The Benefits of Collaboration
The power of working together
Teamwork has always been an essential part of running an effective business. However, in today’s digital environment, the way that people collaborate is changing. Employees situated all over the world still need to be able to connect and work together on important projects. This has prompted a rise in software and tools specifically designed to aid collaboration through video meetings, real-time messaging and content sharing.
For companies to thrive in the age of the digital workforce, they need more than just a cohesive communication strategy. Collaborative tools are part of the fundamental requirements that all organisations need to maintain exceptional outcomes and employee performance. Here are just some of the major benefits that come from investing in the latest definition of collaboration.
1. Collaboration Improves Employee Productivity
Plenty of business tools claim to improve employee productivity. However, collaboration solutions are genuinely transforming the way that modern professionals work. According to research by IDC, the cost of not being able to find the right information at the right time is around $3,300 per employee. Generally, this issue with lost information comes from siloed data across email inboxes, and separate communication environments.
Collaboration tools pull streams of information together into a single unified environment, helping to improve ROI and eliminate lost time. Additionally, by integrating workflows throughout your enterprise, collaboration software ensures that your staff members can get the support and assistance they need from the right colleague, regardless of where they are which device they may be using.
2. Improved Customer-Client Relationships
Collaborative software is also highly effective in helping to improve the relationships that customers have with your business. Think of it this way, if an account manager is working with a client, but they need to find out the details of their project by interacting with a separate team, they can simply log into their collaborative tool and ask someone to send a file across in real-time. Alternatively, in a call centre environment, agents can check which industry experts are available using “presence” features so that they can direct calls quickly to the right person when problems need to be fixed fast.
Collaborative tools also mean that employees from all over the world can work together on complicated projects in a unified and streamlined environment. When everyone has access to the same innovative tools, work gets done faster, and deadlines are more likely to be met. This means that you can delight your customers by giving them the results they need with minimal waiting times.
3. Tracking Projects is Simple
As mentioned above, one of the most time-consuming and costly processes in a business environment involves searching for the right information in a disconnected environment. When files could be located in anything from an email inbox to a selection of cloud storage services, it’s difficult to find the data you need when you need it most.
However, online collaboration tools come with search functions that make it easier for team members to have access to the documents they need, regardless of when or where they need to access them. This means that your employees spend more time getting work done, and less time waiting for someone to get online, so they can re-send an email or upload a file. Additionally, because alterations to documents can be made in real-time using cloud collaboration services, there’s no need to consistently email new versions of documents back and forth.
Online collaboration tools even make it easier to track the progress of a project. When administrators and supervisors want to see that everything is going according to plan, they can simply check what’s happening within a single software tool. People can also see when a document was last updated, and who was responsible for making the most recent changes.
4. Consistency and Compliance
In some cases, collaboration tools can help to remove some of the fragmentation from the modern digital workforce. When left to their own devices, most employees will end up using a variety of file-sharing and screen-sharing services, alongside dispersed video conferencing software, instant messaging solutions and more. Unfortunately, all this diversity makes it incredibly difficult for both your staff and your IT teams to keep track of everything.
By providing employees with everything they need to collaborate successfully in a single place, collaboration tools can remove some of the risk associated with sharing and managing documents online. They give the IT team a single environment to track and protect and allow companies to create generalised guides, helping people to be more productive online.
Since most work projects will have some manner of reporting associated with them, collaboration tools can also make it easier to keep track of the activities completed for a project, so that reporting is as simple and straightforward as possible. Some collaboration tools can even be set up to ensure better compliance with regulatory and industry standards.
5. Collaboration Tools Unite Employees
Finally, perhaps the most essential benefit of collaboration software is the ability it has to bring staff member together in an environment where the workplace is growing increasingly dispersed. Today’s work environment is no longer a single physical location. Thanks to trends like remote and mobile working, people can join a team from all over the world, and complete work from a range of devices, including their smartphone or tablet.
By 2020, it’s predicted that around half of all UK employees will be working remotely. As fewer people interact on a face-to-face basis, companies need both the right software to help them communicate over a distance and collaborate on projects without working about privacy issues or loss of productivity. Collaboration software hosted over the cloud gives everyone with an internet connection a chance to be a part of a high-performing team.
Companies can finally offer their teams the flexibility they need to thrive, without having to compromise on business outcomes.