Adopting appropriate collaboration technologies can bring your business to the next level.
Much has been said about the importance of collaboration technologies in the workplace. A lot of people also believe that it is the next big thing that can help drive great productivity gains for businesses around the world. Is there a ring of truth in any of these claims? Well, yes – especially if it is accompanied by all the appropriate changes in the workplace.
Collaboration Technologies 101 – Understanding the Basics
There are three basic components to successful collaboration – communication, sharing and the ability to access information. You need to be able to communicate with your team using technologies that support meetings (video and web conferencing ), voice-based communication (telephone, conference call systems and voice over IP) and message sending (fax, voicemail, email and instant messaging).
You also need to have technologies that support the sharing of vital information and resources and provide access to relevant information if you want to improve productivity in the workplace. For these, you will need intranet and extranet connectivity, online project management tools, document collaboration sites and other relevant Web 2.0 elements that can help your team accomplish your goals.
In addition, you need to understand how these various collaboration technologies work and the reason why you need to use them since failure to do so may have a negative impact on productivity.
The Importance of Collaboration in the Workplace
Collaboration is one of the best ways to get things done. When done properly, it can help you exploit and utilize multiple sources of input and get significantly better results. It can also help you minimize errors by upholding the standards in every stage of the process and allow you to monitor the progress of your projects – even if your team operates in different states or is located in different parts of the world.
By using the appropriate collaboration technologies, you can also reduce travel costs thereby reducing the company's carbon footprint and enriching the work-life balance  of your employees. And since there is no need to travel for face-to-face meetings, your team will experience less stress and projects can be completed faster.
These new technologies can help you generate, capture and share knowledge, ideas and observations on a broader level. In addition, they can change the way you interact with your teams and help you realize if there is a need to innovate or find external expertise to accomplish your goals.
Without a doubt, using the appropriate collaboration technologies has the potential of bringing your business to the next level so you may want to consider the possibility of adopting these technologies in the near future.