Modern workspace is no longer what it used to be. Real offices are becoming a thing of the past, as teams of workers from all over the country or even from different sides of the World work together on achieving goals. And even if you share a real workplace, communication should be organized efficiently.
This is why collaboration tools became so popular in businesses of all kinds. They are especially valued in hi-tech spheres, like software development, but any company which wants to create a productive work environment needs such tools as well. We suggest to learn more about tools for effective collaboration and choose the one that best suits your current project.
While the general term of a digital workplace is still emerging, it is still possible to give it a brief definition. Altogether, a digital workplace is the result of regular workspaces evolving and adapting to the demands of the modern world. And with technology and tools used in the workspace developing so rapidly, having access to a digital workplace becomes essential.
Digital workplaces consist of various kinds of software. The choice depends on the sphere a company or its department is working in as well as the general needs it has. This means a digital workplace can include such tools as time-tracking software, CRM systems, task management tools, messengers and portals.
While creating a digital workplace, it is important to pick the tools which can contribute to perfecting the work currently done by vendors. At the same time, the interface should be taken into consideration, as the easier the tool is to get used to the faster it will be implemented into daily workflow. Perfectly chosen business collaboration tools can make the overall experience of collaboration more pleasant and productive.
There are several kinds of tools of collaboration which are generally used in work environments.
Intranet is a virtual space or portal created specifically for the users from a certain organization. Intranet systems are based on creating a feed of news where workers can find updates regularly as well as implementing a collaboration platform for individual vendors, specific groups or departments. Internal news, tasks and important updates can be posted here.
It is especially convenient to use intranet in teams with remote workers. For such groups it becomes a place for collaboration, as each co-worker can update the others on their current tasks and the whole work process becomes a lot more transparent. Regular feedback and comments give space to adjustments.
Intranet also ensures the collaboration among various departments. While using emails as the main tool for collaboration, it is very easy to miss some information just because you don’t read a letter. But with intranet feed co-workers come across announcements and updates just scrolling down the page, which visualizes data and makes it possible to use visual tools for denoting important things.
Collaboration tools in business which imply the ability to send instant messages are often considered one of the most effective and convenient. They provide the possibility of discussion and collaboration, just like real-time meetings do. Especially if your employees work distantly, they need such a space where it is possible to instantly denote issues and come up with the solution.
Choosing a type of a chat system depends on the structure of your organization and the way teams work on a project. For some it is vitally important to have a place where the whole group of employees can collaborate, but in other cases face-to-face collaboration might be required and in case a platform doesn’t provide you with such possibility, it won’t suit the project.
When looking for a collaboration tool with chat features, consider the ones which allow to sort the chats. For example, you might need a chat for HR department as well as the one for developers and designers. You should also have the ability to divide the people who work in different projects into corresponding chats, otherwise there misunderstandings will arise too often.
You may feel that having a forum as a tool for internal collaboration is a bit out of date now, but it is still a very convenient type of collaboration tools which is used by various companies rather frequently.
The difference which makes forums stand out is the possibility to create a discussion about a particular topic. This can both be used to inform the workers on current situation and open a topic which can be used to solve an issue collectively. Such method definitely increases team collaboration.
Another reason to use forums is the need to store the knowledge. If you are sure some facts and data can be used as a reference for other workers later on, it is a great idea to create a link on organization forum and then refer to it when necessary. Again, it will be much easier to solve issues which are regularly faced by workers. Once a post is created on a forum and a question is answered, it is possible to use a search to find it when necessary. Therefore there will be no need in explaining the same ideas every time a problem arises.
Such methodology also increases collaboration inside the team, as everyone can rely on the support of the co-workers and be sure the problem will be solved.
Tracking and organizing tasks is another vital part of collaboration inside a team. Automating the ability to assign tasks to correct employees makes the work process faster and much more convenient as well as increases transparency of a project and makes it possible for each team member to see clearly how their input corresponds with the common goal.
Apart from organizing the workflow, various tools allow to track different statistics which can further on be used to improve the quality and efficiency of work. Such stats allow to define team productivity and detect the issues which lower it. This way project managers can also adjust the planned time of work completion and be more realistic while setting goals.
Tracking and planning software is also perfect to use in self-organizing teams which are so widespread in agile project management. Using it to visualize and prioritize the tasks gives the team members a clear overview and allows to build the work responsively. Such system also won’t let the workers forget about the assignments as notifications can be set if needed. At the same time, tracking the amount of tasks linked to a certain worker allows to distribute the work evenly and avoid bottlenecks.
Internal blog is a less formal collaboration tool but more encouraging to share the ideas at the same time. Even though it is called a blog, only the workers of your organization can have access to it, so no customers or outsiders will have a possibility to see it.
Similar to forums, blogs allow to share the knowledge employees have, with the only difference. Having a blog specifically for your business means workers can share much more information and give more details for further use. In that case giving a new colleague an overview of a project becomes much easier. As blog posts are usually searchable, it is possible to address them anytime you need to refresh your knowledge of something.
At the same time, comments below blog posts encourage to have a discussion and share opinions among co-workers.
Internal blogs can also be used to inform workers on current events and issues which require attention. It is not only educational and collaborational, but also can be used for organization and control. And if multiple departments of your organization can’t find a way to keep in touch with each other, such blog would be a perfect place for them to start.
Except for breaking down how regular collaboration tools look like, we also decided to gather some examples of actual collaboration tools for business.
While there are features that allow to use it as a collaboration tool solely, Bitrix24 is actually more of a comprehensive project management tools which allow to create an efficient work environment. With Bitrix24 you get:
If you are looking for effective collaboration tools which have chat system Slack is a great choice for you. It is used by many businesses which are in need of an organized discussion platform. With Slack you can:
This system is a combination of a project planner and a collaboration platform. There are several features Ryver includes:
Fleep combines various ways of team collaboration which allows to both communicate with your co-workers on a regular basis and have a plan of upcoming deadlines as well. It encourages collaboration among team members and makes the work process more clear. Fleep features include:
Another collaboration, collaboration and project management tool which suggests possibilities for creating a multi-functional work environment. Flock offers:
Rocket Chat is a tool similar to Slack which offers a place for team collaboration and collaboration. Here are several features which can be found in Rocket Chat:
This system allows you to create a space where your company members get a chance to communicate, collaborate and keep in touch with inside processes. Blink gives you:
Whether you need a tool for the sole purpose of collaboration or want to create the environment where many project management tasks can be done, take your time to consider and test various options. This can be made by making a research, but also by downloading a demo version which can be tested in your team natural environment. This way you can actually find out the positive and negative sides of the use of such software and decide on further investition. But be sure you have a good collaboration tool for your organization otherwise it is less possible to organize a stable work environment with inclusion of all workers.