The COVID-19 crisis has redefined the way we work. Businesses accelerated their digital transformation efforts at lightning speed — many achieving years’ worth of change in mere months. As teams continue to be more and more distributed, priorities have shifted to digital tools that facilitate collaboration, increase engagement, and improve performance.
Nearly 80% of workers are currently using digital workplace technologies, which is up from almost half of workers in 2019. And companies are investing in solutions to meet many of the new demands.
Staying competitive requires new strategies and practices that advance digital transformation efforts. Business leaders agree that the next generation collaboration tools must focus on increasing engagement and participation.
Online whiteboards have become a great solution but interactive workspaces take collaboration to the next level. If your organization is looking for new ways of working, consider the following tips as you weigh investments in collaboration solutions.
Understanding the Benefits of Collaboration Tools
Digital collaboration tools are proven to increase efficiency by reducing risk, error, wasted time, and materials. The right tool increases the visibility of teams, enhances collaboration, and keeps processes lean and simplified.
Take for example construction teams, who are accustomed to the “big room” experience, where project details, milestones, materials, and planning are collectively outlined using a whiteboard, sticky notes, and paper. Digital collaborative software for remote teams recreates the big room experience and secures all project details in one place. Teams can easily monitor, measure, and stay informed by connecting with the whole team in real-time regardless of location.
One of the biggest advantages of using a digital solution is a reduction in project errors. Mistakes and resources are extremely costly and result in missed deadlines. With digital collaboration workspaces, teams can provide updates instantly so project managers can identify issues, follow up, and pivot faster.
Teams are seamlessly connected to project plans and can interact in real time. Imagine entering project details simultaneously versus updating a PowerPoint or Excel spreadsheet and waiting for the next meeting to discuss the changes. Collaborative software increased engagement and interaction.
Collaboration Tools Should be Easy to Use
While many digital solutions are complex technologies that require extensive training and integration periods, some are easy to use. Here at Hoylu, we collaborated with industry experts in construction, logistics, energy, education, and military to develop a tool that is simple to use and easy to adopt across the organization.
“The simple interface and ease of use are what I love the most,” says one of our customers in product design. “It makes it possible to include clients on boards without any training. We can work together as if we were watching the same physical whiteboard. That makes sprint methodology with post-its and individual brainstorming possible even for remote teams!”
Our adaptive workspaces:
- Combine free-form whiteboarding and brainstorming with project modules that support Pull Planning, Kanban, Scrum, Agile, and various workflows
- Provide full transparency and control over projects without ever having to book a meeting room
- Inspire everyone to fully participate and share honest feedback and ideas in team meetings with an engaging presentation and collaboration tools
One of our customers in government administration uses Hoylu to run their remote meetings and workshops, saying: “We try to make them interactive, but they soon become boring for people. The different opportunities for interactivity offered by Hoylu mean that we can run a training session with questions, polls, and audience participation. They are great for breakout rooms and sharing content when the group comes back together. We have managed groups of 2-300 people who all have the opportunity to contribute, even in shorter meetings. They can also access the space after the meeting to review or add if needed.”
Insist on Ease of Implementation & Adoption
We have also eliminated the complicated setup. Users intuitively navigate the platform from any location. The end result is a tool that increases efficiency and reduces errors.
The workspaces are continuously upgraded so teams can input large amounts of data in little time and glide through different customizable features with minimum hassle.
One of our customers in electrical/electronic manufacturing appreciates “the easy way you can do anything. You can add any type of media over your board, without limits of space. You can paste links, images, docs, and PDFs. You can write over it, using templates. But the best thing are the modules. You can use modules instead of templates. Modules are a sort of application inside the board. You can interact with it, but at same time you can use the canvas to add other information or media around it. You are free to put down your idea and at same time to use modules.”
Final Considerations for Investing in Digital Tools
Creating an engaging digital work environment for your team does not have to be a daunting effort. Adaptive technologies help you create and facilitate collaborative, engaging, persistent digital workspaces to better organize your projects. The right tool enhances collaboration and simplifies processes.
When you consider which collaboration tools to incorporate in your project technology stack, here are some good rules of thumb to apply:
- Make it simple to collaborate: This makes the process more democratic, engaging a broader set of users, and making it easier to scale collaboration across the project.
- Create visibility in the collaboration process: If there is visibility in the process, you cannot hide from the process or act alone. This increases the engagement and accountability of project team members.
- Introduce flexibility into the process: Collaboration doesn’t have to happen within a single application or during formal meetings. It should be possible to collaborate with multiple tools, informally and asynchronously as needed.
There are many collaboration systems available but, to be successful, they must improve the way people naturally work rather than attempting to change it. Deliver on this promise and your company will evolve with the changing times.
Our focus at Hoylu is to create the ideal collaborative digital workspace to simplify complicated projects. Sign up for free.