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These days, many offices are doing away with cubicles and making sure workers have more freedom to interact with one another. Managers are starting to recognize the benefits of having a collaborative work environment – increased productivity, employee morale, stronger relationships between colleagues, and better work flow. Creating a collaborative work environment is easy, especially with the birth of many new technologies. Here are a few collaborative tools to get your office set up for success.
Slack is a popular messaging app that is a one stop place for all of your team’s communication needs. Slack helps teams connect with each other by allowing users to conveniently organize, archive, and search messages, in addition to easy file sharing.The breakdown is simple:
-Communication: Users can organize conversation Channels that help with transparency and allow everyone on the team to be up to date on the latest projects, topics, and activities. Direct messages lets users directly connect with colleagues in a secure and private setting. In case users want to connect with select team members, they can create Private Groups that allow invite-only users to see and participate in the thread.
-Easy File Sharing: For a quick way to share reports, documents, and other files, Slack offers an easy drag and drop option that will share your PDFs and spreadsheets with team members instantly. Users can also add comments and search and bookmark files for quick access.
-Convenient Integration and Search: Instead of juggling multiple apps, teams can integrate all their tools to Slack for a better workflow. Everything in Slack – messages, files, notifications – becomes automatically searchable for your convenience.
-NASA, Buzzfeed, Salesforce, and Ebay are among Slack’s more well known customers.
Another popular collaborative tool is Yammer, an official Microsoft enterprise since 2012. Yammer boasts, “Yammer team collaboration software and business applications allow you to bring your team together so you can have conversations, collaborate on files, and organize around projects so you can go further – faster.” Similar to Slack, Yammer has “Yammer Groups” which allow users to have a collaborative workspace for teams to discuss deadlines, project details, and share files. Yammer also has a comparable search feature that lets users find related documents, conversations, and groups quickly and efficiently. Yammer has a separate “Inbox” feature which has similar characteristics to Slack’s “Channels” feature, except it more closely resembles an email inbox (think Gmail). Users can track messages that need immediate responses in Priority Messages, and can save others to “Unread Messages” to revisit later. Another unique feature of Yammer is the ability to create user profiles that share the status of projects and highlight useful ways to work together with colleagues. Here, users can also share conversations across groups so that other members can learn from your team’s expertise. Coming soon to Yammer is the release of a new feature that allows users to collaborate beyond the scope of solely their organization. Teams will have the ability to extend their network to connect with customers, partners, and vendors through Yammer. By simply adding their email addresses, Yammer users can start collaborating with outsiders on important team projects. Active Yammer teams include Intuit, Verizon, Xerox, DHL, and UNICEF United Kingdom.
Hoopla is a SaaS application that was made for high velocity sales teams in mind. Our software lets managers create a collaborative teamwork environment that will resonate throughout the entire company. Using Hoopla technologies, managers can set up contests between employees, create leaderboards, and broadcast live performance updates online and offline to TVs, web, and mobile screens around the office. Hoopla’s Sales Motivation Platform engages teams in exciting, play-to-win cultures that are fun and effective in office productivity.By streaming sales performance on the big screen, Hoopla TV is able to offer real time updates to sales teams that help keep them in the loop on the latest goals and accomplishments. Team members are actively engaged in sales progress and through live leaderboards, contests, and performance updates straight from your Salesforce CRM system, the entire office can recognize and celebrate wins the moment they occur, together. Hoopla Mobile encourages managers to communicate with field reps and motivate outside sales teams by delivering the same real time updates on mobile devices. Outside sales reps using their mobile device can get the same, exciting Hoopla experience of monitoring leaderboards and contests as with Hoopla TV. Whatever device you’re on, Hoopla guarantees you’re always connected and never miss an important sales update.
Evernote is a digital workspace that keeps teams productive by letting them work anywhere and through any device (laptops, mobile, tablets, PC, etc.). The software integrates many project operations into one convenient workspace. It is ideal for users who actively collect online resources for projects since it allows you to clip web articles, capture handwritten notes, and snap pictures so you can have the physical and digital content with you at all times.Evernote also lets you communicate with team members in real time to help you get your projects done. Collaborate and share your progress and findings without ever having to leave Evernote. Presenting also just got a lot easier since team members can send their notes in a screen-friendly layout at the click of a button. No more long, daunting meetings!
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are perhaps the most well known collaborative tools used today. The free Google office suite lets users write, edit, and collaborate wherever they are. It’s highly accessible which means you can get to your documents anytime, anywhere, whether it’s from your phone, tablet, or computer. Its best collaborative feature is the ability to share documents with anyone – from colleagues, clients, field representatives, and more – and allowing them to view, comment, or edit the document. Real time editing makes it so that everyone can see the latest changes and updates being made to the document. Real time editing is so precise that users can follow an editor’s cursor as they are typing. Teams can also chat directly within the document or send a notification to someone using their email addresses. Best of all, you never have to worry about forgetting to hit the “Save” button since changes are automatically saved as you type. But don’t worry, users can see the revision history to see old versions of the document and identify who made what changes.
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About the Author
Kathleen Cancio is a freelance blogger who has worked in PPC Marketing and Public Policy Research. She was most recently a Search Marketing Analyst at CommonMind, LLC, one of Clutch’s top PPC Agencies for 2015. She has a wide range of interests including painting, traveling and hiking.