Collaboration is a skill highly valued in the workplace. Companies with teams that can work efficiently can complete projects speedily without sacrificing quality. They can even increase their productivity for maximum output with the right collaboration tools.
What is workplace collaboration?
Collaboration happens when two or more individuals pool their skills, knowledge, and effort together to achieve a common goal. It can occur in both traditional or physical teams or in remote teams.
As technological advances become more avant-garde, collaboration in the workplace changes as well. Even teams who are in the same environments utilize collaboration platforms to assist them in their teamwork. With these tools, they become more organized. Therefore, productivity is enhanced further.
Specifically, they can share their ideas and make decisions that take into consideration each members’ input. Collaboration can also help teams with members of different skills to have stronger performance, as they can produce fresh and innovative ideas. Additionally, collaboration can create open discussions where there is no hierarchy to follow, which makes everyone engaged.
What are the tools enterprises use for collaboration?
There are numerous tools that companies can use for collaboration. There are software tools dedicated to it while there are communication platforms and even project management solutions that double as collaboration solutions.
However, those lack some features that promote collaboration such as chat, video conferencing, video conference saving, whiteboard, screen-sharing, and file transfers. Meanwhile, collaboration software has those and other features such as chat history, file transfer history, and full meeting record delivery.
But what can collaboration software do to improve productivity? Read on below to know how such a tool can enhance the productivity of teams.
1. Faster information retrieval
Did you know that the cost of not finding information is $6 million a year? That amount does not even account for the cost of lost opportunity nor for the reworking of information that cannot be found. But when factoring in both, the amount goes up to $33 million a year, according to an IDC research.
To prevent or mitigate such losses, your organization has to have an efficient information system in place. Other than that, you can set up a collaborative environment for your workers, as they can easily share knowledge with each other.
There are several ways collaboration software can enhance a team’s productivity with regard to information exchange. One is via chat where colleagues can get in touch with each other immediately. When an employee requires the expert knowledge or guidance of their fellow worker, they can ask for it via chat.
Another is through file sharing. Collaboration tools for business include file-sharing capabilities that allow users to find the files they need with a few clicks. With this functionality, their productivity is not dampened, as they can access the files containing the information they are looking for with ease.
2. Better and quicker problem-solving
The Queens University of Charlotte published an infographic that revealed how important collaboration is for employers. In fact, three in four employers who participated in the survey said it is “very important.” Meanwhile, 39% of employees who answered the survey said they do not collaborate too often in their workplaces. This can affect the productivity of the workforce, as there may be problems that are not solved immediately because of the lack of teamwork.
With an enterprise collaboration software, it is possible for teams, even dispersed ones, to put their heads together to solve a problem. That is because such applications have video conferencing features that allow workers to demonstrate problems and solutions to each other.
Aside from that, there is a screen-sharing tool available in project collaboration tools. This is beneficial when teams need to show troubleshooting and other software functions. This way, there is no need for long instructional conversations, making it easier for teams to instruct their coworkers.
Furthermore, teams can save their video conferences to use as references in the future. They can retrieve these easily, too, since collaboration applications can send the videos to Slack, if integration is available. This way, there is no need to use up bandwidth and to gather for a conference to resolve the same problem.
3. Adaptive organizational structures
Organizational structures are changing by the day, as more millennials and even Gen Z’ers are entering the workforce. Globally, millennials are expected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020 while Nexters will take 20%, according to predictions by Navex Global. Companies need to adapt to this, as the younger generations are known to use social tools for collaboration. They also believe that social networks boost productivity, as noted by the Queens University of Charlotte. Members of Gen Z especially are true digital natives, which means they are familiar and at home in social networks and mobile systems, as shared in an article by McKinsey & Company.
Different generations compared: Gen Z are considered digital natives with unlimited consumption.
However, not all workplaces can utilize Facebook, Twitter, and the like for communications. Instead, they can employ cloud collaboration software that has social-like tools to help them stay productive. Those tools give them the functions they are familiar with while ensuring that they can focus on the work at hand.
What’s more, collaboration solutions have whiteboard tools. These allow members of the team to share their thoughts clearly on the board. Because of this, the organization dynamic is two-way; up-down and down-up.
4. Stronger teamwork
Collaboration applications are designed to streamline the workflow in organizations. It is also meant to better the relationships of coworkers for them to have stronger teamwork. This way, colleagues can approach each other when there is a need for it at any time. Doing so breaks down walls that can impede productivity in the long run. This is especially applicable to remote teams, whose members may never have the chance to meet face to face.
What’s more, collaboration allows members of a team to learn from each other. This encourages stronger teamwork because of continuous learning. This enables individuals to also grow and further develop as workers who can contribute more to the group and to the organization.
Collaborating on-air and in-house
Collaboration is a premium skill that is sought-after by employers. In fact, most people would have experienced being asked by recruiters whether they are capable of working together with a team. That is because collaboration hastens the completion of projects, as people of different skills and knowledge can put their efforts together towards a singular goal.
Collaboration in-house is even enhanced by collaboration tools. This means that even as team members can communicate face-to-face, they can better keep track of things they need to do with the assistance of a software.
The same can be said for remote teams. While teams that work together in an office space have the advantage of face-to-face interactions, geographically distributed teams can enjoy something similar.
As mentioned previously, collaboration applications have video conferencing capabilities. Instead of flying to other places, they can simply have that face-to-face engagement via video. With this, they can create a cohesive team whose members are comfortable working with each other. This makes work less impersonal too, which is the case for most remote teams.
A collaboration software can also integrate with other systems. An important example is time tracking to streamline monitoring your employees’ working hours. Some tools to check out are in this compilation of time tracking software solutions.
Regardless of the situation, collaboration platforms can change the way teams work. Not only do they allow members to communicate easily, but they also enable users to transform their work habits. They can become more productive, thus they can have increased outputs in a short period. This way, organizations can have driven growth.
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