Today, collaboration tools have acquired the attention of almost every business sector and are gaining more popularity day by day. Collaboration tools are the software used to communicate and collaborate within teams and with different departments at workplaces. These tools offer various advantages such as real-time project management, digital document sharing, assigning tasks to the team members, arranging meetings, etc. Additional advantages of collaboration tools include meetings over video calling, screen sharing while trying to solve an issue, and text messaging with other employees to collaborate more efficiently while working together on a project. Traditional collaboration required all the employees to be present physically in the same room to arrange a meeting. Moreover, all the small changes and progress had to be discussed over a meeting which led to the wastage of a lot of time and resources.
After the arrival of COVID-19, the sector corresponding to collaboration tools was the only one that experienced a growth of 6%. A hybrid working environment boosted the adoption of trending collaboration tools as it revolutionised the way of working and communicating among the employees and senior management. The adoption of online collaboration tools is increasing but the technology also has to keep up with fast-growing demands. Even after the relaxation of COVID-19 guidelines, companies are willing to let their employees work remotely as they experienced a smooth going work culture even at the time of work from home. In addition to the smooth work environment, companies also saved a huge amount of money and resources while the offices were closed. Only 29% of the executives think that there is an actual need to come to the office at least 3 days a week to maintain a positive work culture; which means that other companies are perfectly fine with working remotely. Only after thoroughly examining the current status of the collaboration tools, can we easily look forward to the future of this sector.
To throw some light in this direction, this article will discuss the collaboration software trends for 2022. The arrival of the pandemic has made people believe that technological advancement is essential for the success of coming generations. A survey has found that around 60% of the organisations have developed more dependency on technology during the pandemic. Agile technologies were introduced at the organisations to improve their working amidst the pandemic. The main motive of introducing collaboration tools before the pandemic was to enhance the productivity of employees working at the office, but as the COVID-19 cases increased organisations shifted more towards these tools to develop an environment of communication and collaboration among their employees. Automation infused with artificial intelligence technologies boosted the success of these platforms which helped them in transforming from just being digital platforms to making automated decisions for the users. To give you a more clear picture of what tomorrow is going to look like with the advancement of collaboration tools, we have curated this article to look into the future.
Reasons for upcoming growth of collaboration tools
We have made a list of the following reasons that will result in the potential growth of this sector-
The prevalence of hybrid workplaces
According to a survey by Forbes, at least 82% of business owners plan on working remotely or in a hybrid mode for upcoming years; this is a result of studies that proved working from home has improved the productivity of employees. Moreover, 44% of the higher authorities believe that with increased use of collaboration tools, employees have started performing even better than before the pandemic. Also, studies suggested that people were happy with working from home which in turn boosted their performance and enhanced their productivity. An employee’s productivity depends on his comfort, so collaboration tools are focusing on introducing advanced versions of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) technologies to improve the user experience and promote more collaboration. The adoption of hybrid workplaces is going to increase with time so the collaboration tool sector will keep flourishing.
Artificial intelligence in collaboration
Artificial intelligence is the future of collaboration at workplaces. AI-powered collaboration tools are being developed to improve the employee experience. Artificial intelligence is expected to upgrade user experience at virtual meetings. Looking at the current scenario, employees are not much involved in communicating, so a startup thought of making meetings more productive and engaging by using machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing will help organisations measure the employee experience. Various AI-powered innovations will see a surge in collaboration tools during the coming years.
Enticing technologies for collaboration
Immersive technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will improve employee engagement which in turn will lead to a better personal experience as well as improved productivity. VR and AR are the future of collaboration tools, they will help in providing a realistic collaboration environment that will improve team interactions. They are the next step in transforming communication at workplaces. With the help of AR and VR, people will be able to present in meetings as their 3D Avatars without actually feeling the fatigue of being physically present in a meeting. Moreover, 3D data technology is emerging as a solution to understand hectic and cumbersome data that is continuously being generated.
Increase in external collaboration
Collaboration with external organisations help companies gain more knowledge and proves helpful in bringing innovation at workplaces, assisting companies towards building better relationships in different business arenas. Online collaboration tools were very much in use previously at workplaces but as the pandemic emerged, businesses had to collaborate with their clients, vendors and service providers via online collaborations. Businesses will continue to work with their working partners so collaboration will keep growing. However, there is a concern over the safety of these tools which needs to be looked upon if the collaboration tool sector wants to keep flourishing. In the coming years, collaboration tools are also working on improving external communication besides internal communication. Increased security and improved external collaboration will be the main factors to result in the growth of collaboration tools.
Video call meetings over collaboration tools sometimes might become confusing and may lead to fatigue among employees working remotely. To eliminate this problem, asynchronous video tools are gaining widespread use among office employees. These tools allow users to enjoy the benefits of various features such as sending video clips instead of being virtually present in a meeting. These tools will help remote teams that work in different time zones to collaborate without actually disturbing their working hours.
Increased Comfort in Collaboration
Over the time, people have become more accepting of collaborative tools and are now flexibile in communicating with teams over these platforms. This is a result of positive work experiences they felt while working from home. People are comfortable and will hardly think about leaving these platforms. Flexibility is a key feature for increasing productivity at workplaces and the increased prevalence of hybrid work environments is going to need the help of collaboration tools that enhance flexibility.
Although there are a lot of challenges that need to be addressed, the collaboration tools will continue to expand and rule the market by continuously improving their services. This market has a promising future with respect to the increasing hybrid work culture.