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Collaboration Tools: 6 Lessons We Learned During The Pandemic

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The workplace has taken on a new form as it transitioned into what many are calling the modern workplace. What was once built on the foundation of historic and systematic principles is now built on the foundation of collaboration tools, communication, and connectivity.

The modern workplace is a term used to describe institutions that acknowledge and embrace digital applications, technology, and a myriad of devices to adequately serve the digital age.

Becoming a modern workplace is so much more than giving your office a makeover, adding new software, or loosening strict company rules. It’s more about serving modern workers in a way that drives an optimistic, collaborative, and intuitive team culture, while using digital tools and technology to accomplish this.

With the sudden downpour of a pandemic, companies across the globe have had no choice but to go completely digital to stay afloat in their industries. Full teams have transitioned to remote work, and because of this, connectivity has become more difficult to attain.

At this point, it seems the most teams can do to stay connected is hop on a video call for motivational Monday meetings, or embrace the popular collaboration tools to keep the essence of a modern workplace dynamic alive.

But is this enough?

Read on for the biggest communication issues amongst workers in a remote world and what role collaboration tools have to play.

1. Technology and Application Overwhelm Is Real

Employees are overloaded with various applications to keep track of their to-do lists, collaborate on work with their colleagues, and brainstorm ideas.

Monday.com, Asana, Trello, Evernote, Miro, Zapier, G-Suite, Slack, Hubspot—the list can go on and on. The daily usage of collaboration tools is overwhelming for employees. Those who aren’t tech-savvy are outright confused.

The distraction of having to familiarize with multiple apps, all to complete a single task, impedes productivity and can feed into employee deficiency or worse, burnout. Employees become more focused on how to use several apps rather than actually getting work done.

Not to mention, keeping up with the location and passwords of multiple apps each day can be frustrating.

“To fix this communication issue, consider investing in a collaboration suite or a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) software. This way, employees can streamline their tasks from opening hours through end-of-day confidently, and efficiently.”

When it comes to technological solutions and employee satisfaction in the modern workplace, less is more.

2. Collaboration Is the Catalyst to Productivity

The rapid shift to digital in the workplace is hurting employers more than helping them. They are overwhelmed, and as a result, feel incompetent and uninspired to perform at work.

Since remote employees are physically apart from their colleagues, their ability to stay focused and hold themselves accountable for completing their daily tasks is also a contributing factor to productivity slowdown.

Not to mention, the challenge of collaborating with teams online and with several apps at the same time. Collaboration is the crutch of the modern workplace. It is important that employees can easily share ideas and recommendations with each other while collaborating on projects. The inability to do this could be detrimental to a business.

As much as these contributors affect a single employee, they bleed over to the progress (or lack thereof) of an entire organization. When great change comes, internal teams need to be carefully guided, and constantly affirmed.

Allocate time to equip remote workers for the digital world before expecting a quick assignment turnover from them to decrease employee disconnect. Assign employees to accountability teams and encourage them to support each other when they feel stuck on the job.

Invest in collaboration tools that make these solutions easy to implement into your organization; this way, your employees won’t feel alone and frustrated amidst change and empowered that they are progressively becoming more technologically sound.

collaboration tools

3. Open Communication Is Exposing Companies to Cybersecurity Risk

Organizations are at a hidden disadvantage when they introduce external applications to the workplace as their security is compromised.

There is no guarantee that employee or company data shared within unauthorized applications are protected. Data collected on the back end of these applications could easily fall into the wrong hands.

This is especially alarming when WhatsApp’s privacy policy changed in January 2021, forcing users to share their information with Facebook if they want to keep using the messaging service.

Privacy-focused messaging services are necessary, yet hard to trace in the apps used in the modern remote workplace. To get this privacy power back, companies can invest in using their own internal collaboration tools so they know exactly where their data lives.

4. Most Companies Lacked the Digital Infrastructure

Nothing is more frustrating than losing connection on your mobile or desktop in the middle of an important meeting. This drains time, energy, and overall productivity.

Dropped calls and instability can occur as a result of signal-blocking obstacles due to location, natural occurrences, or application overwhelm. You can probably recall a time when your phone or laptop crashed because too many applications were in use at the same time—this is a perfect example of how too many siloed communication tools can derail teams who are working predominantly remote.

Streamlining communication between remote teams through a single collaboration suite is a great way to leverage technical efforts rather than limit them.

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importance of collaboration tools

5. Collaboration Is the Key to Building Workplace Culture

Employees of non-essential businesses can no longer walk into a fun-loving workplace culture. It’s becoming harder to foster an interactive work environment every day as chatbots are replacing human interactions.

Organizational leaders are trying their best to upkeep the culture standards of their teams by hosting team building events during work hours and keeping employees empowered through their online interactions with them, but in reality, employees still feel disconnected from their team and the work that they do.

“Humans are human; built for relationship and connectivity. It’s important to give employees outlets for authentic communication so that the social aspects of the job aren’t missing. This is extremely important for an employee’s wellbeing.”

To address a key issue like this one, organizations need to prioritize the implementation of communication tools or systems that allow their employees to feel like they are still a part of something meaningful, even if they are distant from their colleagues.

Tending to a lacking workplace culture is one of the best things organizations can do for both themselves and their employees; it lessens the probability of high employee turnover rates.

6. Worker Mobility Is Everything Now

What’s worse than being tied down to work at home? Being tied down to work in one section of your home. For selective apps used in the modern and remote workplace, there are certain restrictions—restrictions out of your control.

Some app features can only be accessed if used on a desktop device, while others can only be accessed through mobile. On top of this, continuity within an app can be lost if an employee switches from one device to another.

Flexibility within workplace collaboration tools is crucial. Employees want the freedom to start a task on their desktop, and continue it while in line at Starbucks if they’re on a tight deadline. Relocation due to noise from other working—or schooling family members in the home is also a recurring possibility. In either case, people just want to get the job done seamlessly—wherever they are.

Immersive UCaaS systems are up-to-date with features that allow employees to transition between mobile and desktop devices with the exact same functions and capabilities so that they don’t feel stuck or chain-balled when they need to move while on the job.

benefits of collaboration tools

How Can You Support Your Employees in a Remote-First World?

It’s evident that companies can’t thrive while working in silos anymore. Your business can only thrive when collaboration, communication, and connectivity are present—especially in a digital world.

Acrobits award-winning Cloud Softphone collaboration suite makes it easier for companies to keep the three C’s alive while encouraging major productivity in the workplace.

Softphone technology allows enterprises, developers, and individuals to build their own whitelabel real-time communication application, giving them a powerful tool to enable collaboration in the workplace. That means, less time jumping from app to app and more time getting work done with the help of industry-leading collaboration and integration technology.

Are you looking to transform your workplace with a solution built for the modern, collaborative workplace? Book a demo today and see why large brands trust our APaaS to build customizable collaboration tools.

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