Tips and Tools to Create a Collaborative Workspace
According to me, my career has been a long journey, from building a startup to becoming a Telstra Platinum partner and Microsoft Gold partner to gaining recognition as the 30th fastest growing company in Australia by CRN Fast 50. I did achieve success and I believe my team had a huge role to play in it. Whether it was suggesting ideas or strategies to achieve sales numbers, my team was always there. In my interactions with businesses, I figured out that their secret to success lies in brilliant teamwork. But nowadays they are struggling in bringing collaboration because of the increasing number of mobile, remote and home workers. The businesses also are no longer confined to four walls, the offices have moved beyond boundaries and in different time zones and hence the problem of instant connectivity. Here is when the technological mavericks chip in. You can use several applications and tools such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Telstra Calling for Office 365 to tailor a connected workspace for your employees.
Deploying technology to boost collaboration quotient of your business is a good idea. However, there is a plethora of tools available which will help you bring your employees on one platform. The tools differ on the basis of their flexibility and features. Therefore, it is necessary for you to have a deep understanding of the collaboration blockers at your workspace before selecting any tool. I have curated a list of all the possible problems that modern businesses are faced with and have suggested some effective solutions for each of them. To find a solution to your problem, make sure to read on:
Use of various communication tools within the same team :
The workforce demographics of Australian businesses is quite different, it includes millennials as well as the baby boomers who have different approaches and working methods. Therefore, you have to invest in a tool that is targeted to solve the communication problems of every section of your workforce. Project management is also another aspect that has multiple considerations. Sharing files, monitoring the progress of tasks, seeking confirmations from the internal stakeholders/clients are some of those. Team and managers are using disparate tools for communication and hence there are possibilities that some messages are missed.
The fix: Microsoft Teams is an apt solution for this. The application is backed by Microsoft and hence you are assured of the security of the messages exchanged and also about the regular updates. Your teams will have easy access to all the shared files irrespective of its type. The facility to search file is available regardless of your employees’ location and device which solves your connectivity problem with the remote or home workers. Every document is shared online therefore, you get to work on the latest versions only. You have the chat history so that you can easily go through all the messages. You can get Telstra Calling for Office 365 set up in your organisation which can be easily integrated with Microsoft Teams and you or your employees can benefit from the capability of voice and conduct meetings/discussions with decision makers whenever required.
Inability to join virtual meetings:
While hosting a meeting on traditional tools it might happen that you are not able to share your screen or your team member is not able to join a conference. There might also be a video glitch and you may end up losing an important part of the conversation.
The fix: Microsoft Teams with its impeccable video and voice calling capabilities is an efficient solution in this situation. The application offers screen sharing facilities on any device and hence your remote worker can easily connect and have a conversation with the office worker. Whether it is to share files, chat with colleagues or host a meeting with the stakeholders, each and every functionality is available on a single comprehensive platform and hence you are able to enhance collaboration at your workplace and fuse flexibility in the complicated processes.
Inability to find the final document:
Finding the finalised version of the document from a lengthy mail chain is apparently a tedious job. And the job becomes more difficult when you have to send the file for quick feedback to the stakeholders within limited time and you don’t know which is the final version.
The fix: Storing your files on the cloud is an effective solution for this problem. The tools based on cloud from the Microsoft Office 365 suite allows your employees to share and overwrite files from any device. Your employees can edit Word, PowerPoint or Excel files. You can use applications such as One Drive for Business or SharePoint to store the file. You can use the in-built chat functionality to comment on the changes made in the document. Furthermore, you can easily set the editing/viewing permissions for the document to ensure confidentiality and accuracy of the same.
Inability to find exact data from multiple inconsistent apps:
You can’t stop your employees from downloading applications on their smart devices. Bu this downloading ultimately risks confidentiality of your business’ information which is stored on their phone. Also, different applications will have different sign-in methods and credentials which again leads to security and compliance issues.
The fix: Microsoft 365 offers a whole suite of products which allows employees to collaborate and connect with each other from any device and location. For example, if they want to chat in real time, they can use Teams or if there are any revisions or updates required in any file then they can use SharePoint or OneDrive. You also have a single sign-on for every application which is backed by Microsoft’s top-notch security standards. Apart from this, you can deploy one of the latest products from Telstra and Microsoft that is Telstra Calling for Office 365. The setup enables you to attend/make voice/video calls when you are accessing Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other Office 365 application.
A single hub for sharing information, starting a real-time conversation makes it feasible for your employees to connect with each other, brainstorm ideas and deliver superior quality work on time. But again, as I quoted earlier that collaboration needs of every business are different and they require different tools to address their concerns. To understand and estimate which application will fit into your business process and help you achieve high business outcomes, you can call us or drop us an email. Let’s join hands, bring collaboration at your workplace, eliminate friction from daily activities and enable employees to focus on improving customer experience and creating a difference.