Collaboration and communication tools are vital to the success of any project, particularly for remote teams. They help increase productivity and connections among employees while enabling them to access information from anywhere at any time.
However, too many options can become stressful, especially when you have to start each workday juggling between various tools to stay in the loop. This article will explore some tips and tools to help you use collaboration tools more effectively.
Overloading your team with collaboration tools is not the solution for better productivity; on the contrary, it can lead to:
- Lower productivity because your team spends more time chasing information across multiple platforms than getting tasks done.
- Delayed projects because communication falls between the cracks.
- Reduced collaboration because some people might struggle to familiarize themselves with multiple collaboration platforms.
- Difficult access to information when you need it.
- Juggling between numerous collaboration apps can lead to context switching and lower effectiveness.
- Wasteful spending since many of these software solutions have overlapping features and require a subscription fee.
So, if collaboration tools are crucial for teamwork, how can you avoid these problems?
1. Prioritize Your Team and Company Needs
It is important to start by realizing that effective collaboration is not about technology—it is about your people and how they interact to achieve common goals. Collaboration and communication tools come in to enable and facilitate this.
Therefore, you should start by assessing your company’s needs and what kind of culture you want to build for your team. Furthermore, get a clear view of what kind of tasks your team performs on a day-to-day basis and the best ways to interact with each other.
For example, if you want to promote trust and the freedom to work during flexible hours, choosing digital solutions that enable asynchronous communication and collaboration, like Twist and Yac, could work best. These tools empower your people to remain focused during their most productive timeline.
On the other hand, if your team is mostly on the go, and you value real-time communication, tools that facilitate synchronous communication and offer both desktop and mobile access, like Slack, might be your best option.
Once you have a clear idea of your needs and the kind of culture you want to promote, it is easier to narrow down the number of options that align with your work approach. Picking a tool only because it is popular can inadvertently change your company’s culture and operating system, leading to unproductive results.
2. Leverage Workspace Suites
Having assessed your company needs and in an attempt to cut back on the number of collaboration tools you are using, you could start by looking at all-in-one or versatile platforms that offer a range of features needed to operate your business.
These solutions are specifically designed to bring everything together by combining essential features and functionalities from multiple apps into a single platform, removing the hassle of opening several programs to access information.
By doing so, they help save time and money while making it easier for everyone to get things done without missing out on any updates. They are ideal for small and mid-sized businesses that do not necessarily need the latest bells and whistles, but rather a simple, straightforward solution that helps them operate smoothly.
These tools allow you to exchange messages, call, take notes, assign tasks and even plan projects – all from a single place. Some examples of the best workspace suites that provide multiple features to streamline your workflow include Spike or Samepage. You can use one of these tools to bring all your activities together.
3. Choose the Best Tools That Allow Integrations
Suppose your organization specializes in a specific line of work and your multipurpose platform appears to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” In that case, you should consider finding the best suitable solutions for individual functions that can be easily integrated with each other.
If project management is your primary focus, you might want to look into tools with features such as task creation and assignment, robust search functionalities, multiple dashboard views, project status reporting, and project templates.
However, you should also consider project management solutions that offer integrations opportunities with other tools, for example, Hive, monday.com, or Wrike. This way, you can use a couple of tools suitable for specific purposes and connect them to achieve even better results.
Furthermore, these tools are user-friendly, making it easier for everyone to learn and use them effectively.
4. Create Centralized Knowledge Repository
As we have mentioned above, one of the main downsides of using too many collaborations tools is that employees waste precious time jumping from one platform to another to access information or bugging other colleagues with questions that have been answered several times.
To avoid this, you can store all essential information in a centralized knowledge base that is easy to access from anywhere. You can use an internal company wiki tool like Tettra to keep anything from company-wide policies and how-to tutorials to specific product information. Anyone with permission can add and edit files, creating an intuitive collaboration platform that helps employees share information with each other.
The idea is that every team member can head straight to this knowledge base to find information and get answers to any questions or issues they might have.
Start Your Journey to Effective Communication and Collaboration Now
If you are currently dealing with too much clutter when it comes to communication and collaboration tools, consider implementing the solutions above.
By using the best possible collaboration digital solutions and strategies for your business, you are taking a big step toward becoming more productive, saving money in the long run, and improving overall performance.
As you grow and your business becomes more demanding, you can always revise your processes to meet your changing needs.
Knowledge sharing in the workplace can be powerful, but only if you create an environment that encourages it. Here are some tools and tips to help.
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