Key drivers of online collaboration
The growing trend of bring your own device to work, rapid adoption of instant messaging, improved cloud security, and social media as a work tool have propelled the use of online tools for office collaboration.
Importance of choosing the right tool
A good collaboration tool enables employees from diverse geographies to share their ideas and work on shared projects, boosting workplace productivity. According to a report from The McKinsey Global Institute, productivity improves by 20-25% in organizations with connected employees. Another study points out that by using social technologies, companies can raise the productivity of knowledge workers by 20 to 25%. Online tools are fast becoming a necessity as 74.8% of global organizations were projected to increase the use of productivity tools and processes.
But at the same time, a wrong tool can slow down or even derail an important project. Creating a highly collaborative workforce requires investment in the right tools. Though there are nearly endless online tools for remote team collaboration, you should choose the collaboration tools based on your business needs and budget.
Key tools for office collaboration
· Online chat: You need a flexible chat tool that can reduce your in-person meetings, phone calls, and unnecessary emails. Chat is a powerful way to quickly communicate with the whole team and streamline your workflow.
· Online project management: Having access to a good project management tool will help you to manage the whole team, maintain all the necessary documents, keep costs under control and meet the project deadlines.
· Audio and video: For team that is geographically dispersed, audio and video calls are very important to collaborate and stay updated on the project developments.
· Cloud storage: Maintaining all the necessary documents in the cloud helps you to collaborate better so that the location constraints are not felt.
· Reminders and calendars: They are very important for the smooth flow of work and meet project deadlines.
· Social media integration: Since social media is slowly becoming a work tool, you need a system that can integrate social media into your everyday work app.
Advantages of using online tools
· 27X7X365 access: Online tools provide access for the entire team, anywhere and anytime. Most of the companies guarantee 99.99% uptime for their tools. With cloud software, collaboration between employees improves drastically. You also get automatic access software updates. The advantage of anywhere access facilitates remote working.
· Low cost: There is no installation or maintenance for the online tools. You can pay as you grow and there is no fixed cost for the license. Moreover, you don’t have to employ technical team around-the-clock to take of your systems and servers that are mostly energy intensive.
· Security: You don’t have to worry about the safety and security of the applications, as they come with in-built safety features. Cloud applications are far more secure than the on-premise ones. The various compliance issues are also taken care of.
· Data accuracy: When you store all your data on the cloud, there is less chance for data contamination or duplication. Data backup and data recovery are also easier when compared with on-premise.
· Mobility & Flexibility: With online tools, you can carry your work wherever you go and most of the cloud applications are also available as mobile app, giving you both mobility and flexibility when it comes to accessing the applications.
The way forward
A staggering 96% of organizations use cloud computing in some form or other, and it’s predicted that nearly 50% of companies using the cloud right now will become cloud-only workplaces by 2021. A recent study found that 77% of businesses adopt online collaboration tools platform because it supports remote work. Online collaboration tools help modern collaborators in cross device collaboration and enhance business productivity. No wonder, they are fast becoming indispensable tools for contemporary workplace.