Updated: Aug 11, 2020
If you’re contemplating or proposing the adoption of a collaboration tool, this list of benefits may help you and your organization hit the ground running.
As more and more businesses adapt to remote working, it’s becoming increasingly important to foster virtual connections and boost collaboration. With isolation, social distancing, and stay at home mandates, it’s easy for individuals to feel disconnected and discouraged. Some may miss personal interactions with your team at the office, like quick hallway chats or after work happy hours. A comprehensive online collaboration tool can fill in these gaps.
Flexible Work Environment
Say goodbye to limitations! With the right collaboration tool, team members can work remotely from anywhere in the world, at any time, on any device! It’s possible for a team to be completely dispersed, while still working efficiently and effectively. Not only does the tool create adaptable, virtual workspaces, but it also provides workers with an environment that creates less stress, better health, and the opportunity to save more money.
Chat functionality is one of the best values that online collaboration tools offer, limiting the use of e-mail as our primary means of internal communication Bouncing emails back and forth takes what feels like forever to come to a solution and ultimately kills productivity. High priority initiatives might get pushed back because an email hasn’t been answered, while instant messaging allows an ease and fluidity that enables teams to thrive. Even better is the ability to create separate channels, like one for all employees, one for HR, and one for project managers only, just to name a few. You can even create a channel just for fun stuff to maintain that office camaraderie that keeps employees connected on a more personal level.
While virtual collaboration is becoming the new norm, many still think of it as second to being in person. It is true that face-to-face environments have unique qualities, but now is the time to challenge that belief. If done well, virtual creates some incredible opportunities for businesses, particularly when they leverage video capabilities. Video adds a personal touch and makes it easier to communicate effectively. We use and read body language more than you might think! You can even maintain your regular team meeting cadence or team lunches, just make them online. Tools like Microsoft Teams are a great way to hold video meetings and feel connected without losing the non-verbal, visual cues that enhance a conversation. Share screens, documents, and presentations during your video conferences, just like you would during an in-person meeting.
One of the greatest concerns amongst modern business owners is the threat of a security breach. Zoom has emerged as a market leader in light of stay-at-home orders, but as millions of Americans start to work from home, hackers and other malicious actors see an opportunity. Cyber security is crucial in a time like this. Only enterprise-level cloud collaboration platforms alleviate these apprehensions, since they offer a secure way to carry out day-to-day work. If your largest concern is staying secure, we recommend Microsoft Teams, a collaboration tool that was designed with enterprise security as its core. It’s also free for 6 months!
Perhaps the biggest benefit of workplace collaboration tools is the improvements to employee productivity. We’ve all been here: You send an email to everyone giving them updates. They reply to you but not to all. Then others reply to you, but not the group. Suddenly the conversation is splitting out into five separate conversations with everyone’s ideas being directed at one person when it should be a group discussion. If you aren’t yet using a collaboration tool, this situation can feel like the norm.
With the right tool, everyone knows what the status of the discussion is, keeping the productivity flowing. Documents and information are on-hand and can be retrieved at much greater speed, helping to minimize the amount of time which is spent on admin tasks or searching for files. Some tools even allow you to bookmark important conversations, mention specific individuals, and see who’s available right now and who’s not (just like a real office).
Collaborative working tools are a must-have for any organization that needs to increase workplace efficiency, while saving valuable time and resources. The challenge is that there are a variety of tools to choose from, and it’s hard to distinguish which features are essential. Given core features like chat and video calling, programs like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack have become some of the most used internal communication tools. Depending on your organization’s specific objectives, one tool may be better than another. Click here to check out a comparison chart to find out which platform is best for your business needs.
At SYNACT, we don’t just blog about the power of virtual workspaces, it’s how we do business every day! We see the power of productivity, collaboration, and employee morale that accompanies Microsoft Teams and we think you will too. Contact us to get started!