A team needs to be organized, communicate and cooperate. Collaborative tools make all these actions easier. It’s impossible today to work as a team without using them!
Collaborative tools have revolutionized teamwork because they enable:
Several team members to work on the same task
Added value by team members
Substantial time savings
Visible progress of the overall project
The Advantages of These Tools Compared to Traditional Tools
1) Communication is Simplified
23% of staff think that emails adversely affect their productivity, and dealing with them can consume 28% of their total working time!
Emails have revolutionized work communications, but using an instant messenger or chat tool organized into projects is much more practical!
Unlike emails, you no longer have to use opening and closing formulas like “Hello,” “Best,” etc. on each message. You talk to your colleagues, suppliers and customers in a continuous thread, as in a conversation on Facebook or by text, using shorter, more immediate messages. You can also add emojis, GIFs, images, etc.
2) Information Sharing is More Fluid and Meeting Times are Reduced
Using a collaborative working tool, information is transparent and circulates as a matter of course, as the work is performed live: task management, file sharing, documents to be modified, internal and external reports and comments, etc.
3) Work Organization and Task Tracking are Simplified
Who is doing what? How far have we got to go? Have the requested tasks been completed? Is there a hold-up? Are the deadlines being met? The more people there are working on a project, the more difficult it is to keep track of progress and of the contribution of each of the stakeholders in the project. Collaborative task management tools make it easy to track deadlines and to prioritize.
4) Documents Are Always Up to Date and Secure
How can you be sure your documents are secure? Knowing which is the latest version of a document can be a real headache. A collaborative cloud allows you to access all your documents from anywhere, keep them up to date through synchronization and manage access for security purposes.
5) They Are Easy to Use
The operation of current collaborative tools is actually very intuitive, and you can get started all on your own – so jump right in!
Which tools to use?
Most companies invest in a collaborative platform that lets them have all their tools in a single workspace. Smaller structures can use several free tools, where the available features are more limited but can still support teamwork.
There are several types of collaborative tools. Many of them offer a free package that later requires payment depending on the options, storage volume, number of participants, etc. Many of them, particularly platforms, combine several functions:
Instant messaging or chat
Discussion area, forum
Knowledge Management solutions, a collaborative document database: professional wikis
Meeting tracking tool
Collective decision support tool offering a voting system
Team and external customer project feedback
Project-based collaborative workspaces
Office application suite: spreadsheet, text editor
Collaborative Tools Won't Replace Interpersonal Relationships
It’s undeniable that collaborative tools facilitate and stimulate teamwork as long as they are chosen carefully and there are a limited number of them. By making information easier to pass along, more transparent and immediate, collaborative tools can:
Reduce the number of face-to-face encounters and, hence, the risk of conflicts over routine tasks
Make it possible to improve the quality of exchanges, which can turn into more value-added topics
Collaborative tools have several advantages over traditional tools.
Communication is simplified.
Information sharing is more fluid and meeting times are reduced.
Work organization and task tracking are simplified.
Documents are always up to date and secure.
They are easy to use.
The idea behind collaborative tools is to share data and pool collective intelligence. This needs to occur within the context of presence-based relationships. The relationship skills you’ve been working on in the preceding sections are more vital than ever when working in a team, and particularly when it involves delegating and the distribution of tasks, which is coming up next! 😁