Are you a business owner? Are you on the verge of a mental breakdown? Worry not, we all have been there. Luckily, you are part of a high tech world. You name a problem, there will be a solution. And the solution to your problem is “Online Collaboration Tools”. Management and communication are crucial for any kind of business to prosper. If you haven’t used one yet, you’re definitely lacking in your professional growth. Today, collaboration tools work as the brain of a business. They help you strategize and manage your organization’s plans. Such tools can help different organizations in different ways according to their needs and can assist you in communicating with your team effectively to help achieve desired goals. While we are talking so highly of collaboration tools, let us understand what they are.
What is an online collaboration tool?
In simple words, online collaboration tools allow team members to communicate with each other via means of text, call, videocall, file sharing, etc. These tools are essential for both working from the office or from home. Especially for remote employees, it is a blessing. These tools help in outlining a workflow among the employees and are gaining enormous popularity among successful business organizations. If you want to improve your team’s productivity, creativity, and communication then you should start incorporating collaboration tools in your big small projects and business modules.
What is the need for collaboration?
Collaboration tools are not just a buzz, but they definitely mean a lot for any business. It has come as a life saver for many distinctive industries. Firstly, it allows remote teams to collaborate in an efficient manner. Secondly, it enhances professional communication between employees. Online collaboration is revolutionary, it is an ideal platform for modern age businesses. It builds a way to nourish creative ideas, creating a more exciting and easy going work environment. For companies that work remotely, incorporating online collaboration tools is a wonderful way to progress.
In order to utilize a tool, you should be aware of its usefulness first. You should know how to pull-off a tool before you incorporate it into your business. Here we are listing some of the useful features of online collaboration tools, to make you understand them better-
- Improved organization- It’s common to fall behind while working on a group project which could bring about a lot of confusion and waste your time. Organizing tasks is the foremost thing to do while working in a group. Collaboration tools come handy if you are striving for a perfect organizational layout.
- Time saving – Time is money, and the extra time you save, the more money you will make. Team collaboration helps in saving an enterprise’s time through attaining the end purpose in a faster way.
- Better assignment control – Handling a crew might be a strenuous process than we think. Collaboration tools help you make it certain that you’re getting the maximum out of your crew, with improved communication and sidelining the confusion. Working together greatly diminishes the chances of making mistakes.
- Firmer group relationships – Basically, your team is like your family members. Constructing powerful relationships between your team members is crucial. Collaboration tools bring a team together with the concept of working collectively to attain a professional goal. Its purpose is to impart advantage to a commercial enterprise.
At what levels collaboration is needed for an organization?
There are different levels at which you need to collaborate with your organization. Needs may differ with different kinds of businesses as each collaboration has a particular outcome in an enterprise. There are various tiers of a business enterprise but all businesses need at least these three levels of communication-
- Team level – At this level, collaboration is mainly between a small group of employees operating together to achieve a goal. This is the most frequent and important level of communication because of its tendency to bring a project to life. Collaboration at this level is beneficial in many aspects as it diminishes the burden of total workload on a single individual. A team member knows that he’s a part of the team which is communicating continuously so he can focus calmly on his part of the work.
- Community level – Once you’re done with team collaboration, then comes the next level i.e., Community level. This is a kind of social networking in order to improve matters to a larger degree. This might include working with customer care, creative groups or content creators for enhanced project efficiency. It is usually a larger group of people that come together to bring about a change.
- Network level – While team collaboration is the smallest step, network level collaboration is a much bigger step. This level doesn’t only deal with your company, but it involves a larger audience such as consumers or your clients. This is a very crucial level of communication, as miscommunication at this level can cost you your entire business.
What makes online collaboration tools a success?
If I put it in simple terms, online collaboration is a way to communicate to people with the help of a process and technology. So, we can say that people, process and technology are three crucial elements of a collaboration tool. These are the elements that go into making your business a success.
People- The primary and most essential element of any type of collaboration is its people. Without human power, no business can flourish towards greater heights of success. An entire business might collapse without its people. People concerned with a particular venture are the authentic base of innovation, collaboration and powerful knowledge. People at an organization consist of a great leader and a highly active team that shares a common goal towards the betterment of their organization. And they should all be tied together by a thread of trust.
Process and Technology- Process is a vital element when it comes to management of a project. It consists of an outline of workflow that guides on how to operate in a socially active environment. In widespread, employees are used to working in a typical commercial enterprise hence some of them find it difficult to eliminate their old habits of working. Clearly they will have to adopt the process of using collaboration tools. Furthermore, to fully utilize a collaboration tool, a well-defined process is required. A carefully planned process includes a strategy, prioritization of tasks, and well-curated data sharing policies. First of all, make a list of tasks you need to do, then prioritize your tasks according to the urgency, and finally make clearly defined data sharing policies. After performing all of these steps, it comes down to technology. You have to be extremely wise while selecting a collaboration tool that fulfills your organization’s demands. You can choose from a wide range of collaboration tools available, depending on your need.
Which functions of collaboration tools can make your business a success?
Collaboration has always been an essential feature in professional environments. Few years ago, employees were required to be in the same room in order to collaborate. Smartphones and E-mails truly made matters a lot less complicated for remote workers. However, just mailing and calling was not sufficient. With advancement of technology and artificial intelligence, things became a lot simpler. Use of online collaboration tools filled the gap in digital communication. The tools come loaded with a number of remarkable features. Some of the features are mentioned below-
- Document sharing feature
- Project management system to stay updated on the project
- Messaging for internal team communication
- Data storage for future reference
- Content creation platforms to publish creative blogs and articles
- Tools for efficient and quick internal file search
- Creative to-do lists and calendars to stay updated on coming tasks
- Video conferencing feature
- Chat rooms for better communication
Does your business really need collaboration tools?
Here’s a list of questions for you to find out if you really need a collaboration tool or not-
- Is your organization prone to miscommunication?
- Is the need for content sharing increasing?
- Has the innovation and creativity of your team vanished?
- Is your employee base continuously increasing?
- Are you finding it difficult to manage projects?
If your answer to the above questions is a ‘yes’, then it’s time for you to incorporate a good collaboration tool into your organization.
Online collaboration tools have brought about a revolution in workplaces. With your smartphones and computers, you can access anything, anywhere you want. Furthermore, employees themselves are demanding such tools in order to boost their performance while saving their time. These tools will be a perfect blend of your needs and demands.
If you’re confused regarding which online collaboration tool to choose for your business, click here to know more.