  2. Design & Organizational structure
  3. User management
  4. Key features
  5. Key applications
Do you have questions after reading this guide? Please take a look the the following articles:

1. Workspace 365 - Everything simplified

Workspace 365 helps employees to be more productive, to stay organized, engaged, and to make well-informed decisions, regardless of their technical background. Simplifying their digital experience provides the key to great work. We’ve ensured the user experience is consistent across different platforms and devices, including mobile, tablet, and non-responsive modes. Wherever you’re working, on whatever device, you’ll find the same ease of use.

So, how can you as a Workspace administrator create a simplified interface that contributes to optimal user experience? 

 

2. Design & Organizational structure

Global navigation

Navigating in Workspace 365 is quick and simple. To maximize available screen space, improve navigation flow and reduce the need for scrolling, we recommend creating multiple Shared spaces and enable all apps in the global navigation menu on the left-hand side; Documents app, Email app, the Hub, Address Book and the Calendar app.

 

About Spaces

It's important that users can seamlessly navigate their workday with efficiency and convenience. Spaces provide a high level of adaptability, and it keeps the digital workplace clear and organized.

Too much information in one screen (Personal space) overloads the user with too much content, consequently reducing the amount of information a person is able to process effectively and accurately. Therefore, it's important to think about how you organize Spaces.

 

Personal space

Users should have immediate access to their most essential apps and information at the start of every workday. Think about seeing emails they may need to respond to, get insight in and being able to join meetings, quick access to important documents and applications, staying up to date on company news, and more. Therefore, it can be useful to add the following live tiles to the Personal space: Documents, E-mail, Calendar and the Hub.

Being able to personalize the digital workplace is conducive to the adoption of Workspace 365. This is why we recommend keeping the Personal space - which is by default the landing page - enabled. This way, users can separate their personal apps from the rest of the organisation. 

As a Workspace admin, you can choose to land all users on a Shared space instead of their Personal space. This choice may differ per organization and it depends on how the Personal space has been set up, as it otherwise may require one extra click to access organization-specific applications.

 

Shared spaces

You want to avoid pushing too many applications and information to the Personal space of the users. This is why we recommend using Shared spaces.

Organizing Shared spaces involves creating dedicated Spaces for different departments or teams, ensuring seamless access to organization-specific apps and resources. By structuring these Spaces thoughtfully, new employees can effortlessly locate and access the Spaces and information relevant to their role, streamlining the onboarding process and promoting efficient collaboration.

Here are some examples:

  • Land users on an “Company" Space, where they have direct access to news items about the company (e.g., announcements, knowledge items and events).
  • For each department you could create a different Shared space with apps and information relevant for only that department.

 

Shared tile groups

Using Shared tile groups is a must if you have large groups of employees who need the same important applications and information and need to see it immediately when they login.

Shared tile groups can be pushed to the Personal space of the users. And of course, user can decide whether they want to show or hide it from their Personal space. But be careful not to overwhelm users with too much information, but also consider Shared Spaces.

 

"Application as a tab" vs. (live tiles)

Documents, E-mail and Web content apps can be added as a Shared space ("Application as tab"). So, when should you use apps/tiles? And when should you use separate Shared spaces?

Tiles are used often used when something needs to be found quickly and are intended for a quick display. For example, think about your most recent documents or bookmarks from the Documents tile. Or maybe you just want to view only your unread email? Using tiles allows you to quickly find what you need. If you want to make personal apps like Email or Documents available as a tile, we recommend adding this to the Personal space, so that users can personalize these apps themselves.

You use an app as a separate space when you want to see a complete overview. You can use all the functionalities within the app. In case of the Documents app: being able to easily search through drives or folders, sync files, upload files, etc. Or for example adding your SharePoint intranet as web content (iFrame).

 

Template

As a Workspace administrator, you can push your digital workplace as a template to all users. This means you can push your Personal- and Shared tile groups to the Personal space of new and/or current users.

Bear in mind that Shared tile groups will be presented at the top and Personal tile groups at the bottom.

 

Branding

Branding is more important than you might think. People say “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but let’s be honest – we do this. The branding is the first thing people see and if it’s recognizable and nice-looking, people are more likely to be receptive to their adaptive digital workplace.

In each workspace environment, you can create one or multiple branding sets as a workspace admin. This is useful for organizations with multiple departments that each have their own style, such as a school community with multiple schools.

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3. User management

Welcome email

By default, imported users will be notified via email when their workspace is ready to use.

We recommend disabling the Welcome email first, before importing new users and designing the workspace environment. Or you can import users, but temporarily mark them as inactive.

For more information, please refer to: Step 5. User provisioning.


Automatic user import

Make sure your user groups are in place in Microsoft Entra ID. This way, you can automatically sync these groups via Automated user provisioning via SCIM API or the Azure AD synctool to Workspace. We recommend SCIM.

 

Group permissions

We recommend assigning permission based on groups. You can assign groups permissions to Shared spaces, Shared tile groups and/or apps.

For more information, please refer to Understand and manage user permissions in Workspace 365.

 

Conditional access

Nowadays, Workspace security extends beyond your organization's network. You want to know who your users are and what they do with organizational data. And it's important that users see the right information and applications at the right time, resulting in a well-organized, clean and safe workspace.

Here are some examples in which you may want to enable Conditional access:

  • Block access from unsecure network locations and/or unsupported devices.
  • Hide specific apps or tile groups on mobile devices.
  • Browser restriction on applications.
  • Announce maintenance in regards to visibility app.
  • Enable MFA.

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4. Key features

Global Search

Global Search is one of our most frequently used and highly valued features. With Global Search, you can easily en quickly find what you're looking for.

We will keep adding more features to Global Search to allow users to refine their searches, save time, and find specific information even faster.

Global Search also has an integration with Egnyte and OpenIMS.

 

Advanced search in V4.0

The advanced search feature will empower users to dig deeper into their content and gain valuable insights. Users need to be as specific as possible when looking for information (use filters, enter specific search terms, etc.) and avoid spelling mistakes.

If users can't find what they're looking for, they probably don't have sufficient permissions to e.g. a document.

 

Activity Feed

The Activity Feed serves as a valuable tool for users to stay informed of crucial notifications and important news. It allows users to view and respond to tasks, approvals and notifications, without the need to navigate through numerous apps. This saves valuable time and reduces administrative hassle for the users.

 

Connect with APIs from third-party applications

Iis possible to connect countless third-party applications to your Activity Feed, e.g. TOPdesk, Zapier, project management, CRM systems, Power Apps, applications like Slack and thousands more.

You can use the Activity Feed to enable a task-based approach to working. For example, you could connect your HR system and set it up in such a way that whenever someone requests time off, the team manager gets a notification in his/her Activity Feed. With one click, the HR system will open in order to approve or reject the request.

For this to work, you can use our Activity Feed API. On our support portal, we have two examples:

 

Customize your feed

Users have the flexibility to tailor their Activity Feed to their specific needs, ensuring that they receive and prioritize information relevant to their roles and responsibilities.

Wise utilization of this feature not only saves valuable time, but also prevents information overload. For example, if users already have the Email tile with their unread email as default view added to their Personal space, it may not add additional value to also enable email notification in the Activity Feed.

 

Pin your Activity Feed

We believe that the Activity feed is an important part of the digital workplace and can therefore be pinned. The Activity Feed will become even more important in the future. It will be extended with smart suggestions and in context-assistance to simplify the work of any employee.

 

Frequently used apps

Your frequently used apps are visible just below the standard apps on the left-hand side menu. These apps can be accessed from every space. This makes access quick and simple, removing the frustration of searching for your favourite apps. We recommend promoting the usage of these apps.

 

App selection

The app selection may change overtime depending on how often you use them, so it’s always appropriate for the tasks you do most frequently. It is also device dependent, as you may use other apps on your smartphone than on your laptop. 

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5. Key applications

The Hub

Information matters. We know news and announcements are important and that organisations need an effective way to share relevant information and celebrate successes.

The Hub is easily accessible and is perfect for sharing important company announcements, knowledge articles and events - which is a perfect combination of static and dynamic information. It's a central point of information which streamlines internal communication, enhances collaboration and boosts productivity.

 

Categories

You can send targeted information, e.g. an announcement, to a group of employees within a category. This way, the information people see is relevant to their role and responsibilities, i.e. preventing an information overload.

How you can assign permissions, is explained in the following articles:

 

Pop-up

From the Hub (live tile), everyone has a clear overview of all news items. But if a news item is a "Must-read", then use the pop-up function. This way, you ensure that people will not miss the announcement, for example to announce scheduled network maintenance at the office.

Be aware of the fact that publishing direct pop-ups may have a large impact on the user experience. You don't want users to close the pop-ups immediately if too many were sent in succession.

 

Pins & tags

Pin the most important announcements or knowledge articles, so they appear at the top of the category page. It draws more attention to important news.

Add tags to announcements and knowledge articles to help identify what they are about, so users can find the right information faster.

 

Hub live tile view

To make Workspace more visually appealing, or if you want to draw more attention to important information (this mainly applies to Intranet customers), you can extend the Hub live tile over two columns. 

You can choose to show a certain category as the default view, instead of showing all announcements, knowledge articles and events. This is a choice that varies by organization and usually depends on the size of the company and the number of items being published.

Take into account the maximum number of items that can be displayed in the live tile for each layout (carousel-, tile- or list layout).

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Documents

Document management is made easier by combining SharePoint, OneDrive and the file server with Workspace 365 in one Document app - a single interface of all documents and files through a user-friendly and intuitive design that will be rapidly adopted by the workforce. Streamline work and enhance productivity by easily creating, accessing, and collaborating on essential documents, all in one place.

 

Site availability

We recommend enabling Site availability. This functionality is used to control which SharePoint sites are available in the Documents app, and whether new sites are available by default or not. This will save you time.

 

Customization

Users can manage their document libraries themselves by determining the order in which the document libraries are displayed, or even hide them. This allows them to focus on what's important to them.

 

Activity Feed notifications

Our Documents app integrates seamlessly with the Activity Feed, keeping you updated on document-related (SharePoint/OneDrive) activities. You can decide whether you want to receive notifications for items that have been moved, copied or shared with you.

 

Recent documents & Bookmarks

Users can add the Documents live tile more than once to Workspace to quickly access their recent documents and bookmarks.

 

Pin folders

Users can pin their most important SharePoint folders by editing the Documents live tile. This could save them a lot of time looking for the right documents.

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Email

With the Microsoft Exchange integration within Workspace 365, you can integrate Online-, Hybrid- or On-Premise version of Exchange in Workspace 365. By doing this, all your contacts, email and calendars are available in the workspace, on any device.

 

Workspace 365 Email app vs. OWA

Configure the "default clientsettings and open your mailbox in the way you’ve chosen: the Workspace Email app or OWA. Which option you choose depends on the organization.

The Workspace 365 Email app has a simplified and intuitive design and offers the necessary basic functionalities. It integrates with our Document app, while OWA - which offers more functionalities - does not.

 

Email live tile

If users use the Workspace Email app, we recommend that users add it to their Personal space. By editing the live tile, they can easily configure if they want to view their read and/or unread email, add shared mailboxes to the tile, and more.

 

Activity Feed notifications

If the Email live tile is added to the Personal space, it may not add additional value to turn on email notifications in the Activity Feed, as it may overload the user with information. 

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Calendar

Our Calendar app helps users to plan and manage appointments, meetings, and tasks. It makes it easier for them to stay organized and keep track of important dates and activities. The app is also fully integrated with our Email, Address Book, Tasks and Activity Feed. 

 

Calendar live tile

From the Calendar live tile, users can quickly get insight in and join their most important meeting of the day. Joining meetings can also be done from the Activity Feed.

Adjust the size of the live tile (e.g. 6x6 or bigger) to view more detailed information.

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Address Book

The Address Book plays a pivotal role in maintaining effective communication within an organization. It serves as a central repository of contact information, ensuring that team members can easily find and get in touch with one another. This accessibility fosters seamless collaboration and enhances teamwork, which are essential for productivity and success in the digital workplace.

 

User profile

Completing your user profile is pivotal for enhancing your online presence and fostering engagement. It serves as your digital identity and opens the door to valuable connections, opportunities, and collaborations.

Additionally, this detailed information can help others find you more easily in Global Search, enhancing the discoverability and connectivity of your profile. The more effort you invest in maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date user profile, the more you'll amplify your presence and drive meaningful engagement in the digital workplace.

 

Address book live tile

From the Address Book live tile, it's very easy to get in contact with the right teams and colleagues. You can search for names, job titles, email address, departments and office locations, skills and expertise, interests, and more. Or get in touch by starting a (video)call or chat via Microsoft Teams, or send them an e-mail straight from the live tile.

 

Microsoft Entra ID (previously called "Azure AD")

It's important to properly setup your Microsoft Entra ID, because at this moment, it's not possible to apply filters or to create custom lists in Workspace 365.

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