Being able to interact and collaborate with your coworkers is more crucial than ever before. According to the Harvard Business Review, managers and employees spend 50 per cent more time in collaborative activities than they did two decades ago.
However, this greater emphasis on team collaboration presents new challenges as well. In a 2018 survey, 39 per cent of employees reported “poor communication” as a leading cause of stress at work. Other top stressors included “bottlenecks” and “team members not pulling their weight on projects”.
Whether team members are working in the same office or spread out around the world, a robust platform for team communication and collaboration can help resolve these challenges and make your team more productive.
What is a team collaboration platform?
A team collaboration platform is an all-in-one software application that facilitates collaboration and communication between team members. Team collaboration platforms gather various tools, services, and processes under one roof.
This array of resources ensures that users can connect with the people and information they need to excel at their jobs. By mixing work processes with communication and networking tools, collaboration platforms seek to make employees more informed, efficient, and innovative.
What should a team collaboration platform include?
Whether through phone calls, email or social media, team members now rely a great deal on technology to communicate and collaborate with coworkers – even those located in the same office. But what technologies should your choice of team collaboration platform include?
The possible features of a team collaboration platform will vary, depending on your business needs and objectives. Enterprise-class collaboration platforms typically offer some or all of the following features:
- Video conferencing
Humans are visual creatures, and we need to see the faces of our work contacts and colleagues regularly. When an in-person meeting isn’t possible due to geographical limitations, distributed teams can use video conferencing to host meetings and webinars and share their computer screens. As a result, team members feel more integrated and connected.
- Instant messaging
When you need a quick answer to a question or problem, instant messaging is often the perfect real-time solution. Collaboration platforms with instant messaging capabilities can replace the need to pop into a coworker’s office.
- File sharing
Whether it’s an image, a PDF, or a snippet of code, you and your coworkers need to share a variety of files and documents throughout the day. Collaboration platforms should make document sharing as simple and straightforward as possible so that you can focus on the file itself and not on the mechanics of sharing it.
- Calendar integration
Calendars present and streamline information about tasks, meetings, and deadlines in a clear visual format, allowing everyone to get on the same page. Integrating your calendar with a collaboration platform that has a function for showing presence and availability will help coworkers understand what they’re colleagues are working on and when they’ll be available.
- Other relevant integrations
By making sure your platform for collaboration can be integrated with your current tech stack, such as your CRM system or your contact centre solution, workflows are streamlined, and transparency is assured.
3 benefits of a team collaboration platform
No matter what collaboration platform features and functionalities you’re looking for, there’s a solution that’s right for you. So what benefits can you expect once you start using a team collaboration platform?
1. Improved communication
Most obviously, the best team collaboration platforms will facilitate improved communication between the members of your team, whether local or distributed.
With a variety of options for getting your point across, from video conferences to instant messages, collaboration platforms ensure that your employees are always within each others’ reach. Documenting these communications within a single, centralized collaboration platform also helps increase accuracy and reduce miscommunication.
2. Higher productivity and efficiency
Thanks to improved communication, users of collaboration platforms also tend to enjoy higher productivity and efficiency. In one study by the Future of Work (FOW), 68 per cent of companies report improvements in their productivity after adopting a new collaboration tool.
Collaboration platforms improve productivity and efficiency for several reasons. Most importantly, these software tools organize information and communication in a centralised location, saving employees a great deal of wasted time and effort.
According to a study by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company: “The average worker spends an estimated 28 per cent of the workweek managing email and nearly 20 per cent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues.” Collaboration platforms can help dramatically reduce these time sinks so that employees can get back to what they do best: their job.
3. Flexible work arrangements
Remote work is on the rise, and forward-thinking companies are looking for the best way to enable this trend. In a 2018 survey, the serviced office provider IWG found that 70 per cent of full-time professional employees work from home at least once a week.
Collaboration software facilitates flexible work and distributed teams by making it easier for employees to communicate from anywhere, at any time. Features like file sharing, project management, and video conferences mean that coworkers don’t have to be located in the same building to exchange valuable information.
Whether employees are in the office, at home, commuting, travelling, or simply on the go, the best collaboration platforms make it easier for them to be productive and efficient.
Team collaboration platforms significantly increase productivity and improve communication, whether you run a small team in the same location or a massive department of employees located around the world.
Telavox develops a telephony, PBX, and collaboration platform that makes it easy to collaborate and communicate with your customers and colleagues. To learn more about how Telavox can benefit your business, get in touch with our team today to book a demo.