The way businesses work has changed dramatically in recent years. With the proliferation of technology, employers and employees alike looking for ways to better address issues around productivity and work-life balance, mixed with an “always on” culture means that collaborative technologies are a must when it comes to any business.
Collaborative technology is software which has been designed to provide a platform for engagement. Perfect for businesses, collaborative technologies enable group work amongst colleagues regardless of their physical location providing employers with the opportunity to offer flexible or remote working. Added to this, businesses can also offer access to third parties such as clients and suppliers allowing them to communicate, coordinate, share ideas, cooperate, solve problems, negotiate or even compete.
Within a business, collaborative tech can allow us to work one-on-one or with a large group, meaning it is ideal for teamwork and improving communication with colleagues and other individuals whilst enabling the opportunity to gather a variety of perspectives and expertise on a particular topic.
As an example, at KC Communications we utilise Google Drive to store all our documentation and files. This not only allows our internal team access to the most current documentation, but it also enables us to share access with our clients and business partners too.
Having access to a shared drive allows individuals instant access to files and reduces the amount of documentation sent back and forth, reduces documents being saved remotely (and taking up valuable storage space) whilst ensuring that everyone is working on relevant versions.
As a business, you have probably been using collaborative technologies for years without even realising it. The use of instant messaging or chat systems, which allow various people to communicate in real-time, have been in use pre-iPhone but have since evolved to be prevalent within various other software solutions, for example, CRM.
Here at KC, we regularly use our Zoho CRM system to assign tasks to ourselves and to colleagues, whilst also taking advantage of its chat tool to reduce the number of emails which are sent internally. It is a very efficient way to assign tasks while staying in touch and keeping on top of everything to ensure we operate at optimum levels of productivity.
Collaborative technology is crucial for the way we do business. Everything from communicating with others using software such as Skype or even social media platforms (Twitter is our favourite), through to online editing of office documents and the use of online software such as padlet and basecamp to better coordinate projects between ourselves and our clients enables us to improve efficiencies and outcomes.
Working collaboratively has many benefits. From improving efficiency, through to improving morale within internal teams and increasing client satisfaction due to improved engagement, better understanding, and better results. All of which has a positive financial impact on a business as time lost on miscommunication, travel and expenses are significantly reduced.
Having been an apprentice* Marketing Assistant a mere four months, I have been exposed to numerous collaborative technologies and enjoy understanding how they work and the benefits they have on the rest of the team and our clients. The opportunities to improve the way we work along with making collaboration easier is truly endless and I look forward to identifying potential improvements we can implement at KC Communications moving forward.
If your marketing or PR agency isn’t working as collaboratively as they could be to achieve the results you deserve, then contact us today to discover more.
*This blog post was written following a week spent at my training provider, Estio Training, where we focused our learning on Collaborative Technologies.