Business collaboration tools help employees to work together more proactively and cooperatively, whether they are working from home or in the same office building.
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Most of these digital collaboration platforms will allow teammates to see who they are working with, who has finished what, and where they need to pick up the slack.
A collaboration platform has tools that employees can use to view projects, make helpful comments, and apply corrections or new ideas.
Everything you need to get a project done, is made available through collaboration software—each employee has their account and can jump into the process whenever their skills are required.
Using the best team collaboration tools available, your company projects will stay organized and the overall project communication process will be optimized.
What is business collaboration software?
This type of software used to be known as groupware—which lets individuals collaborate on specific documents and projects.
These digital collaboration softwares can usually be downloaded as a mobile device application.
Collaboration apps encourage teamwork that can be easily accessed through everyone’s digital devices, so the job can get done from anywhere in the world.
Big groups and small groups of people can share a goal and execute it easier with collaboration software.
Why collaboration tools for a business are necessary
Enterprise collaboration tools help directors to stay focused on company goals and customer satisfaction.
They have peace of mind, with the knowledge that their employees are aware of what they need to do and what steps to take with the projects at hand.
If a company refuses or forgets to provide their employees with collaborative tools, they risk falling behind their competition.
Employees can digitally sort out what needs to be completed in a project, for it to be successful.
This can help them to become more self-sufficient and gain confidence in their ability to get the job done every time.
Using a collaborative platform helps employees to feel more prepared, appreciated, and secure, knowing that they have every tool they need.
Benefits of using business collaboration tools
Industries that can benefit greatly from using collaboration tools would be healthcare, marketing, developers, design, advertising, engineering, and consulting services.
How a business benefits from using collaboration software tools:
- Employers save more time when they use collaborative tools because they can plan ahead, creating and assigning tasks to specific workers.
- If a problem arises, it can get solved quickly by another available team member who might know more than the other — taking some pressure off managers.
- Managers can group their employees based on the necessary skills needed for the project to succeed.
- Employees' work is always noticed, and saved immediately.
- Team members can focus more on using their skills to their fullest potential — to finish projects on time and have them done well.
- The extra time a manager has available, can be spent coming up with ideas for company growth.
- Using collaboration platforms can open up opportunities to work with anyone in the world — which allows a company to benefit from a diverse workforce.
- Collaboration software saves everything completed and contributed, this includes helpful tips or shared information that can be brought up in company meetings allowing everyone to learn valuable skills from each other.
- Employees gain confidence in their skills.
3 main types of business collaboration software
The term “collaboration software” is an umbrella term for several types of software products that have different purposes of functions — with a common goal for collaborating.
Communication: Instant messaging, group chats, sending/receiving email, discussion threads, and file sharing.
Conferencing: A project manager can share a view with several listeners in real-time through a video conferencing platform.
Coordination: Helps to manage complex work that involves several people who share the same goal. This is also known as task, document, or content management software.
Collaboration software can also be grouped into two broad categories
Asynchronous: This would be email or message boards — software that doesn’t allow you to communicate in real-time.
Synchronous: This is software with real-time communication, such as instant messaging and video calls.
Features and functions that an ideal business collaboration tool should have:
- Back and forth communication through group chat messaging
- Inbox or direct message
- Goals and task priorities
- Audio and video conferencing
- Task or workflow management (planning, shipping, releasing, or creating)
- Split projects into groups of tasks, subtasks, and milestones
- Document management
- Built in billing and invoicing tools
- Option to create intake forms for new projects
- Calendars and time tracking
- Discussion and comment threads — which allow one team member to reply to a specific message in a group chat or channel without distracting other members.
- Integrations with other third party service platforms such as Google Docs or Google Drive
- Database management
- Data export
- Designer templates
- Portfolio tracker
- Search within message threads
- Customizable chat bots
- Screen sharing
15 best business collaboration tools that can be used improve the team performance
There are many team collaboration platform choices that can help you with different types of projects and company needs.
Here are the top 15 best business collaboration tools, with brief descriptions on what types of projects they can be used for:
LiquidPlanner: Project management software that allows you to view all projects in one place— with a schedule for completing them.
Asana: A workplace management dashboard that helps teams and companies communicate— while setting tasks for project completion and more.
Notion: A digital workspace for small to large businesses that helps to manage notes, tasks, projects, records, and more.
Google Meet: This is a video conferencing app that can help team members share their screen and discuss ideas in real time with their voices.
Zoom: Cloud-based video conferencing software that can be used for video or audio conferencing meetings, webinars, and more.
Skype: Free video and voice calls, instant messaging, and file sharing.
ClickUp: User friendly workflow management solution — where you can create marketing plans, strategies, and reports — store them on the platform and even attach them to tasks.
Canva: An app that allows you to co-create with design templates and see team members' contributions as they happen.
DeskAlerts: An internal communications system, both cloud-based and onpremise, that can help any company communicate urgent and important messages to a dispersed team through pop up notifications— while also receiving quick employee feedback.
Slack: An easy to use business messaging app with chat functions.
Lytho: A project management tool with workflow analytics, and plenty of collaboration.
Zoho Projects: Project management software that helps you to plan projects and track the progress efficiently.
Airtable: A spreadsheet tool with database functionalities. It will hold any information that matters to a company, allowing you to expand on it.
Jira: Offers workplace management solutions to help organize, collaborate, and track their work.
Todoist: Highly rated task manager and to-do list app.
How to choose the right collaboration tools for your team
The best team collaboration software for your specific company will depend on your needs and requirements for success.
- What types of collaboration are needed to meet my specific company requirements?
- Are there any communication issues with my employees?
- What kind of content does our company share and what do we collaborate on?
- Do we need communication, conferencing, or co-ordination collaboration software?
You might need one of these types, or all of them—marketing teams use all three main types of collaboration software.
Focus on what company problems you need to solve.
Narrow down what you want to achieve.
Make sure the software you pick can work well with the 3rd party service tools you might already be using — such as Google Drive or DropBox.
Make sure the software tool you want to use fits your company’s culture and your staff’s digital experience level.
If you enforce a random, super advanced tool on your staff without thinking about their experience with anything outside of email — you may have trouble getting them on board.
When your staff is new to using this type of technology — make sure that the software you choose is simple and easy to use.
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Having everyone on the same page, agreeing with the software choice, and knowing how to use it correctly will make the whole process more productive.
Go over this list when you are making the collaboration software decision for your company:
- Your company needs and goals
- Study the software features and make sure they meet your requirements
- Check the price and see if it is within your company budge t— the productivity and profits that the software creates may outweigh the cost in the long run.
- Reviews and Ratings: You should pick a software that is rated 3.8 or higher—anything lower might have too many bugs or issues with it.
- Make sure there is live chat support or a customer service number that you can call with questions, if any problems arise.
Collaboration tools are a great way to execute projects quicker and in a more organized way.
Your company is well on its way to more teamwork moments, co-creation, and effective communication.
Opening the doors to more ease and a flow of profitable results.
What is enterprise collaboration software?
This is an overall term for the digital platforms and tools used to optimize how employees work together.
If it helps an enterprise team to collaborate, then it can be considered enterprise collaboration software (ECS).
How do businesses use collaboration systems?
Businesses use collaboration software to make it easier for their employees to work on projects together.
Managers can assign tasks, make comments on the progress being made, and help employees find solutions all in one place.
What is Team Collaboration Software?
This is an informal space for employees to message one another, talk as a group, or share relevant content.
Employees would come here first if they need to ask any project-related questions, access shared files, or check tasks that are due soon.