A productive office relies heavily on efficient communication and collaboration throughout the business. Employees within a department need to work effectively together, and separate departments need to communicate to ensure that there are no gaps in service across the business. While a lot of collaboration and communication comes down to your employees and the systems you put in place, the proper tools can help to foster a more collaborative environment and make your efforts more effective.
Here are 4 tools that can help to improve office collaboration for a more productive, innovative work environment.
Interactive Conference Room Displays
Traditional whiteboards are fine for taking notes, but how much do they foster collaboration? How easy is it to share those notes that you’ve written on the board? Interactive conference room displays (also marketed as smartboards or interactive whiteboards) can help to take your meetings and brainstorming sessions to the next level.
Such devices offer a number of different functionalities, enabling you to quickly email notes to meeting participants, enable meeting attendees to share personal insights more easily, and foster better collaboration in every meeting. These devices are sold by many different companies, from large businesses like Google to local companies such as Office XYZ. The numerous options available to you make it easy to find a model that suits your business’s needs and budget.
Group Communication Tools
The modern workplace has employees working from a variety of locations around the world. With telecommuting on the rise and flexible workplaces in demand, team collaboration can be a challenge. That’s why it’s vital that you utilize group communication tools like Google Hangouts. While it may seem like an overly simple tool that’s more suited to personal chats than office collaboration, Hangouts actually offers a lot of features that allow you to communicate more efficiently with your team.
You can create group chats for specific teams, invite people to voice or video chats, and most importantly, use the app from anywhere via your smartphone. It can even be synced with your phone number to make communication even simpler.
Cloud-Based Phone Systems
You should be taking more than just your project management software into the cloud—your employees’ phone systems should be there too. In the past, employees always had a separate personal number from their work numbers. This could make it difficult for team members to get in touch with each other, as employees can frequently be away from their work phones throughout the day.
Many companies turned to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) work environments, requiring workers to give team members their personal numbers. But this made it difficult to separate personal calls from work calls in the workplace.
But with cloud-based phone systems, employees can have one number for work that they can use on their office phone, cellphone, or for videoconferencing. But because this is a separate number from their personal cell number, they can differentiate between personal and work-related calls throughout the day.
Idea Management Software
Finally, perhaps one of the most important purposes of interoffice collaboration is the generation of innovative ideas for your business. Great ideas can come from anywhere, but if that customer service rep with the fantastic idea can’t communicate with your product development team, you could be missing out on an enormous opportunity.
Innovation management software provides you with a tool that all of your employees can use to submit ideas, and even take steps to develop them for your business. By integrating such a solution into your business’s day-to-day processes, you turn collaboration into a part of the culture, and can fully take advantage of your employees’ knowledge, experience, and ideas.
Improving collaboration and communication throughout your office can have cascading effects that lead to exponential business growth. So what are you waiting for?