How Can Online Collaboration Tools Lead To Productive Teamwork Pdf

Online collaboration tools, particularly those based on Web 2.0, provide a wealth of opportunities for individuals and teams to work together in new and productive ways. Through encouraging the sharing of knowledge, interest, and experience among team members, these tools can support the participation of all team members in the team�s purpose, goals, and activities.

How Can Online Collaboration Tools Lead To Productive Teamwork Pdf

How Can Online Collaboration Tools Lead to Productive Teamwork Pdf – More and more people are using the Internet to get work done. In lots of ways, that’s a good thing, because collaboration moves us from working in silos to creating efficiencies that more fully leverage our collective expertise. Collaboration tools don’t have to be hard for people to use – they can create more value by leveraging what we already know and make it easier to work together online more productively.  

More and more people are using the Internet to get work done. In lots of ways, that’s a good thing, because collaboration moves us from working in silos to creating efficiencies that more fully leverage our collective expertise. Collaboration tools don’t have to be hard for people to use – they can create more value by leveraging what we already know and make it easier to work together online more productively.  

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What is online collaboration?

Online collaboration is the process of connecting users digitally to communicate in an online space. Online collaboration is usually supplemented using a software system that lets team members chat using video, audio and text. It is mainly a way for companies to improve communication and bolster project efficiency.

Increase communication

Online collaboration offers organizations a chance to achieve optimal communication among team members during projects. Collaborating online provides more spaces where teams can communicate. Many tools offer virtual chat rooms, video calls and online meetings to keep a project organized and on schedule.

Privacy features are one of the online collaboration tools that will appeal to organizations. Teams inevitably communicate across a wide range of online functions. Certain online tools ensure that only the necessary personnel are capable of joining these channels. Online collaboration tools give access points beyond an office or home. Members of a team can bounce ideas off one another from mobile locations as well. This keeps everyone on a project connected and builds efficiency.

The 3 crucial elements of online collaboration.

As you might expect, online collaboration relies on a variety of factors to work at peak performance. While there are many viewpoints on what goes into effective online collaboration, it’s helpful to look at things in terms of three crucial elements — people, processes, and technology.

Element 1: People.

The first, most crucial element of online collaboration to take into consideration is people. Without people, the entire concept of online collaboration would fall apart on every level. The people involved in a particular project are the true source of innovation, fueling collaboration with ideas and knowledge.

There are a few constants associated with this particular element. Among the greater category of people, it’s typical for the following pieces of the puzzle to be in place —

  • A skilled leader – Just as every ship needs a captain, online collaboration doesn’t work efficiently without having a skilled leader around. Leadership usually comes in the form of a single person or a small managerial team who exhibit the skills necessary to guide a team through a project. While leadership skills are essential, they’re not enough. An effective leader will have at least some experience with online collaboration tools, perhaps having worked as part of a team via social intranet software at one point or another.
  • A competent team – Having a solid leader around is surely important, but it’s not enough. A competent team is essential to getting the most out of online collaboration tools, comprised of employees who have the ability to adapt their style of work without issue, and are also able to contribute ideas and information to move a project forward. All team members should exhibit strong communication skills as well as the ability to work well with others. In many ways, choosing the right team for online collaboration is not unlike staffing a traditional business, although the technological element means managers need to be even more discerning in who they allow on their team.
  • A shared goal – One of the most crucial aspects of quality online collaboration is that everyone needs to be working toward a common goal. This is what drives people to give it their all and truly add to the conversation. Whatever the goal is, it’s important that it be outlined ahead of time so everyone involved can remind themselves of what they’re working for. A goal is only achievable if it’s clear and present.
  • Trust – Trust is the thread that binds everything together in online collaboration. Many instances cause the people involved to rely on each other to a certain degree, especially with specific tasks. Building trust can be difficult when in-person communication isn’t always an option, which is why it’s so important to focus and never neglect aspects of fun/personalization with online collaboration.

Element 2: Process.

Process, the second element of online collaboration, is a bit less tangible than the first, but not exactly more difficult to understand. In many ways, process describes workflow, taking into consideration everything that comes with working in a socially collaborative environment. In general, those who are used to a typical business model will have to change their process slightly to facilitate collaboration, especially when the majority of which is done online.

When adjusting one’s process, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind. Hitting on all of the following will ensure that you’re getting the most out of online collaboration, all the while not having to think too hard about it —

  • Strategy – The first thing to think about when adjusting your process is strategy. Strategy directly affects how you reach your goal, and it’s especially pertinent when working with others. Having a solid plan that you can refer back to when necessary will assure you not only stay on track, but don’t run into issues along the way. Typically, strategy is outlined by whomever is leading a team.
  • Priorities – Once a strategy is set in place, priorities need to be outlined. Each person who is part of a team will likely have their own unique set of priorities, although it’s not uncommon for certain individuals to handle similar tasks. As with having a solid strategy to follow, properly outlined priorities will keep you from straying from the path you set for yourself.
  • Data sharing policies – No one wants to police members of their team, but it’s always important to remember to implement data sharing policies when working with people in a collaborative space. In many cases, rigid guidelines won’t be necessary. When you’re dealing with sensitive information, setting clear policies around data sharing can be an integral part of seeing a project through in the most secure manner possible.

Element 3: Technology.

The third and final element of online collaboration is technology. One thing that often gets overlooked is the importance of technology to modern collaboration. Without it, collaborating with colleagues on the other side of the planet would be next to impossible. Online collaboration tools can be a bit daunting at first, but if you’ve ever used a social media network, you’ll likely have no difficulty diving in.

There are a few different technological platforms that can foster online collaboration, including —

  • Social intranet software – Without social intranet software, online collaboration wouldn’t be nearly as streamlined as it is today. Company intranet software serves as a portal that allows employees to build discussions, share documents, schedule meetings and perform a variety of other essential tasks.Online collaboration tools are becoming more and more commonplace as time goes on and is a natural evolution from the forums, information silos, and other platforms that came before it.
  • Teleconferencing / chat apps / VoIP – Social intranet software may be the jumping-off point for online collaboration, but it’s not the only element that can be employed. Teleconferencing via chat apps, a VoIP phone system, or other tools is a great way for people who are working together to actually have a face-to-face conversation without having to be in the same room.Most businesses use these platforms to some extent, and some wouldn’t be able to get by without it. When combined with online collaboration tools, teleconferencing tools can be quite powerful.
  • Integration with existing systems – Integrating online collaboration tools and teleconferencing tools with systems that already exist in your business is important. Sales, inventory, and other existing systems can sometimes get lost in the shuffle when transitioning to an online collaborative environment, but they don’t have to. More often than not, it comes down to choosing the right type of social intranet software, as not all options allow you to consolidate everything into one spot.

Advantages of using an online collaboration tool

The online collaboration tools are garnering interest from companies today as the benefits are undeniable:

  • Collaboration tools can decrease e-mail volume by up to 30% and increase document writing time by up to 33% for team members.
  • 97% of companies that use collaborative software say it has improved their service standard.
  • Social collaboration has improved team efficiency and productivity by 20%.

Anecdotally, this is what users are saying:

  • There is a clear exchange of information when employing online collaboration tools.
  • Communications, files, and progress updates are all centralized and archived.
  • Miscommunication is avoided, and everyone has access to records, so everyone knows who said what and when.
  • File hand-offs and team comments have become more efficient.
  • Improved transparency into project and task progress for the managers.
  • Online collaboration tools open up a wider network of expertise.

Employees also do care about workspace collaboration. Employees want to accomplish work that contributes to the company’s bottom line while also making them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Take a look at the following collaboration statistics to see why employees are so interested in collaboration in the workplace:

  • Approximately 75% of employers consider teamwork and collaboration to be “extremely important”.
  • 33% of millennials desire collaborative workspaces.
  • A strong feeling of community (wonderful coworkers, celebrating milestones, a common objective), according to 54% of employees, held them with a company longer than was in their best interest.
  • 99.1% prefer to work in an environment where employees are able to identify and discuss difficulties openly and effectively.
  • Employee morale is most negatively impacted by a lack of open, honest communication, according to 33% of employees.
  • Working with a fantastic team is cited by 37% of employees as the key reason for staying.
  • Employee turnover is 50% lower in companies with excellent communication.


The collaboration tools offered by Google Apps can help you keep your team on the same page, no matter where they are located. By sharing documents, photos, calendars, and communication history, your business can make better decisions, do more work in less time, and grow at a much faster rate than ever before.

types of collaboration tools

On average, how many emails do you exchange with co-workers everyday? And how much time does it normally take to brief your team on goals or progress? If your answers make you cringe, you should consider updating your collaboration tools.

Team collaboration software is on the rise. From communication to project management, technology offers an abundance of options. More online collaboration tools spring up every year, while existing ones are constantly improving their features and functionality. Some companies grow and thrive through holacracy, a collaborative management structure.

Here’s a list of 15 of the best collaboration tools that can support your team’s needs:

Communicate with your team

People can’t collaborate if they don’t communicate. From instant messaging to video conferencing tools (the best alternative to face-to-face meetings), there are many options for team collaboration tools:

1. Flowdock

Flowdock is a group and private chat platform. Its most interesting feature is its team inbox which aggregates notifications from other channels, like Twitter, Asana and customer support tools.

2. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is an online video conferencing software that allows users to schedule meetings and share screens. It’s one of the most popular video tools with millions of users.

3. Slack

Slack is a popular and well-crafted platform offering instant messaging, file transfers and powerful message search. It has many features and dozens of integrations with other tools like Trello and Intercom.

4. WebEx

Cisco’s WebEx provides personalized video meeting rooms where users can to host and join meetings. People can use WebEx for team collaboration, webinars, training and customer support.

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Manage projects and tasks

Project management tools are critical. Who can coordinate effectively when they can’t monitor task progress or keep track of objectives?

5. Asana

One of the most well-known project management tools, Asana allows users to assign tasks to other members, add followers to projects and monitor deadlines. It’s very useful as a to-do list or calendar for strategic planning.

6. Dapulse

Dapulse is a collaboration tool that helps you communicate, set objectives and assign tasks. Its big advantage: it has a great visual design so it’s easy to understand and work with.

7. ProofHub

ProofHub is a work management tool that offers a comprehensive suite of collaboration and project management functions. On this platform, you can organize files, plan and monitor projects and discuss with colleagues and stakeholders. ProofHub also lets you review and approve files through an online proofing tool.

8. Redbooth

Redbooth is an easy-to-use project management tool. Its platform allows users to plan and collaborate through many functions from video conferencing to creating Gantt charts.

9. Trello

Trello has an intriguing interface that resembles solitaire (you can even drag task cards across columns, just like you would playing cards). It’s easy to learn and works well for monitoring projects and assigning tasks. Trello also makes using Agile, Scrum and other project management frameworks easy.

10. Wimi

Wimi offers users their own ‘unified workspaces’ where teams can manage projects and share files and calendars. You can control access in each workspace with a rights-based system. Wimi Drive, their file syncing software, helps you make the most out of cloud technology.

11. Milanote

Milanote is one of the qualified tools that can be used for serving numerous purposes including blogging. Using this tool, you can organize creative projects and place them into excellent visual boards. It will provide you a feel like you’re working on the wall in a creative studio. Milanote would be a great fit too for designers who work remotely.

Create together

A task isn’t always one person’s responsibility. Sometimes team members need to create together. These are the best collaboration tools:

12. Codingteam

Coders can easily collaborate when writing their code through platforms like Codingteam. It offers a free ‘software forge’ that encourages visibility and collective code building.

13. Igloo

Igloo is a company intranet that allows people to communicate and get work done. Its wiki allows colleagues to share information and ideas.

14. Google Docs

Google needs no introduction. Google’s collaboration tools include its Docs and Sheets services, which are designed to allow teams to edit files at the same time and save all their changes automatically.

15. Quip

Quip started off as a mobile app and released a desktop version later. Teams can import and work live on different file types. Edits are saved automatically and its chat, comment and checklist features make collaboration easy.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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