Collaboration takes place when a group of people works together to achieve a common goal. One of the biggest factors that contribute to a successful workplace is whether or not employees can perform well as a team. With advancements in new communications technology, remote collaboration has become easier than ever. This includes document and screen sharing platforms, instant messaging, and mobile applications, so people to engage in real-time from anywhere in the world.
The idea of remote work seemed unlikely 30 years ago when the traditional office consisted of cubicles and conference rooms. Many people believed that virtual communication was not as productive as face-to-face meetings, while others were confused or overwhelmed by the technology. Now, times have changed. Organizations can offer a suite of web-based and cloud-based tools to help individuals work from home. Learn about the history of collaboration by reading below.
From paper to email
The oldest forms of workplace communication relied on printed paper. Employees kept filing cabinets to store information and could only share documents through in-person meetings or the fax machine. As working environments adopted computer technology, email became the collaboration tool of choice. Emails make it possible to send files without paper, enhancing productivity and efficiency.
However, there are times when email is not the most ideal workplace tool. Studies show that the average employee receives up to 121 emails per day. With this kind of information overload, it can be difficult to prioritize tasks and communicate with other colleagues. It takes time and energy for remote workers to keep inboxes organized and respond to each message in a timely manner. In short, email should not be the place you turn to for staying on top of tasks and projects.
How do remote employees at your organization communicate? Sometimes people default to email, while others change their strategy based on the situation. Managers need to consider the pros and cons of their current platforms and consider whether they are falling behind the times. Failing to update means that your company is not taking advantage of the best tools this new digital era has to offer.
Online document co-editing
If you are looking to improve business workflows, online document collaboration is a great starting point. Because platforms like Google Documents are cloud-based, no expensive software purchases are required. Full-time or part-time remote employees can create, edit, and share documents all from one convenient location online. Collaborators can leave comments and tag co-workers when specific feedback is required.
With this real-time collaboration tool, there is no need to arrange a phone call or video chat in order to review documents. Files can be uploaded directly into the platforms, and individuals can be automatically notified via email. This makes it easier to keep a steady workflow on a project between team members. Google Documents also allows managers to give different levels of access to certain employees to protect sensitive company data.
Calendar sharing tools
The long term success of a distributed team depends on choosing the right organizational tools. Even though meetings are not always the most productive part of your day, they are essential for computer-supported cooperative work. Google Calendar allows people to create video meetings from anywhere in the world. Calendars can be accessed and shared by whoever has permission, making it easier to schedule group conferences without double booking by accident.
When an event is shared through Google Calendar, teams can attach any relevant documents or information that needs to be reviewed during the meeting. With the Google Calendar app on mobile devices, remote workers can also set custom notifications before each event. If employees frequently schedule meetings with clients, Google Calendar is a great way to track these appointments and provide excellent customer support.
Whether working from home or a coworking space, it is important for employees to connect with each other in real-time. This is where instant messaging comes in. The advantage of sending messages through a chat window is that it is just as instantaneous as phone or video calls, but does not interrupt your workflow. Instant messaging provides a collaborative space where people can ask questions, offer feedback, or troubleshoot issues to resolve problems quickly. Companies can also have dedicated informal chats where people can share success stories or come up with new and creative ideas.
One of the disadvantages of remote work from home jobs is that people miss out on daily interactions in the office. This often results in feelings of isolation or loneliness. Remote companies can help workers feel more empowered through video conferencing tools. This type of collaboration software allows individuals to communicate and interact, even though they are not physically present. Google Meets offers the ability to present their screen or record the video meeting to make collaborative working even easier. Human Resources can also use video conferencing to improve their online training and communicate with job seekers online.
When fully remote teams use many different tools to work on projects, they need a unified, collaborative platform that keeps everything organized. Intranet software is a great way to bring people and resources together under one roof. For example, an intranet allows you to store and share company files in an easy-to-search location. Other features include interactive directories that help remote workers find contact information get in touch with each other. Whether you are a digital nomad or part of a larger organization looking into hiring remote employees, a company intranet makes online collaboration easy.
Today, employees work in a number of different environments. Your company deserves to have a connected and collaborative team. Happeo offers an all-in-one enterprise intranet where people can meet, share important information, and collaborate together with business apps. Remote workers now have one place to access the resources they need to get work done. And with our sleek mobile applications, individuals can benefit from the power of the intranet anytime, anywhere. See for yourself how Happeo can drive engagement and productivity across your organization. Contact our experts to help decide if our intranet platform is right for you.