The Best Collaboration Tool For Your Team

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Collaboration Tools Meaning

No matter what industry a person is in, they will generally, at some point, be asked to work or collaborate with others on a project. After all, no man is an island. Businesses operate and succeed based on how well the individuals in them are able to collaborate; collaborate to create the best industry products, collaborate to create a winning service, collaborate to create the advertising best able to showcase that product or service's desirability. And no matter what type of collaboration you do with your specific team and business, what you will need to be effective as a team are various types of collaboration tools.

The general collaboration tools meaning is any technology and tool that can be used to help people to better work together, to better collaborate. Again this is a very general definition of collaboration tools many, but it certainly helps illustrate it. There are many types of collaboration tools and really anything, yes anything that helps your business and team better work together to complete a project can be defined as a collaboration or collaborative tool.

For example, something as simple as a whiteboard in a conference room can be called a collaboration tool. That's because this whiteboard serves as a physical space where people in that room together can write out ideas, problems, and proposed solutions. In other words, the whiteboard can be used as a way to collaborate.

Now while a whiteboard is undoubtedly a collaboration tool, what we are talking about more in this article are types of collaboration tools that make it possible for team members to collaborate across distances. Instead of a physical whiteboard in one conference room, consider a virtual conference board accessible via videoconferencing.

Intrigued? Let's get started with some other great examples of types of collaboration tools and how they can assist your team:

Collaboration Tools Examples

Remember, collaboration tools are any tools that help improve team communication and collaboration. In fact, you might even call collaboration tools, team communication tools as their primary function is to ensure each team members is able to best communicate their ideas and understand those ideas brought forth by others. So when looking at the following great collaboration tools example, keep in mind that purpose of easing communication:

  • Video conferencing. Video conferencing tools like Zoom and GotoMeeting are a must-have for remote and hybrid teams. The biggest benefit of video conferencing tools like these is that it allows for nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication accounts for at least 70% of all communication and as such, having video conferencing available helps ensure team members are more successful as it allows for face-to-face communication even when team members can't be physically face-to-face.
  • Project boards. Project board collaboration tools like Milanote and our own tools at Elate make it so that various team members can upload ideas and projects onto a platform that can be easily accessible by all other team members with the same credentials. These types of team communication tools are incredibly important as it streamlines projects and helps ensure everyone has access to the same information, such as project goals and metrics.

Project Collaboration Tools

The best answer to what are online collaboration tools used for is collaboration. But what does that mean more specifically? Let's look at three primary goals of project collaboration tools, or at least goals in which every type of project collaboration tool should strive to meet at least one of:

  1. Encourage and improve full group participation. This is the type of goal most video conferencing project collaboration tools seek to fulfill. Team are important because each team is more than the sum of the individuals that make up that team. Online collaboration tools should seek to enable better, more effective group participation.
  2. Offer real-time tracking. Plans, both group plans and individual ones, often go awry. Great collaboration tools offer real-time tracking capabilities to allow team members to act, react, and better reallocate resources as needed to stay on track of project goals.
  3. Better team visibility and accountability. We're not in high school or college anymore; meaning no one person should feel like they're doing all the work in a team. Some of the best online collaboration tools are based on improving task management, making it easier for teams to track individual and group tasks.

Why Use Collaboration Tools

Are you still asking "how can collaboration tools help me in developing my project?" If so, then let us be clear. The answer to why use collaboration tools is that they make it easy for a team to best leverage the talents and responsibilities to each individual with the outcome of greater overall team success.

The reason why businesses have teams -- design teams, manager teams, sales teams -- is because success is about more than just having one smart individual on-staff. Business success requires multiple smart, capable individuals working together to complete a project on hand. Collaboration tools are tools that make working together not just more efficient, but generally possible altogether. Think of it this way, good collaboration tools keep everyone on the same page while great collaboration tools make it easy to go beyond and secure greater success. They do so by improving communication, task management, and goal achievement.

No matter what project you are working on, collaboration tools can assist. The trick is only in finding which of the available collaboration tools will best suit your unique project, team, and industry needs.

Importance Of Collaboration Tools

Communication tools for businesses have never been more important than they are now. That's because due to coronavirus and the subsequent lock downs, more businesses than ever are incorporating remote and hybrid workers. Where before teams could meet in a conference room every other day or whenever needed, now meeting face-to-face may be a rarity at best or an impossibility at worst -- especially as even businesses that are slowly going back to in-office employees stay cautious about group meetings in small spaces.

In looking at alternatives for those stuffy inner-office meetings and conferences, the importance of collaboration tools becomes most obvious. Today's innovative collaboration tools make it easy to meet and work with other team members no matter where in the office, city, state, or even world they are in. These communication tools for businesses help team members connect visually with each other via things like video conferencing while task management collaboration tools streamline upcoming projects. With the right software, your team can easily complete any project in one online location with every team member able to access vital information as they need it. They can likewise do so wherever they are with many of the best collaboration tools now being outfitted with mobile capabilities for true remote access.

Advantages Of Collaboration Tools

While what advantages any specific business will get  will depend more specifically on how are online collaboration tools used, the following are some of the most important advantages of collaboration tools every business and team should be aware of:

  • Seamless workflow tracking. Online document collaboration tools make it easy for individuals and teams to track workflows. Instead of constant emails back and forth with people added or forwarded and accidentally talked over, teams can now all access one shared-in-the-cloud online document. Here, what gets added or what is being worked on can easily be seen by every team member.
  • Better employee engagement and participation. Not everyone is an extrovert. Not everyone is eager and excited to share their latest ideas in a big group meeting. Or, back to those frustrating emails, it's so easy to lose out on participation when all you've got is a frustrating "CC: list". Document and web collaborative tools make it so much easier for users to naturally engage when, where, and how they best see fit.
  • Improved office efficiency. Some people just aren't meetings type of people. The mark of a great manager is understanding how each individual team member in a team works best and getting them the space, tools, and environment they need for it. What many managers are finding is that things like video conferencing paired with online collaboration tools offers the perfect environmental blend for increased employee productivity and efficiency. That's because you get the social engagement you need for teamwork to work, but you also offer enough space and improve ease of access to shared projects that allow everyone to chip in where, when, and how they need to.
  • Optimum information access. When you keep all project information in one streamlined online point, you enable everyone in your team to have access to all the information they need, whenever they need it. You can even save video conferences for team members to access later if they missed something or want to go back over how a certain team member wanted to approach a project. This central database of information allows team members to work more efficiently and effectively.
  • Better client communication. When the employees of a team can better communicate and easily, immediately access data like sales reports and ongoing project process, they can then better communicate with clients, partners, and other business stakeholders. And, as every business should know and understand, the better your communication with clients, the better your relationships, and thereby the better your bottom line.

Collaboration Tools For Business

Are you ready to say good by to CC emails and follow-up emails and let's circle back emails? Are you ready to take your team to the next level of productivity and collaboration? Then now is the time to look at collaboration tools for businesses like yours.

Here at Elate, our goal has been to create streamlined office collaboration tools that make getting organized and communicating easy. We have done that by creating tools that are incredibly simple to use and view but that are responsive to complex data. Our platform is a one-stop shop thanks to its ability to integrate popular business tools like Salesforce, QuickBooks, Jira, and Hubspot. We offer in-software reporting tools that make it easy for team members to share updates, measure project and team performance, and incorporate streamlined data that will lead to better office efficiency overall.

For more information on how Elate office collaboration tools can improve your business communication, contact our team today.

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