Today highly collaborative work environments are more likely to improve ROI and increase productivity because they encourage employee engagement and foster shared goals. But in order to collaborate more effectively, we’ve had to evolve how we communicate.
With rising customer expectations and increasingly distributed teams, many businesses are still finding their new equilibrium. When colleagues work across the country, often in different time zones, it can be especially challenging to improve operational efficiencies and effectively collaborate.
Whether you’re a graphic designer, a sales team leader or an enterprise-level IT manager, everyone can benefit from better engagement and productivity. Read on to learn about the state of work today and how real-time collaboration software can enable your team to connect and achieve more together.
The evolution of workspace collaboration
With many of us working remotely full- or part-time, gone are the days when you sit around the corner from your boss. Quick pop-ins to say, “Hey, did you get a chance to read my report?” might not be an option anymore. And we all know it can take hours, days and even weeks for emails to be seen and responded to, if ever.
Video calls help keep distributed teams connected with face-to-face communication, but they aren’t always the best solution for getting approvals, downloading files or quickly accessing company intel.
Sales account executives who need fast access to documents, for example, or help desk representatives escalating tickets require far more than email to work efficiently. To keep up with rising industry demands, our teams need real-time support.
There’s more technology than ever to collaborate effectively, but going overboard with too many tools can also slow everyone down. If you find yourself saying, “Hey, did you see the draft for the press release? I sent a link in the video call chat. It’s also in our project management tool,” your organization could probably benefit from a system built for cross-channel engagement.
Real-time collaboration software streamlines your business tools into one centralized spot, so you can get the most out of your tech stack and help increase productivity by up to 30%.
How does real-time collaboration software help productivity?
Real-time collaboration tools like Slack are designed to connect your software, workflows and people to drive better companywide results. Here’s how.
Tie your business software together
Spend less time switching between tools and focus on the work that matters. Slack has more than 2,400 apps in its directory, allowing you to build custom workflows with software your teams already use, so everyone can do their job more efficiently.
Speed up work
Real-time collaboration software reduces the need for time-intensive meetings, email communication and bottlenecked processes. Faster feedback and information-sharing means faster progress.
Enhance your quality of work
Channel-based messaging allows teams to reach the right resources at the right time, reducing costly mistakes and avoiding miscommunication. Add project- or department-specific channels to keep information focused and quick to find, and pin updated documents for easy access.
Improve both the customer and the employee experience
By removing silos and promoting cross-departmental communication, you can better serve customers and deliver faster, more accurate solutions. Plus, that congratulatory dancing hamster emoji in the
#sales channel goes a long way to build workplace culture and morale.
With Slack Connect, you can seamlessly communicate with external partners, vendors and customers to not only get quick answers but also to build trust and rapport. Forgoing email in favor of channels gets everyone on the same page and helps create deeper, more long-term working relationships. Teams using Slack report shorter sales cycles, a 25% increase in potential closed deals and 21% faster internal response times.
With meetings cut down by 23% and email usage decreased by 32%, your team can focus with fewer interruptions. Automation and integrations also reduce context switching, which can slow progress. In fact, since using Slack, some engineering teams report a 24% increase in successful feature launches and a 22% reduction in time needed to identify new bugs.
Key features to consider when selecting your collaboration software
Ultimately, you need a solution that fits your team’s unique needs, not the other way around. What are the biggest communication blockers you have right now? Which apps do you absolutely need to use? Do you have a steady staff size or does it fluctuate? As you shop around, keep these four critical things in mind:
Channels keep work organized by serving as a single place for topics and projects. Grouping the right people and the right information together, they’re the easiest, most organized way to host current and past conversations and related files. If you need to revisit old exchanges, just search the channel. You can also pin past conversations or files for fast access.
Complete integration capability
To get the most out of your investment, choose a provider that plays nice with others. Think about the tools you use today. Make sure any new solution hosts integrations with your go-tos, including your calendar, video calling provider, file storage system, CRM and help desk software. It takes just a few clicks to connect each tool, and it’s worth it: 95% of Slack app users say that using an app in Slack makes those tools more valuable.
Some collaboration software providers aren’t small business–friendly, instead requiring an enterprise-level infrastructure. Go with software that can easily scale with you as you grow. With Slack, it’s easy to add or remove users, channels and integrations as your team evolves.
Security and compliance
Keep sensitive information safe by choosing a provider with best-in-class security foundations. With Slack’s encryption, external audits, penetration tests and continuous monitoring, you can rest easy knowing your security and compliance are handled. Plus, with administrative access control, you choose who sees what information, ensuring data never ends up in the wrong hands.
By streamlining workflows and promoting open communication, real-time collaboration software helps businesses worldwide leverage the resources they already have to facilitate better results. With secure channel-based messaging, voice and video calling, and a full suite of apps and integrations, Slack makes working together easier and faster. Start working smarter today.