Few things are more crucial to the success of a business than efficiency. Wasted resources, time and effort are a drag on both productivity and profits. While most companies are aware of this risk, as a business grows, it can become more compartmentalised, causing communication and organisation to break down.
Managing Increased Complexity
One way to address and remedy this common concern of a growing business is through the creation of specific departments, groups and teams to offset this lack of coordination. Being proactive is key; for example, a specialised umbrella team of marketing agents or sales reps can act as a liaison to other groups out in the field, facilitating improved communication, coordination and ultimately, company culture. Another effective solution is giving each group or department its own virtual online workspace.
While businesses with extra office space and payroll resources may have room for the creation of specialised "real world" teams, businesses that operate based upon a virtual office or with an existing intranet can benefit greatly from the online workspace solution.
Getting remote staff members (sometimes located around the globe) to communicate and collaborate effectively can be challenging to say the least. In these cases, software specially designed and created to facilitate collaboration can be invaluable.
Enter the Online Workspace
While the idea of collaboration software in today's workplace has become more prominent in the last few years, the underlying principle is not. In fact, this type of solution has quite a bit of overlap with existing social media networks in that they allow for a virtual connection to be made over the Internet. The online workspace is facilitated by what some call "social business software." In effect, this is a platform that makes it possible for workers to collaborate remotely with one another even from across departments -- or the globe. However, it is also very effective for companies that make use of an intranet, or inter-office network.
Integrated business collaboration software can include a range of robust features such as both public and private collaboration modes, the ability to create team based wikis and blog posts, as well as a dynamic ticketing/case system to keep track of activity. However, one of the most valuable forms of collaboration software is the online team workspace.
Inter-Office Collaboration Made Easy
Online workspaces allow teams, groups and whole departments to effectively collaborate, communicate and interact either online or via an intranet system (or both). This software and its features effectively eliminate the need for workers to always be in the same room together while working, allowing for a powerful and dynamic collaborative ethos to pervade even the largest and most widely distributed work forces.
No project is too small or too large for this tool. Each workspace is kept separate from the next, yet all exist within the environment of the business and are easily accessible at any point by both management and designated staff members. Complex considerations and daily tasks can be managed easily via an innovative interface.
Some of the dynamic social features of workspaces include:
1. Collaborating with Content
Content is king in this Internet-driven and data-centric realm, making the need for an effective content management system crucial to business success. Collaboration based upon content must be easy and natural among work departments and user groups. Workspaces and social intranet features allow a broad range of users to collaborate on just about any type of content easier and more effectively than ever before.
Further reading: [Blog post] Intranet Content Management and Strategy
2. Document and File Sharing
Easy document and file sharing is the basis of effective project collaboration and team success. No matter what the project, the ability to share work is crucial. Online workspaces make this type of work sharing a breeze, with organisation features that ensure the most current document is primary and that projects stay organised, prioritised, filed and stored correctly.
Further reading: [Blog post] Document Management Best Practices
3. Different Types of Workspaces for Different Needs
From large public spaces to more specialised private spaces to those that are somewhere in between, team workspaces are flexible enough to offer each of these possibilities. When combined with an intranet admin privileges can be designated to control which users have access to each group.
4. Easy Moderation
All businesses need someone with their finger on the pulse of ongoing progress in company projects both large and small. Workspaces allow for management or administrators to easily act as moderators of company progress as work groups collaborate and complete phases of important projects.
5. Real Time Updates
The workday can be fast-paced, with industry and inter-office conditions changing sometimes from hour to hour. Online workspaces allow for real time communication, which means that all users will remain in the know the moment industry or company conditions change. This means no one in the company ever has to be in the dark about the latest developments.
Collaboration software via a business intranet gives companies access to robust features like public and private collaboration modes, the ability to collaborate on content, and more. One of the most valuable and dynamic aspects of internal business collaboration software is the online workspace feature.
Online workspaces allow teams, groups and whole departments of a business to seamlessly and effectively collaborate and interact without the need to meet in person. This allows for an extremely vibrant collaborative ethos within any business no matter how large, small or widely dispersed around the globe.
The Elcom Team Workspace
Facilitate collaboration by enabling teams to quickly create workspaces, where they can easily participate in conversations and share documents around a topic or project. Workspaces allow teams to move work out of email threads and into centralised collaborative areas which are more efficient, searchable, and can be as open or private as needed. Users with the right permissions can create a Team Workspace for project specific communication and content. You can add a document list, calendar, news stream, RSS feeds or any module within the Elcom Platform to build a specific collaborative environment.
The Elcom Team Workspace is a feature out of the box along with workflow, forms, enterprise search and much much more. See here for a full list of features.
For more insights on how an intranet can help to drive employee engagement, collaboration and processes, click on the banner below.