One of the many benefits Microsoft Office 2010 offers is new and innovative ways to work and communicate with remote contacts; whether you're in the office, or at home, using on a computer, Web browser, or Smartphone, you will be able to work and communicate with a whole host of contacts in different locations at the same time. And by offering more ways to access documents from virtually anywhere, Microsoft Office 2010 promises to put you in control wherever you are.

Co-authoring features in Excel, OneNote and Word will allow you to publish documents, ensuring different users can have full editing capabilities from whichever location they are based. Even a PowerPoint presentation will be easily broadcast and viewed via the Internet. Microsoft will enable you to take Office even further out of the office.

As technology progresses, more methods and resources will also be available to facilitate working and sharing information with others. Online learning, for example, is just one area that has grown recently and one in which Office 2010 can really make a difference.

Although online learning methods may take time to get used to - some people are not as technically competent as others - this should be seen as part of their learning journey. As online learning grows, it can be argued that, without having to concentrate on face-to-face interaction, there are fewer distractions.

With the advent of Microsoft Office 2010, and given the huge array of applications available for sharing everything from PowerPoint presentations to forum discussions, technology must be carefully matched to the end objectives of any user - whether they are in the workplace or classroom - and their competency to learn and use the applications.

A learning community can be defined as a group of people, who have a shared interest in a subject area, working together to study, explore and discover more about a subject. Members of the community exchange and share knowledge, ideas and opinions so that the understanding and capability of the group as a whole progresses.

Today, more than ever, the idea of a community marks a shift away from the traditionally held notion of one being defined by location. The meaning of community is changing from focusing solely on geography to relationships and shared interests. Now, with the flexibility Microsoft Office 2010 offers, it is even more important to adapt to remote working and online learning.

Getting up to speed with what's available online is the first step to becoming a confident learner. Some common online tools and applications which you may come across on your online journey include the following:

Wikis. These are online documents that allow multiple individuals to contribute and edit content. Wikipedia is probably the best known example. Sites such as PB Wiki and Google Docs also allow users to establish their own wikis.

Discussion forums. These forums are used to start discussion topics, and to reply to topics started by others. Many websites now have their own discussion forums.

Instant messaging (IM). Certain applications allow users to immediately send and reply to messages. Because of the speed of IM, it is possible to have real time conversations with one or multiple parties. IM will become more popular as more users explore aspects of Office 2010 communications toolkits.

Digital environments. These are online worlds, where it is possible to interact (through text, speech and movement) with other users who are in the environment at the same time.

Blogs are online diaries that allow people to record their thoughts, opinions and ideas. These are frequently opened up to third parties for their comments.

E-portfolios. Like a standard paper portfolio, e-portfolios allow learners to collect and store information and material, but in digital form. The collection is used to provide evidence of a journey of learning. Like blogs, e-portfolios can be opened up for comment and discussion.

Before embarking on any training course, it is important to remember that an application should not be chosen merely because one person knows how to use it, or has a desire to use it. Ensure you get a professional introduction and training in Microsoft Office 2010 when it's time for you to move out of the confines of your office.