Why Collaboration Tools Are Crucial for Business Success
Date published: 2020-12-30 — by Owen Manningham
One of the main impediments to seamless collaboration is distance. But, thanks to the immense popularity and widespread adoption of Internet-enabled collaboration tools, business owners and managers don’t have to go through the hassles of bringing all team members in one physical location. Today, cutting-edge web-conferencing tools facilitate audio-video interactions. Also, they come with a wide array of features, including desktop sharing, surveys, whiteboards, webinars, and more.
Small companies can leverage collaboration tools to expand their businesses overseas. Bigger companies can enhance inter-organizational communication. They can also foster knowledge sharing through these tools. Let’s now look at why collaboration tools are an important part of business success.
1. Remote Access to Eliminate Geographical Barriers
The ability to access everything, including client accounts, projects, files, and notes, from practically any computer browser and mobile device is one of the biggest reasons collaboration tools are the key to business success. All-inclusive cloud-based tools, especially when they’re incorporated flawlessly into digital workspaces that can be accessed remotely, get rid of geographical boundaries that might otherwise hold back the progress of a business. They also allow easy access to data. As it can be retrieved by authorised personnel from any location. It also reduces labor costs by 50%. This is because you do not have to hire personnel to manage any physical records.
These tools also foster internal and external collaboration among stakeholders. This happens as back-end integration issues are dealt with promptly. There is also improved efficiency in the organisation. Essentially, because power costs are removed and the only thing required is software to promote updates.
Hiring the right people regardless of their geographical location also enhances the collective power of all your teams. It also positions your business for sustainable growth and success. The great thing about sourcing talents is that you can get a firm that can help you hire the best professionals in the business. In the long-run, you wind up with a seasoned team that will help your business secure a competitive edge in the market.
2. Keep Everyone in the Loop
An internal cloud-based messaging platform that merges several means of communication and that seamlessly integrates with an array of other office tools plays an instrumental role in minimizing distractions of switch-tasking. It speeds up access to shared information. Also, project links, and progress reports, as well. This tool will also work successfully with chat room applications such as Slack. And, is compatible with multiple operating systems for both PC and mobile devices. That way, those who want to use the Android or Apple devices can still do so without hiccups. The beauty of using these apps is that they boost productivity as information can be passed around cohesively. Additionally, these tools also allow team members to share important and urgent updates in a timely fashion.
3. Minimise Information Silos through File-sharing integration
File-sharing integration allows you and your employees to use your favourite file hosting, storage, and transfer services. It enhances productivity by making all the necessary information accessible through a single platform. Whether you choose Google Drive or Dropbox, having the right file-sharing tools that bring all your employees together will go a long way in facilitating a smooth flow of information.
Notably, there is a reputable company that can provide you with the right tools for compressing and archiving files at a competitive price. The company can also offer you the best tools to unzip files. The goal of working with such a company is to facilitate a smooth distribution of information and encourage intra- and inter-team knowledge sharing.
You can also share large video files with your colleagues without losing their quality to enhance collaboration. The simplest way to share big files is by using VPN, online services such as Jumpshare. Also, file compression software and through the use of cloud storage as highlighted above.
4. Facilitate Easier Access to Knowledge
The modern employee doesn’t need to be wheedled into learning. They know the numerous benefits of continuously learning new things and sharpening their skills. Collaboration tools avail a broad range of training opportunities to employees. Brainstorming sessions with colleagues motivate even the most introverted employees to contribute and participate in social learning. They’re more comfortable on an online platform than they would be in a room full of strangers.
However, you need to encourage knowledge sharing in your workplace for staff to collaborate. A report exploring the impact of knowledge sharing among employees revealed that 83% of staff feel happy when they collaborate with other people. Therefore, you need to encourage your staff to have the right mindset to facilitate knowledge sharing. You should also need to create a conducive space that allows sharing. Suppose your office has cubicles. You can set aside a common area where employees can go to interact with one another. Creating an open concept or layout for your staff offices will also foster communication. Lastly, you can invite experts to update your employees on the importance.
Promote Cross-team Collaboration
Cross-team collaboration is a business strategy where you get people with different expertise to work together to realise a particular goal. When executing this strategy, you can get people in various departments, offices, or levels of the organization to work together. One of the top benefits of keeping such an arrangement is you secure accelerated business velocity.
But, how do you make this happen? For instance, the tasks of your marketing team are entirely different from those of your finance team. Consequently, these two teams rarely cross over. And don’t find it necessary to spend too much time together. But with company-wide collaboration tools, your teams can collaborate flawlessly with each other. All without interfering with their workday. By keeping track of how the marketing team spends its money on a daily or weekly basis, the finance team can gain a better insight into how different teams contribute to business growth. They they can allot budgets in a properly informed manner.
5. Foster Transparency and Visibility
The work of every team member is on display for teammates and other teams’ members to see. Because information and files can be shared around for everyone to have a look at. That way, collaboration tools promote transparency and visibility of the workflow. They allow teams to stay on top of their projects’ progress.
Also, evaluate each other’s work, and offer advice and feedback. These are beneficial to both the project and the business. Although, you have to encourage your employees’ feedback. You can do this by regularly asking them to take surveys through platforms such as SurveyMonkey.com. Or putting up a confidential complaints line. Also by performing exit interviews for employees who are leaving your organization, and prompting them to give ideas on critical issues in the company. It is only through these platforms that you can get honest responses.
These will help you grow and make amendments in sectors that you are not doing well. Employees like it when they are heard and their recommendations are taken into consideration. In the long run, you will end up growing your business as you will have a group of happy people working for you.
Invest in Collaboration Tools
If you want to improve workplace efficiency, save a significant amount of time and resources, and realize sustainable business growth, then you must invest in the right collaboration tools. From removing geographical boundaries to keeping team members on the same page to reducing information silos to fostering transparency and visibility, collaboration tools can unlock unlimited opportunities for business success.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.