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6 Tools to Support Collaborative Working

Group of people looking over laptopCollaborative Co-working

Collaborative working may be a new term you’ve not encountered before. Or it may be a phrase you’ve heard but you’re not entirely sure what it actually means. But in essence collaborative working typically means all parties working on a shared project can work separately, and even remotely, and still have access to all documents and information needed to complete the task. Typically this is done through a number of processes and online tools which offer the benefits of flexible work hours and routines. But another benefit is if you employ freelancers or contractors to undertake work for you, you can grant access to documents even if someone works off-site or even in a different country. It truly offers a flexible solution to modern working.

1.Collaborative Chatter

With the popularity of both remote and collaborative working now on the rise, there are a wealth of online platforms out there for collaborative working. For example group chat platforms Slack and Flowdock allow online discussion and keep track of important conversations. They can often be a place used for feedback if you are managing a team. And can just as easily be used to update your team on any amendments or revisions needed as work progresses, in real time. Which saves precious time taken to otherwise email back and forth or call each person involved each time. More powerful tools including Asana can also allow file sharing and offer smart project management, allowing for accountability between workmates and managing expectations of those concerned.

2.Keep a Schedule

Using a platform to keep everyone on track can be highly beneficial to collaborative working. Online calendars means everyone can see when deadlines are creeping up and when work becomes due. But calendars can also be used to schedule calls, meetings and notifies everyone invited with the specific details of who, what, where, when and how. Another time saver for those with limited time.

3.Use the Cloud

Cloud-based software is fantastic for saving and editing documents at any time of day and wherever you are. Log into the Cloud and you’ve instant access to any projects you’re already working on. Move from the office to a coffee shop or from home to the office, fire up your computer or tablet and you can easily pick up where you left off. Not only that but cloud-based software means your work is backed up and so if any changes are made and the hard copy is accidentally deleted or lost, the cloud-based document will still exist and can be easily accessed. The majority of cloud operations offer real-time monitoring and analysing of work being completed.

4. Manage Your Contacts

Another great type of collaborative working platform is an online CRM or Customer Relationship Management Tool which houses the contacts of your existing clients. Data on each client can be viewed and shared with relevant staff or workers (as long as this adheres to any existing GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation rules) which means paper documents only held in one location are a thing of the past. In addition, most CRM software uses algorithms to analyse your interactions with your clients and offers bespoke data based on your business so you can re-target and tweak any existing marketing, or simply share it with your marketing team to be aware of. Also while we’re on the subject of contacts – when getting in touch with your team, you can try collaborative working tools such as Skype which offers the opportunity for video calls and meetings wherever you are.

5.Schedule Your Social Media

If you hire or employ others to schedule your social media you can ask them to use schedulers which allow you to view and approve all posts before they go live. This means the content can be created and uploaded directly to the platform, for example to Hootsuite, Buffer or Loomly, amongst others, and then you can log-in and approve, amend or leave feedback for each post at your leisure. This negates the need for long drawn out meetings, and offers working around your own needs for example working from home, unsociable hours or whilst travelling, so you can still keep an eye on what’s happening no matter what.

6.There’s an App for That

You may be wondering how you can access all of these online platforms whilst you’re on the move or potentially travelling for work. But most online and cloud platforms have desktop and phone apps. That means you can keep up to date with notifications on the go and still access all documents from any smartphone or tablet. What’s more, most apps are free to download including the Yell for Business App which also is great for keeping your online presence up to date whilst you’re away from the office.

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