[Updated 19th September 2016]
Collaboration in the workplace is nothing new. However, it is becoming increasingly important in the modern world as we become more connected around the globe. Cloud computing and faster internet connections has given rise to tools enabling employees to collaborate effectively, producing a more educated, skilled and engaged workforce.
Why collaborate? The beauty of collaboration
When working on a project, an individual often needs the input of other employees. By collaborating with different departments or even different offices, skills can be pooled to make the project more successful than it might otherwise be.
Collaboration not only equals a happier workforce, it represents an educated one. A collaborative workplace naturally cultivates a sense of community within an organization, with employees feeling almost like they are a part of a family. This compels them to go beyond the expectations of their role, absorbing as much organisational knowledge as possible and driving the business forward with informed and sound decisions.
The Digital Workplace
In today’s digital age, effective collaboration is increasingly achieved via the digital workplace.
Step Two Designs defines a digital workplace as a holistic set of workplace tools, platforms and environments, delivered in a coherent, usable and productive way. A digital workplace is a place, that empowers individuals, teams, colleagues, clients and partners to share, communicate and collaborate with little to no friction, delay or challenge; allowing all these stakeholders to perform their jobs more effectively.
There are a range of digital collaboration tools an organisation can and should utilize:
- Online team workspaces
- Company wiki
- Instant messaging
- Facebook-like profile pages
The benefits of collaborating using the tools above are fairly obvious.
Employees from different departments can add to the company wiki pages, offering a comprehensive and easily accessible resource for everyone within the organisation.
Blogging is useful internally for similar reasons to a wiki; employees with expertise in varying fields can share insights on the company blog, allowing other employees to access the information at their fingertips. Blogs are also a great way to promote internal news, events and achievements, helping employees gain a greater understanding of what the company is doing and cultivating a positive company culture.
Online team workspaces enable members to easily participate in conversations, quickly share the most up-to-date documents and collaborate anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Fortunately these tools and many more are offered as part of a good CMS, and can be utilized to create a thriving digital workplace, resulting in a happier, more collaborative and engaged workforce.
For more insights, watch the video covering the essential elements of an effective digital workplace.
The business world is changing, whether it likes it or not, and soon we will also begin to see organisations building bigger communities which can be accessed from apps by the workforce. According to a Gartner survey, 79% of surveyed organizations plan to increase their mobile spending by 36%. Not surprising considering mobility results in increased employee output, less inventory and fewer operational expenses.
The great news is a good CMS can help bring this about. Whilst it’s thought that many enterprises will eventually have their own app stores, this isn’t essential. There are many reputable app developers around who are creating white label apps, which can be added to the company CMS, complete with branding and the addition of bespoke content.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any organisation. A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of the organisation, including those of their employees. A great brand not only communicates the organisation ethos instantly to employees, it can inspire them to go the extra mile as they are proud of the organisation they work for.
Therefore, collaboration tools within a CMS should be fully branded with the company logos, text, colours and so on, offering uniformity across the board. If there are a number of offices using a CMS, it is a good idea to ensure that the solution is consistently branded so that employees share the same experience regardless of where they log in from.
Of course, functionality is even more important, but in today’s world, it pays to develop a strong brand.
Likewise, document sharing is so much easier than it used to be and it’s no longer necessary to shuffle important documents backwards and forwards with edits by email or hard copy. A cloud-based CMS will mean that documents and projects can be stored so that they are accessible to everyone working on the project at the same time. This is great news for today’s workplace, where employees and partners tend to be scattered around the globe.
Video conferencing is again, rising in popularity and has a number of uses for the larger company and small organisations alike. Not only can it be used effectively for collaboration, it can be used for board meetings, webinars, video content management and more.
Basically, it’s another tool organisations have at their disposal that can make everyone’s job easier while reducing costs. Expensive business trips for conferences and meetings can be reduced and productivity increased as workers are capable of doing everything from the office.
Another consideration for using CMS collaboration tools is that more employees are choosing to work from home. According to research carried out by Dell and Intel, more than half of all global employees believe that they are more productive when working from home than their office-based counterparts. 46% of those that work from home also said that they suffer less stress than they do when working in an office. In these instances, collaboration tools become essential to keeping a remote workforce collaborative and productive. For example, with one simple, secure login, an employee can connect to the office and work just as effectively as if they were there in person.
Again, this leads to a happier workforce, which leads to greater productivity and that feeling of being a part of a larger family, which all have the same interests.
For insights into effectively using the collaborative tools within intranets to communicate with a distributed workforce, watch the intranet success video.
It can’t be emphasized enough how much CMS and collaboration tools can benefit a workforce. They save time and money and lead to better growth for any organisation which uses one.