Juggling day-to-day tasks, whether as an individual or as a team, can be challenging. There are different obstacles that can hinder you from being productive such as miscommunication of tasks, lack of cooperation among members, mismanagement of files, and many others. With the right tools, however, these obstructions can be avoided.
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Purposes of collaboration tools
Collaboration tools for business can come in handy when it comes to improving your daily workflow. In fact, these tools aren’t just for managing team projects but can be used to increase your overall productivity by speeding up your daily work routine. The diversity of their functions can adapt to and suit your day-to-day needs for work.
So why use collaboration tools? Here’s how they can hasten your work process.
Streamline work structure
Some collaboration software has tools that let you plan out and refine your general workflow ahead of time, both as a team and as an individual. It allows you to set up daily or long-term goals, manage tasks, keep track, monitor progress, and many other functions to ensure that everything is in working order.
Having a structured work process ensures that nobody in the team is unclear about what needs to be done. It provides a framework on how to do work, so that you can jump right into doing your tasks without waiting for someone to tell you what to do.
In a way, you can think of it as being like a machine that needs a set of tools to continue to function and do work without breaking down entirely along the way. By being able to go through your tasks without a hitch, you can finish up your work in no time.
Keep track of tasks and deadlines
Some collaboration tools can help keep track of tasks and deadlines. This can be in the form of a notification board, a centralized calendar, a group activity feed, or a personal checklist. This makes sure that you are aware of your assignments and their respective submission dates. Likewise, this can aid you in prioritizing more urgent tasks.
A list of your daily agenda can make sure that every task is accounted for, every deadline is followed, and every progress made is tracked. This helps to avoid missing deadlines, overlooking important assignments, and duplicating work.
Having such reminders of your daily tasks helps facilitate a smoother transition from one assignment to another. After all, memory alone isn’t reliable. Trying to recall your assignments can take up time and can disrupt the momentum of your productivity for the day.
As the adage goes, two heads are better than one. In fact, a study from Harvard Business Review said that employees working in groups have reported increased productivity levels and better quality of output. With collaboration tools, teaming up with your colleagues is made easier and more accessible.
With project collaboration tools such as file sharing, live editing, instant messaging, interactive activity feed, and video conferencing, you can come together with your workmates to brainstorm and work on projects. Likewise, it lessens time in hunting down for missing teammates around the office, calling for frequent meetings, booking conference rooms, and others.
These tools can also help you keep track of member’s performance to make sure that everyone is working accordingly. Through the public nature of distributing tasks and the transparency it enforces within the team, everyone is expected to be accountable and responsible for their own assignments. This can help to avoid delays in moving on to the next stages of the project.
A study from Mitel said that nearly 15% of employees’ work time is wasted on miscommunications alone. Unclear instructions and missing details on tasks can disrupt your daily routine and cause unnecessary delays in your workflow. Fortunately, there are collaboration tools that can facilitate a better environment for effective communication.
There are activity feeds or history where assignments and whoever oversees them can be viewed, so you have something to go back to in case you forget your tasks. There are tools where others can insert their comments and feedback on specific projects so that questions and issues can be resolved instantaneously. There are those that provide an additional pane for assignment description where you can read other important details of your assignment so that you will have sufficient knowledge to proceed with your tasks. Direct file editing can also make sure that points of revision are accurate and changed accordingly.
Having things written down instead of relayed verbally, can lessen the chances of mishearing or forgetting instructions. This is because some collaboration software allows you to retrieve past conversations or posts, lets you backtrack through notification boards, or keeps a history of the team’s past actions.
Manage and store files
Some collaboration software can act as a centralized library of files for your company. It allows other members to access documents across platforms or channels and share them with others. With this, you can do away with leaving piles of papers cluttering your work desks and offices.
Having files digitally compiled can also make organizing and sorting through them easier and faster. You no longer have to sift through large file cabinets to search for a specific document. You can simply type what you’re looking for in a search bar and locate it immediately in the database. Likewise, it takes away the added responsibility of keeping your desk clean and important folders arranged because the system will do it for you.
Such software can create backups of your data, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting or losing them entirely. You can usually take full control of which users have the authority to access your files to ensure data privacy and security.
Encourage flexible work environment
Through virtual collaboration tools, you can now work anytime, anywhere and on any of your preferred devices. These tools will let you work remotely while keeping you connected with the rest of your team. Even within the comfort of your home, you keep track of your tasks, communicate with teammates, edit important documents, attend meetings and many more.
Using a collaboration software allows you to optimize the benefits of working from home. The first is that it saves you time from commuting to and from the office, giving you more time to work and accomplish tasks. Second is that it lets you work in the comfort of your home and away from the stressful environment of the office. The third aspect is, that it still gives you that headspace you need to focus on your tasks.
You can check out the top collaboration tools for remote teams from FinancesOnline to know how such tools can create a flexible work environment for you and your team.
Need for speed
The rise of collaboration tools has opened up ways to make your day-to-day tasks easier to manage and accomplish, not just as a team but also as an individual. It lets you align goals and streamline workflows accordingly. It lets you work seamlessly with your colleagues and implement effective communication. You can keep track of your assignments, deadlines and responsibilities and monitor others’ performance as well.
There are various types of collaboration tools on the internet that can cater to each of your specific needs. Why not try them out to know which ones can help speed up your daily work routine.