Do collaborative tools promote team cohesion?  

The underlying functionalities of collaborative tools allow companies to improve the working environment of their employees by focusing on communication and collaboration, two notions that have become essential lately, especially since the increase in telecommuting.

What is a collaborative tool?

Collaborative tools are applications or software that allow your employees to work together simultaneously on a specific activity, task or project whether they are geographically close or not. Collaborative tools have been designed to facilitate cooperation, communication, coordination and information sharing between employees of a company.   Collaborative tools are used to achieve different objectives such as :

  1. Information sharing: by democratizing and simplifying access to certain documents or files, you allow your collaborators to move forward easily on the project or tasks in progress.
  2. Time saving: some collaborative tools or applications allow employees to exchange information more instantly via online messaging, for example. Meetings and videoconferences are only used for more technical or priority topics.
  3. Capitalizing on the knowledge of your teams. Each employee has useful knowledge that can be beneficial for other teams or other employees. Collaborative tools allow you to simply collect this knowledge so that it can then be distributed to the entire company. This data is centralized on secure documents, files or platforms.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of collaborative tools?  

There are many forms of collaborative tools such as instant messaging platforms, video conferencing tools, project management tools, file sharing tools and many others.

If they want to increase the efficiency, productivity and performance of their employees, companies must analyze the different types of collaborative tools to choose the one that is most aligned with their business model. It is also important to take into account the training and adaptation time of the teams to these new collaborative tools.

The advantages

The advantages of collaborative tools are numerous. The functionalities they offer allow first of all a better project management by making exchanges and information sharing more fluid. Each team member can follow the progress of the project, and consult the list of tasks to do, the tasks in progress or the completed tasks.

Employees can also help each other in a much more natural and instantaneous way. Whether they are geographically close or not, different team members collaborate via online tools and find solutions to their problems efficiently.

This fluidity of exchanges ensures a better organization and thus a better productivity for your company.

The disadvantages

Collaborative tools are based on sometimes complex functionalities that only technical or experienced profiles can master. It is therefore necessary to have an internal person capable of understanding these functionalities but also capable of training other employees on the subject. The arrival of new collaborative tools can also create confusion within teams. The overload of information and notifications can confuse your employees. It is therefore essential to set up clear processes in order to manage communications and not to disrupt the work organization within your company.

In parallel, collaborative tools also raise the issue of security. Your data and information that are stored on a cloud, or on a public or private platform must be protected. Before the arrival of your new tools, think about setting up security measures to avoid any risk.

With the exception of some Google or Microsoft applications, the majority of collaborative tools are not cost-free. The cost of these tools can be a barrier for some companies.

How to choose the right collaborative tool for your company?  

To effectively choose your collaborative tool, it is important to take into account several factors such as the size of your company, the collaboration needs of your teams, the existing tools already in use, the user preferences and especially your budget. To have all the answers, here is a list of steps to follow:

  1. Start by identifying the needs of your employees. Do you need to strengthen project management, file and document sharing or online communication?
  2. Next, take stock of the existing tools. What tools do we already have? Which ones do we use and which ones don’t? Don’t forget to include online messaging tools, document sharing applications, project collaboration platforms and live communication tools.
  3. You can also list your requirements. Based on your collaboration needs and evaluation of existing tools, create a list of your requirements for the collaborative tool you are looking for. For example, if you need a project management platform, you can look for tools that offer features such as dashboards, calendars, task lists, reminders, notifications, etc.
  4. Compare prices! Depending on your budget, the options available to you are not all the same. Evaluate the quality/price ratio by taking into account the features presented, the handling, the compatibility with your existing tools, etc. Do not hesitate to consult the evaluations and testimonials of users to have a more concrete and objective opinion.

Enrich your collaborative tool with elqano

Collaboration needs can change over time and according to external circumstances, as we saw with the Covid-19 crisis. Adding a new tool for each new need is not financially feasible, not to mention the complexity it would represent for the collaborators.

Another option? Enrich your existing collaborative tools in a simple way to maximize the adoption of new features.

This is what elqano, an application that is 100% integrated with Microsoft Teams, offers. Elqano gives you information about “who knows what” or “who worked on what” in the group, without any geographical or organizational silos, and without users having to declare anything.

To learn more, request your demo!