Distance is no longer a hindrance to working together. Collaboration tools let you organize work with colleagues thousands of miles away. They help us be more mobile and have access to information at the right time and in the right place.
But online communication faces the same challenges that plague us in physical workplaces. Important messages that got lost in piles of documents now await their turn in the inbox. Urgent data, gathering dust in the archives, is duplicated in digital copies, but it turns out to be buried under the chaotic structure of folders and files. Misunderstandings still happen, feedback and tasks still do not find their addressee, and in order to get at least a rough idea of the working data, we still perform complex calculations and constantly update our spreadsheets.
Collaboration tools are designed to enable your team to take advantage of real-time interaction while breaking the usual confusion associated with email, instant messaging and spreadsheet communication. So what can you do to increase your team’s productivity with these tools?
You have a single set of thoughts – your own when you operate alone. Through working with someone, you can draw ideas from your team’s collective thought and select the best and test the finest answer for your plans. Collaboration tools provide an excellent area to “collect ideas”: every participant of the project is free to leave recommendations without discussion and utilize the material left by their fellow participants without waiting for normal brainstorming sessions. The team can start working immediately after examining all feasible techniques to make the idea come alive. Important thoughts do not vanish in the boxes, and there is a possibility that one cannot hear the opinion accidentally.
Pick up speed
Interaction programs place all resources, all ideas, and all participants in one common environment. Your team no longer needs to waste time looking for emails with important attachments, waiting for updates and confirmations, and chasing the right specialist through the hallways. Every part of the project, from the initial plan to the final version, can be created and completed in a central location with 24/7 access, so your colleagues can access work information from anywhere, wherever a new idea strikes. Your team gets the opportunity to work at a convenient time and place, without waiting for the set start of the working day or the next scheduled face-to-face meeting to take action.
If you’ve studied high-performing teams, you already know that public accountability is the most important factor in a project progress. When an employee writes reports and tells others what they are doing, the likelihood of achieving the goal increases by 33%. Collaboration tools let your team members do their thing in plain sight, making it easier than ever to share results, ask for help, and create the most transparent environment. In addition, when all participants know not only their own but also someone else’s area of responsibility, and this saves you from the occasional double work.
The old adage that two heads are better than one is still true. Collaboration tools allow you to look around and discover unknown projects that your colleagues are working on, and this, in turn, provides food for ideas and plans for the future. “I see Tatiana is working on new interesting functionality … But what if you apply it to another project? I will propose this idea for consideration. ” Collaboration tools provide access to information that fuels creativity on a daily basis, without squeezing moments of inspiration into weekly meetings and casual conversations during breaks.
Also, your ideas are freed from the constraints of the organizational hierarchy. Company-level visibility means that suggestions can come not only from management but from everyone else. Important thoughts, which previously could have been lost forever in the archives or never made it to the stage of formal submission, now find their place in the public system and are considered according to their value, and not at the whim of top managers.
Your team is your most valuable resource
Ultimately, nothing is more valuable than your team. By giving her the tools to help her collaborate and increase her efficiency without the extra workload, you allow colleagues to focus on the result rather than wandering in the twists and turns of difficult communication. A reliable collaboration tool makes life easier for everyone involved: fewer lost files, faster idea generation, and less waiting time for orders and feedback. Most importantly, this tool helps keep ideas from getting lost in the mass of materials so that your team can finally reach their full potential.