Collaboration: A vital component of the employee experience

How digital collaboration tools can help you to cultivate a happier, better connected and more productive workforce.

Collaboration is increasingly important as modern workplaces become more global, decentralised and interconnected. Cloud services and high-speed Internet have given rise to a range of applications that let employees solve problems, develop skills and interact seamlessly, resulting in a more engaged, satisfied and effective workforce.

Collaboration technologies empower digital businesses

A collaborative workplace fosters a sense of community, where employees feel they share a common goal and sense of purpose. By collaborating with colleagues, including mobile workers and those in remote locations, resources can be pooled to make projects more successful. Collaboration technologies empower digital businesses by allowing organisations to share data, brainstorm, source experts, coordinate resources, discuss projects, and establish communities within the enterprise.

Boost productivity with collaboration tools

In today’s diverse, rapidly changing and fragmented market, document management, work management, synchronous collaboration, and emerging team messaging solutions are fast becoming essential productivity tools. Innovative applications like group messaging, document collaboration and analytics are enhancing business effectiveness by integrating closely with critical applications and improving the customer experience.

Better clients’ insight and customer-focused approach

Progressive organisations employ collaboration tools and strategies to obtain deeper client insight and facilitate smooth interactions across the business. This is now a critical feature of the business innovation agenda, which uses technology to gain, service, and retain clients. Collaboration tools act as the connective tissue of a customer-focused enterprise.

Experience the benefits of real staff mobility

Remote and mobile working is on the rise, and businesses recognise that mobility results in reduced operational expenses as well as a happier and more productive workforce. More employees are opting to work from home, and collaboration tools are vital to these employees – they must be able to access all of their business tools while on the move, just as if they were in the office.

We’ve chosen our favorites tools…

In our personal lives, everyone chooses their favorite apps and tools to keep in touch with friends and peers. It’s not different in the corporate world.  That’s why at Bremmar, we have a selection of collaboration tools we chose to specialise in and recommend to our clients. Here is what we chose and why:

·        Microsoft Office 365

It’s like your own personal office where you have most of the tools for getting the job done and effectively collaborate with your team — Email, Microsoft Office, SharePoint, OneDrive and finally Skype for business, as well as a single user name and password to access all of them.

Why did we choose it? For most businesses who’ve already invested heavily in the Microsoft ecosystem or rely on Microsoft’s products such as Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Office 365 is the way to go. Your business subscribes to a monthly or yearly plan per user and depending on your plan, you get all or most Microsoft apps. What’s so good about it? All apps are part of Microsoft’s ecosystem, so the company focuses heavily on interoperability between all its platforms to maintain a seamless user experience.

·        SharePoint

One of the most powerful tools in Office 365, but also one of the least understood. At its core, SharePoint is a document management and collaboration platform that lets you centralise and control all of your business content. It functions as a corporate document management solution and intranet, allowing your staff to easily store, share and work with documents from any location and any device, at any time. SharePoint also allows you to build lists for goal tracking, discussion boards, social networking apps, reports, charts and much more.

Why did we choose it? SharePoint has huge potential and in between document management, intranet, website development, amongst others, SharePoint will be what your business wants it to be. Its strength comes from its tight integration with the rest of the Office 365 suite. By placing the entire corporate filing system at their fingertips, employees can use familiar tools like Word and Excel to create, modify and share files, regardless of where they’re located or what device they’re using.  SharePoint boosts productivity within your organisation by making it easy to discover, review, approve and track files online.




What is SharePoint

·        OneDrive

Also part of the Microsoft ecosystem, OneDrive is a robust and secure cloud storage system, similar to DropBox, which allows productivity from anywhere.

Why did we choose it?  Office 365 offers and guarantees maximum interoperability between all its platforms, so OneDrive, when combined with Outlook, SharePoint and Skype for business, can take your cloud storage and document sharing to a next level. Read more about it here.

·        Skype for Business

While most business owners understand the value of email and Excel, Skype might be a new concept. Skype is the same video chatting service that people have been using for years to talk with friends, however, when applied to businesses, this tool brings many benefits. The most well known and used are: presence (corporate instant message), video chat (video conference) and the ability to launch Skype for Business from Office to converse in real-time when users are editing the same files simultaneously.

Why did we choose it?  Separately, Skype for business is a powerful tool for interaction between businesses with multiple offices, with staff in remote areas or for mobile workers.  When combined with other Office 365 tools, it helps businesses make the most out of their information systems by providing a more efficient work environment.

The list is actually very long, so we highlighted the main tools we recommend. However, we can keep going and suggest MS Teams, which is a chat based workspace for staff; Yammer, which is a type of corporate Facebook; and the list goes on and on.

Main features of collaboration solutions

Bottom line is, collaboration tools like Microsoft Office 365, MS Teams and SharePoint are constantly evolving and adding improved functionality. So here are some of the features enjoying the fastest rates of adoption:

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging allows messages to be sent in real time via a computer or mobile device, facilitating immediate interaction, even while a colleague may be on the phone or in a meeting.

Bremmar recommends: Skype for Business and MS Teams.

Forums

Forums let employees hold multi-party conversations. They differ from instant messaging in that messages are generally longer and are archived and accessible to others.

Bremmar recommends: SharePoint intranet or Yammer.

Online Team Workspaces

Workspaces allow team members to share relevant documents, chat to colleagues, schedule meetings and track the status of projects.

Bremmar recommends: SharePoint and MS Teams.

Corporate Wiki

Similar to Wikipedia, any authorised employee can update the corporate wiki, creating an easily accessible and detailed source of information for others within the organisation.

Bremmar recommends: SharePoint.

Blogging

Blogs enable managers and employees to share their insights, publish announcements and promote events across the organisation.

Bremmar recommends: SharePoint, MS Teams and Yammer.

Document Sharing

Digital document sharing tools make it easy to store, find, track, edit and share important files with co-workers, without resorting to email or paper copies.

Bremmar recommends: SharePoint and OneDrive.

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing lets distant employees chat face-to-face, either one-on-one or in larger meetings and presentations, while avoiding the expense of travel and accommodation.

Bremmar recommends: Skype for Business

Employee Profiles

Businesses are embracing social networking apps that let employees create Facebook-style profiles displaying photographs, contact information, skills and details about projects on which they have participated.

Bremmar recommends: Yammer.

To find out more about how digital collaboration tools can help you to cultivate a happier, more connected and more productive workforce, contact Bremmar today on 1300 991 351 or email help@bremmar.com.au.

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Collaboration: A vital component of the employee experience

How digital collaboration tools can help you to cultivate a happier, better connected and more productive workforce.