“The old adage, ‘two heads are better than one’ has been around for over four centuries for a reason. More effective problem solving happens when you combine resources in talent, experience, finances, and infrastructure. Sharing and leveraging those resources means that your reach to new markets increases and re-energizes the connection you have with established customers.” — Inc.
Collaboration can do wonders for your company. But how do you improve collaboration in the workplace and what are the best tools, platforms, and solutions to use?
Let’s take a quick look at a few different ways to improve collaboration in the workplace, with guidance on what to use and why.
Use team messaging platforms
Communication is a must-have component of collaboration, and a great way to build up communication is with an office-wide messaging platform.
Here are a few tools you can start with:
Many of these tools (like Slack and Teams) allow you to break things up by group—which means you can have a conversation just with the service department or just with the executives.
You can also chat one-on-one with people and create private channels or groups.
Here are some other reasons to use a team messaging platform to improve collaboration:
- File sharing
- Meeting integration
- Multi-device compatibility
Related Content: 4 of the most compelling Office 365 benefits
Use file sharing applications
Cloud-based file sharing is invaluable for any company looking to up their collaboration game. It limits the amount of back and forth emails, reduces clutter, and grants anytime, anywhere access to files— improving the way people collaborate as a result.
Here are a few great examples of file sharing applications:
Related Content: 4 tips for foolproof email management
Use multiple levels of communication
It’s important not to stop at a team messaging platform. Therefore, you should take things a step—or two, or three—further and provide your organization with multiple levels of communication. In other words, make it possible to communicate with different tools, in different ways, at different places.
For example, Bob responds to an email from his office computer. After he sends the email, he turns off his computer, stands up, and walks out the door.
As Bob’s walking outside, his coworker sends him an instant message. He responds from the app on his phone, gets in his car, and dials into a group conference call. As he drives to a meeting across town, he uses handsfree to participate in the conference call.
So Bob didn’t miss a beat. He communicated seamlessly with different groups of people.
Here’s how you can be like Bob:
- Use a mobile-friendly communication platform like VoIP (You can learn about the benefits of VoIP here).
- Enable a BYOD policy to encourage people to bring connected devices into the workplace—but in a secure and manageable way (You can learn more about mobile security here).
- Invest in software solutions that integrate with each other, and solutions that can be accessed from multiple devices. For example, Slack is compatible with a variety of apps (like Twitter and Giphy), and Teams gives you direct access to the entire suite of Office tools. Every solution has its pros and cons—make sure to weigh them all before selecting an office-wide solution.
Final thoughts on ways to improve collaboration in the workplace
This is just the very beginning of collaboration in the workplace. If you’d like to experiment with other ways to improve collaboration, check out technologies like cloud computing or project management software like Asana and Basecamp.