Tech

What Features Do You Need From Collaboration Tools?

By Eric Hamilton , Mar 23, 2020 11:35 AM EDT
(Photo : What Features Do You Need From Collaboration Tools?)

Collaboration tools are becoming a norm for many businesses due to the abundance of advantages they offer.

Promoting collaboration increases the likelihood of being high-performing by fivefold, meaning that going without it is sabotaging the future success of your business. 

There are simply too many functions that collaboration tools offer that make it too good to pass up. However, one thing to consider is that not all collaboration tools include the same features.

This means that you need to be careful about what you use for collaboration. Selecting a tool that creates more hassle than simplification will eliminate any potential benefits.

With this in mind, you should know what features your employees will need from a collaboration tool. We'll take a look at four of the most important collaboration features below to help you get started.

Messaging

One of the most important features you should look for is messaging and chat

There are many different ways of communicating including audio calls, video chat, messaging, and instant chat. While audio calls and video chat are certainly useful, messaging and instant chat serves a different purpose.

Audio calls and video chat will require you to remember the conversation that you have with a colleague. Alternatively, messaging and instant chat include a written record of the interaction.

This makes them a useful resource for referencing after a conversation is finished. Messaging and instant can also be used for a quick interaction. 

You might just have a simple question that can be answered with a message, making it more convenient than having an audio or video call.

For these reasons, messaging is one of the most important features to look for in any collaboration tool.

Document Sharing

Another significant feature is document sharing.

Collaboration via conversation can be effective, but sometimes you have documents containing information that needs to be exchanged. There's always the option of sending the documents via email, but this adds another program to complete your collaboration needs.

Because of this, it's more effective to have one tool that offers everything that you're looking for. This includes document sharing as you likely use a wide variety of word documents and spreadsheets that need to be shared.

You should look for cloud-based services as this provides a location that is easily accessible to anyone that is a part of the cloud. Rather than needing to send documents manually, they can be accessed where they're located.

Make sure that the collaboration tool that you use offers seamless file sharing.  

Project Management

Another excellent feature to seek is project management.

When your team is working on a project, you want a good way of seeing an overview of how the project is coming along. A collaboration tool can fulfill this need by showing how everyone is progressing.

You can also schedule tasks and to-do lists for employees using a collaboration tool with project management. This makes it easy to delegate and assign work with a visual record that will encourage accountability for your team members. 

When you have multiple people working on a project, you need a dashboard to check on its progress. Use a collaboration tool that offers this to make project management pain-free. 

Content Creation

As a final feature to watch for, joint content creation is a powerful feature.

While file sharing and messaging can be used to share already-created content, you also want a way of creating content from scratch. If this is something that you have multiple team members working on, then it makes more sense to work on this together rather than individually.

Your team members might have excellent ideas, but it can be hard to translate them during a conversation or exchange. When they can chime in by contributing their efforts to a document that everyone is working on, it lets the best ideas come to light. 

Of all the other features mentioned here, content creation is one that often gets overlooked. Don't make this mistake as it is a powerful tool that will simplify joint projects.

Closing Thoughts

Collaboration tools are an essential part of business that make working together easier. If you want a way of streamlining communication, encouraging engagement, and saving time, then you need to use collaboration to make it happen.

Not all collaboration tools are effective, so you need to know what features will improve your employees' experience with them. In particular, you should look for messaging, document sharing, project management, and content creation.

When you have a collaboration tool that does everything that you need it to, your team is more effective. Employees are a driving force behind success in your business, so empowering them is a great way of investing in your future.

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