By Alex Fayn, Co-Founder & CEO
I have seen first-hand how improving collaboration across a business and changing how employees relate to their workplace can accelerate business growth. According to a white paper by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, making collaboration an essential part of your organizational culture has a tremendous positive impact on your productivity, employee engagement and retention, as well as your top-line revenue and profitability.
But the modern workforce is more dispersed than ever before, turning collaboration into a real challenge for most organizations. For teamwork to be effective in a mobile era, businesses need to change their practices and adopt new technologies that enable employees to collaborate efficiently from anywhere and any device. Online collaboration tools not only connect the internal efforts of employees, but extend the organization’s reach to clients, partners and suppliers as well.
Here are 3 simple reasons why I believe that collaboration tools have the power to improve your organizational efficiency and accelerate your company’s growth.
One of the main roadblocks to limit collaboration is distance. Travel time and expenses, as well as finding an hour when busy colleagues can be in the same location at the same time can hinder workflows and dramatically reduce the pace at which a team moves forward with their project. But a well-chosen collaboration tool can enable employees to interact from great distances as if they shared a conference room. With features such as multi-party video conferencing, screen sharing, in-app file editing and task management capabilities, online collaboration empowers remote teams to discuss strategy, assign and manage tasks, share and edit documents, and move forward with their projects without the burden of scheduling an in-person meeting. In addition, many vendors offer mobile versions of their applications, enabling employees to connect with their teammates from anywhere and any device.
Outdated tools can easily make project management the most tedious aspect of a team effort. They require constant updating, yet they never truly reflect the current schedule. But with their built-in project management capabilities, most online collaboration tools can help teams keep up with their progress without the tedious upkeep required by older technologies. Task-tracking is often built right into their chat or conferencing module, recording any responsibilities that emerge from a group conversation, as well as making task-lists easily accessible through separate tabs. Modern business collaboration tools make process management an effortless and intrinsic part of communications, saving significant time and energy for the workflows that contribute most to your business growth.
Having to manage and store files associated with a project is another aspect of teamwork that makes most employees want to run for the hills. Ensuring that all team members – including those working remotely – have access to the same versions of the same documents requires time and effort that could be spent on tasks that move a project forward. Online collaboration tools can help teams manage their files by providing a unified storage location for each project, and enabling users to edit documents straight from the app or chat-stream. In addition, some tools enable users to leave multimedia annotations over files for their colleagues, including typed notes, hand drawings or voice recordings. With these advanced features teams have a comprehensive space to share, edit and manage documents associated with a project, without the hassle of emailing or link-sharing.
Modern collaboration tools not only boost your organizational efficiency, but can have a tremendous impact on your company’s growth as a result. Thus, it comes as no surprise that in parallel with the fast pace of growth in the communications industry, we are also witnessing the emergence of XI century, thoroughly connected businesses that not only bridge the gaps created by their newly mobile workforce, but enhance their efficiency and productivity with web-based collaboration tools. What are you going to do to keep up with them?