In the modern workplace, 37% of employees that participated in a global survey said that the workers in their organization do not collaborate much. And yet, almost 75% of employers highly value collaboration. More than that, only 27% of employees receive training on how to communicate with their colleagues and are confident enough in communicating at work.
The Queens University of Charlotte also discovered that different generations of workers believe that social collaboration tools enhance their productivity. This is a huge contrast to the fact that 1 in 3 organizations undervalue such solutions.
This can happen when companies do not know the benefits that collaboration software can bring to the table. There are numerous advantages, but a few of them are:
- Smoother workflows
- Reduced travel and communication costs
- Innovative problem-solving
- Expert availability
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
We discuss this at length below to help businesses see what they can gain by utilizing collaboration tools.
1. Eliminate bottlenecks in the workflow
A process bottleneck occurs when there are too many requests at a certain stage than workers or the system itself can handle. This leads to interruptions in work and causes delays throughout the work process.
Frequently, bottlenecks are caused by a lack of resources from material to humans. In some cases, the reason is the inadequacy of communication. Smartphones, walkie talkies, and similar devices can help in that. However, they have their shortcomings, specifically when it comes to the keeping and consistency of information.
To remedy that, organizations can turn to collaboration tools for business.
Software for collaboration includes communication features like chat and video call as well as tasks and file management. Additionally, they can consist of team management and virtual team workspaces.
Teams can utilize those to pass on information that could help in the processing of tasks in every stage. Thus, they can keep the workflow going and reduce, even eliminate bottlenecks.
2. Save on travel and communication costs
Some teams often find the need to work together or to gather for training in the same space. This, however, is costly since there are expenses for travel, board and lodging, food, and operations to accommodate dispersed team members. In fact, Statista reports that businesses spend on travel globally reached $1.23 trillion in 2018. In the previous year, business travel accounted for $1.33 trillion. With the increase in hotel costs, the numbers will likely go higher in the coming years.
When a business turns to collaborative systems, they can remove the hassle and stress of planning and arranging trips, schedules, and anything related to bringing the team to a single place. Best of all, the company can place the bulk of the travel budget toward projects and requirements. With that, it’s efficient and productive for companies to utilize online collaboration tools for virtual teams.
Communication-wise, an organization can save on costs using collaboration tools, too. That is because they can do a wide array of tasks on a single platform. As mentioned previously, there are multiple communication channels supported by robust collaboration software. Since they are easily available, there is no need for a company to invest in numerous applications and devices. On top of that, they no longer have to incur high expenses due to snail mail since written correspondences and documents are supported on the same interface.
3. Faster problem-solving and innovation
Teams have people who have varying talents and skills. With them working together, it is possible to come up with one-of-a-kind innovative ideas and solutions. But this will not be seamless unless they have a digital workplace where they can connect with each other.
To that end, companies can invest in collaboration tools for productive teams. Because they can see what other people are working on, they are aware of the status of tasks. They can also know whether their colleagues encounter problems. In that way, everyone can offer their thoughts on how to resolve issues, resulting in an open and collaborative environment.
When that occurs, progress is not hampered. Plus, it helps team members develop their skills, acquire new knowledge, and apply their learnings to gain new experiences. As such, everyone from the team and other involved parties are satisfied with the high-quality results they get out of cooperation and teamwork.
4. Streamlined access to experts
In the previous section, we mentioned that people with different skills and strengths could help solve unique problems when they work together. However, in some cases, there are issues that only experts can iron out or at least take the lead in dealing with.
With the help of the best online collaboration software, companies can set up groups or channels where experts can use their skills and knowledge to help their colleagues, even if they are not on the same team. Sure, people can go to online forums or the company’s internal knowledge base. Yet there are some things that only real experts in a field can answer.
By using a collaboration platform, businesses enable their employees to learn from each other. Furthermore, this gives workers the confidence to reach out to their coworkers to ensure that they do not get stuck at their tasks. Because of this, they can better contribute to the workflow.
5. Increased customer satisfaction
Customers expect to experience prompt and accurate service. For this to be possible, agents have to be knowledgeable or need to have the resources they need within easy reach. Since a collaboration software allows team members to share information, support representatives can count on their colleagues for assistance whenever they need it.
It will be advantageous, especially when customers are assigned to different agents. If the previous agent who handled the case previously online, the present representative can get more details from their coworkers. This way, they can close tickets efficiently.
Furthermore, good customer service experiences prompt 24% of customers to seek the same business or brand for 2 more years. Companies also have to be mindful in the customer service arena, as bad news travel farther than good news. To put it into perspective, people who have had good experiences share the information with others 87% of the time, and they share it with more than five people 33% of the time. Meanwhile, the bad news is shared 95% of the time and shared with more than five individuals 54% of the time, Zendesk says in an infographic.
And with the advent of social media, information is likely to spread further.
Enjoying the value of collaboration tools
As uncovered by the survey conducted by a renowned university, workers themselves like to use social networks. However, those can prove to be distracting at work. Atlassian even points out in an infographic that interruptions are the top 3 reasons that workers waste time at work. And 80% of the time, those interruptions are not critical or are trivial. Even email is a great distraction, even though most people rely on it to relay information, exchange files, and other work communications.
Instead, companies can utilize collaboration tools. It brings to the fold social elements to make employees at home but without the distractions. As a result, members of the organization experience smoother workflows and better productivity.
The impact is not just internal. Indeed, even customers can enjoy the benefits of those collaboration tools. That is because when colleagues are connected, they can pool their talents and knowledge together to resolve issues, especially unique ones. Thus, customers’ satisfaction is high, and their loyalties do not waver, thereby strengthening the position of a company in the market.