You can set Office to save work automatically in the background. Click on the Office button in the top left-hand corner of the Word window and then on Word Options.
Click on the Save option in the left-hand column of the Word Options Window. Make sure there is a tick in the box labelled ‘Save AutoRecover information every XX minutes’ and make sure that there is a small number in the box.
This option must be set for each program within Office, the setting for Word is not used for Powerpoint, for example.