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The benefits of online collaboration

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The modern workplace is changing rapidly with advances in technology and the growth of remote and flexible working practices. However, teamwork is still one of the most important aspects of the modern workplace.  You can now find a range of online tools designed to improve team work and collaboration in the changing work environment.   

 

Increased high speed Internet availability means that members of a team don't have to be located in the same place or work at the same time.  Teams can now function effectively, and communicate and collaborate locally, national or internationally.  To make this possible, organisations need to adopt modern work practices and technologies to help remote co-workers, wherever they are, share their work and collaborate in simple and efficient ways. This is where a good online collaboration tool comes in.

 

Good online collaboration tools can provide the following benefits:

 

It’s easy to keep track of changes

Online collaboration tools have a variety of features to keep track of work. From tracking who made the latest changes to a document, to how thedocument looked before the changes, to tagging a colleague to review thedocument.  Google led this space for some time with Google Docs, which allows multiple team members to work on a document, presentation or spreadsheet collaboratively.  Microsoft 365 now lets you edit and collaborate online in a similar way.

 

Less dependence on email

Online collaboration tools also remove the need to use e-mail as the primary means of communicating with team members.  And let's face it, we all could do with less emails clogging up our inbox.

 

Flexibility

Employees can work and connect other team members from a location of their choice (so long as they have Internet access).  This is also a great draw-card for attracting and retaining employees.

 

Actions are done quickly

With a good online collaboration tool, there is no longer a need for arranging a meeting or phone call in order to review documents. Documents can be uploaded into the tool, and reviewers can be automatically notified via email that documents have been uploaded. Reviewers can then annotate the document and make any necessary changes and notify all team members that the document has been reviewed. This makes it much easier to keep a steady and organized work flow on a project, with team members promptly contributing when necessary.  Keeping track on projects and things to do is easier with services like Trello and other online collaboration tools.  

 

More than documents

Online collaboration is about more than documents. Services like Skype for Business and Google Hangout allow team members to stay in touch and join in team meetings.   

 

Other communications tools like HipChat and Slack allow text based messages to also be shared across a team.

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