Collaboration has undergone a huge transformation from being just a technical term to actually being used at businesses. Organisations are using it to boost productivity and innovation at workplaces. Although collaboration tools have gained popularity slowly over the years, the arrival of the pandemic brought them huge success as office teams were forced to work remotely to prevent COVID-19 spread. Sometimes people mistake collaboration for cooperation. However, there’s a huge difference between collaboration and cooperation; Cooperation is about simply doing what someone has asked you to do, while Collaboration stands for a collective working environment. Some of the best collaboration tools that are being widely used are Slack, Google Docs, Flowdock, Asana, and many more. Collaboration tools allow you to share images, documents, datasheets, and text messages within a shared network. To-do lists can be designed and different tasks can be assigned to teammates based on their profiles. They make it so much easier to manage and understand a project timeline. We have well-curated this article to let you understand how collaboration tools are transforming workplaces.
Collaboration allows people to be more creative and work spontaneously in real-time. If teams collaborate efficiently in real-time, a lot of time and effort of an organisation will be saved in the future. Collaboration is not a new concept, it has existed for years and was well practised but offline collaboration has its own limitations which makes it time-consuming. In such scenarios, online collaboration tools eliminate the need to share your work again and again over mails with your team. It cuts down the hectic task of explaining a confusing workflow to other teammates and your boss. We have mentioned below some of the key benefits that were observed at offices after incorporating collaboration tools-
The traditional way of getting feedback was arranging meetings after every task you have completed, approval for proceeding further was given based on your work. You would get emails for meetings and for making changes, then you would send corrected worksheets, again you would receive some suggestions over mails and the process continued so on. Some businesses might still be following the same way of collaborating but many have moved past that. As online collaboration tools arrived due to increasing global digitalization, the need for physical collaboration reduced significantly. Projects can be managed online over collaboration tools for working together in real-time and getting appropriate feedback without wasting much time. Working people themselves reviewed collaboration tools by saying that it helps them get the work done within a given timeline. They can design project outlines and make documents and ppts online while working together. A project’s progress can be tracked in chat rooms and feedback can be given over audio call or video call. Especially after the pandemic, online collaboration has become the new normal. However, collaboration tools themselves can not make decisions for a team, thus people need to adopt smart approaches to efficiently use these tools. Moreover, collaborating among the team at different times has been found useful as people get time to focus on a single task. People in a team can add comments and action items to a shared project, this eliminates the need to have a meeting every time you want to introduce changes to your work. This saves you the headache of aligning your calendars. Also, you can find your work on a single platform for future references. When the time of final project approval from heads arrives, major changes have already been made through real-time collaboration. This saves the precious time of businesses while also saving their money.
Easy data accessibility
Do you remember how you used to plead to the database administrator to find that important file of yours? Well, those days are gone. Now you have accessibility to the right data at the required time. For example, if your team needs data on a customer’s queries timeline to improve his experience, you can rely on collaboration tools to precisely locate the data in a well-organised manner. Collaboration tools are quick in gathering relevant information with a simple search within their tool. In today’s technologically advanced world you can use the right tools at the right moment to create an excellent collaborative environment. For example, a company’s sales data can be shared in the form of google sheets with the employees to make them act productively in the right direction. On the basis of real-time data, decisions become appropriate and quick.
Collaboration tools are always ahead of you
We as human beings are prone to make mistakes. Collaboration tools help us remember what we are missing. These platforms can make things happen only if we are working with the right people and conversations are carried out meaningfully, but sometimes we forget to include the right people in our workflow. Good collaboration tools can give us reminders to add a colleague during an important meeting invite. Getting nudge notifications to reply to unanswered emails works as a job saver sometimes. The involvement of artificial intelligence and machine learning assist in predicting what you might be looking for. We might forget about things sometimes but technology never forgets and brings pending tasks to our attention. This is like having a personal assistant to help you perform tasks efficiently on time.
The evolution of collaboration from being an ethical duty to a practical business strategy
Every organisation gives credit for its success to teamwork. All businesses want to build a strong culture of teamwork within their teams. However, talking about collaboration and actually performing it are two different things. Earlier our HR just dreamt of incorporating collaboration tools in the workplace, but only after businesses have realised their importance, these tools have gained huge popularity and people’s acceptance. It is often said that if you want to understand an organisation’s work culture, just look at the kind of tools they are using. Collaboration is critically essential for sparking innovation among members of a team and adds value to the business. Many kinds of research are being conducted on the impact of collaboration tools at business places. Stanford conducted research on 1,100 companies and concluded that employees using collaboration tools performed five times more productively than other employees. More studies on the use of collaboration tools show that the work efficiency, quality, and creativity of the employees increased significantly. Collaboration tools are a major factor behind fueling an organisation’s growth, by not only helping break down silos but also enhancing client satisfaction.
Collaboration is much more about the process of workflow than just a team’s proximity. Virtual communication has become mainstream and is now prevalent round the globe. It would not be wise to go back to physical collaboration when online collaboration is giving such fruitful results. However, physical collaboration possesses its own capabilities and must be given due importance when required. Collaboration tools have emerged as a novel solution for problems that employees and business owners used to face while working remotely.