Technology has revolutionized the way companies operate. Thanks to the internet and collaboration tools, employees are more engaged and have replaced the competitive rat race with team culture. Millennials have embraced teamwork over solo projects and tend to encourage collaboration efforts between team members, management, and clients.
If you’re noticing a shift within your day-to-day practices and company culture, take a moment to learn about client portals, the best way to collaborate online.
Benefits of Online Collaboration
Has your company found the best way to collaborate on documents yet? If so, you may already be experiencing some of the following benefits.
- Cost Savings – Depending on the project, online collaboration could be easier on the company budget. If you’re used to paying for travel costs, expensive dinners that double as meetings, or overtime for employees to conquer a project, online collaboration can help you substantially cut back. Employees, clients, and contract workers can work together in an efficient and resourceful manner.
- Top Talent – If you need the assistance of contractors or part-time employees for a project, online collaboration can help attract great candidates. Working virtually allows you to hire top talent from anywhere in the world.
- Easier Scheduling – When you have team members in different time zones, scheduling time to collaborate can be difficult no matter the method. But when a team is working together on a project, taking meetings online makes everything easier. The only requirement participants need is an internet connection. When a team member is working from home or you just don’t have the physical space for a group to gather in the office, collaborating online keeps everyone connected.
- Continual Progress – Collaborating online means work doesn’t have to stop when the office closes. Employees have the freedom to modify their schedule as needed, a perk Millennials are looking for. Also, if you’re working with team members in several time zones, your project can benefit from minimal down time.
Potential Online Collaboration Pitfalls
There are plenty of benefits to enjoy when collaborating online. However, there are a couple potential pitfalls to look out for as well.
- Lost in Translation – Both tasks and tones can be overlooked or misunderstood when collaborating online. This can especially happen when working with contractors from different backgrounds. Whether there is a language or culture barrier, internal friction can develop.
- Equipment failure – Tech equipment can fail without warning. Whether you’re dealing with a low battery, broken device, or an internet outage, progress can screech to a halt when collaborating online.
Overall, online collaboration can be a more positive experience for everyone involved. We always suggest having a team leader oversee a project. They can keep an eye on upcoming deadlines, iron out issues between team members, and develop a backup plan to handle equipment failure.
What Is the Best Way to Collaborate Online? 4 Options to Consider
It seems as though there is an endless selection of tools to help teams get the job done in a virtual environment. Browse through this short list of options to see if any sound like a fit for your unique collaborative needs.
Email is the original online collaborative tool. For simple projects or collaboratives between two or three people, email could be enough to hack out a few details, assign tasks, and stay updated on progress.
However, emails can sit unanswered for days and despite the purpose of email, conversations don’t always effectively progress when this tool is used as the only means of communication.
There are plenty of free and affordable services to explore if you want to hold virtual meetings. Collaborating through live video is a great way to build and develop relationships with team members who have never physically met.
However, this setup can take more time, technological requirements, and effort to coordinate between large groups.
3. Project Management Apps
Many businesses are turning to project management apps. These virtual to-do lists can be synced between desktops, tablets, and smartphones and allow one or hundreds of users to interact with them. Team members can see what tasks they’re responsible for and what stage a project is in.
While these tools are great for organization and delegation, they tend to be one dimensional and are rarely a stand-alone solution.
4. Client Portal
Client portals are virtual workspaces with security support. Only approved team members can gain access to a client document portal and its contents. Users can be anywhere in the world and enter the virtual workspace when it’s convenient for them. This means the progress of a project can continuously advance. Conversations can take place within the portal through messaging services and there’s less to worry about when it comes to document security.
Client portals allow companies to experience just about every benefit associated with online collaboration. They’re able to save resources, work with top talent from all over the world, and make continuous progress within their business.
For some companies, a single tool may not be enough to keep a team on track. Instead, a combination of collaborative options may be the best way to collaborate on documents.
Many have found client portals to be the best way to collaborate online and consider them to be the foundation of their collaborative success. To see if client portals are the solution you’ve been searching for, reach out to Onehub for a free demo.