Rarely does a technology come along that provides nothing but benefits. But that’s precisely what collaboration tools seem to offer. These smart apps allow colleagues to work more efficiently and become happier at the same time.
Collaboration tools have become front-page news during the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses need quality solutions they can use to keep remote colleagues connected.
What Are Collaboration Tools?
Collaboration tools are essentially anything that makes it easier for people to work as a team. They facilitate the exchange of information and offer features that allow multiple people to work on projects simultaneously, even if they occupy remote locations.
Some collaboration tools offer messaging and real-time chat facilities. Others provide colleagues with the ability to edit documents or designs in concert with other people, dramatically boosting output.
Practically every collaboration tool depends on the cloud. Most are software-as-a-service. The business pays a monthly premium for a certain number of accounts, and then colleagues enjoy the proceeds.
Collaboration tools are easy to roll out. You don’t actually need a considerable amount of in-house expertise to get them up and running. If you have an MSP, they can take care of the process for you. And if you don’t, you simply download the relevant client, and the vendor will do most of the rest of the work for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Collaboration Tools?
We’ve alluded to the benefits of collaboration tools already in the above discussion. But it’s worth reiterating them here, to make it clear.
- Better communication. With so many workers absent from the office, communication has become a sticking point for many firms. Keeping information flowing is a big challenge and one that they’re finding increasingly difficult. Collaboration software can fully reverse this situation and improve overall data fluidity in your organization compared to your regular setup. One colleague can start a project in the morning, and then another can finish it later in the day.
- Keep track of current versions. What’s more, you can avoid ridiculous renaming of documents, like “final version 3.” The software just updates your work in the cloud, providing everyone with the latest version, plus a history of all revisions.
- Keep people connected. Everyone wants to feel like they’re a part of the office, even if they’re not there. They don’t want to feel like they’re part of the “out-group” and that people at HQ are somehow more important. Collaboration tools can stop this process in its track, allowing everyone to make valuable contributions to the work of the firm.
You should note that the collaboration tools also differ, depending on the underlying hardware. The difference between consumer and business Microsoft Surface devices is that the latter makes it much easier for colleagues to communicate with each other. Sharing options are better, as is the support for the collaboration tools themselves.
Collaboration tools in the cloud also allow you to cut down on the admin cost of administering your documents and systems. You no longer have to keep folders full of drafts of work, just in case you have to revert to a previous version. Instead, the cloud provides all that functionality natively. It’s almost magical.
Increase Your Profits
So what’s the effect of all of this on profitability? Quite large, as it turns out.
According to research, only around 14 percent of all emails actually have anything to do with getting work done. However, workers spend roughly half their day responding to emails, meaning that they have a massive effect on overall productivity.
Collaboration tools help to put an end to this endless back-and-forth. Colleagues know that if they want to check something, they can do it in real-time through the app, instead of sending an electronic letter to their colleagues.
Universal search facilities also help to improve the situation. If a worker is trying to find something, all they do is type a query into search. There’s no need to ask colleagues for further information.
Online collaboration tools are also incredibly secure. Servers in a secure farm somewhere hold and back up all the information. It’s never going to be perfect, but it’s much better than keeping all your data locally.
Cloud collaboration tool providers regularly scan for security threats and keep your products updated to the latest version. In general, the risks of a breach are low.
To conclude, individuals can make a big difference in your business, but teams are even more potent. If you can bring people together, your company will thrive.