Everything You Need to Know About Collaboration Systems

Salvatore Lamborn

Salvatore Lamborn

Collaboration

Workers need more than email to collaborate in the workplace.

Attaching documents is clumsy and sometimes forgotten. You always forget to copy someone, or they get mad if you include them. Finding old conversations is hard, and seeing common conversation threads to the end can be impossible. On top of all of that, a lot of employees don’t check their inboxes because they’re overflowing in a never-ending battle.

We’ve pushed email so far that it’s now nearly impossible to have a meaningful conversation between multiple people. That’s why companies are starting to use more sophisticated collaboration systems. With the right collaboration system, businesses can equip their workers with a communication tool that meets their needs.

What is a collaboration system?

A collaboration system uses software and technology to enable humans to communicate and share documents in a digital space. Companies use collaboration systems to solve work-related problems such as chaotic communication, paper-heavy processes, or inability to offer workers telecommuting opportunities.

Collaboration System

What’s the goal of a collaboration system?​

The goal of collaboration systems is to make collaboration easier for humans in the workplace.

Employees need to work together to accomplish common goals. That means they need to cooperate, communicate, coordinate, share, debate, brainstorm, and solve problems. In short, they need to collaborate.

Collaboration systems help workers collaborate. Their goal is to make collaboration faster, easier, more enjoyable, smoother, minimize miscommunication, and provide more opportunities for workers to collaborate.

It’s up to humans to collaborate, but collaboration systems are a strategic way to facilitate collaboration in the workplace.

Why do companies need a collaboration system?

There are many reasons why businesses need and use collaboration systems, but here are a few notable ones:

1. Collaboration is easier and faster

No more phone calls, in-person meetings, or emails. If you need a question answered, write a comment in the appropriate channel and quickly receive your answer. If a coworker needs a document from you, give them access in a few clicks. Need to address the entire company? Create and post an announcement in seconds. And just in case other coworkers ask the same question, need the same document, or missed that particular announcement, everyone will see the same information because it’s permanently stored.

2. Remote and flexible work are possible

Remote work is becoming normal and expected. The ability to offer telecommuting opportunities and the option to hire remote workers is powerful. If a workforce successfully adopts a collaboration system, it makes it possible to log in from anywhere. Collaboration software is accessible through multiple devices, anywhere with an internet connection, and available 24/7.

3. Travel time and costs are reduced

Traveling is time-consuming and expensive. With a collaboration system, companies can have important conversations more frequently on private channels. Instead of delivering a speech at each branch, make an announcement to the collective company on a universal newsfeed the entire workforce will see.

Workers can converse indefinitely and the entire conversation plus documents will be saved. Use power search to quickly find previous comments and notes. If another employee needs access to meeting notes, grant them access to the appropriate channels and they will see the channel’s history of comments.

4. More opportunities to collaborate

In addition to easier and faster collaboration, workers can collaborate more frequently with these software tools. Employees have constant, immediate access to every other worker. Collaboration systems offer their service 24/7, accessible from multiple devices, and available almost anywhere. Workers will see announcements, questions, comments, and documents with more frequency due to the availability of collaborating.

What are the types of collaboration systems?​

Collaboration systems can be broken up into two broad categories:

Asynchronous

Asynchronous collaboration systems do not provide real-time communication. The most common example is email or message boards. With asynchronous communication, you don’t expect everyone to consume and engage with the content at the same time. Team members can view the information when it is convenient for them and jump in and out of the conversation as required. It also gives team members a chance to reflect on responses rather than just give reactions.

Synchronous

Synchronous collaboration systems provide real-time communication. Examples are instant messaging and video calls. Here, everyone is supposed to participate at the same time. Synchronous conversations are helpful when you are trying to get the mood of others or when something is a true emergency that requires immediate communication.

What collaboration tools do businesses use?​

There are a lot of useful tools out there. Here are some popular options:

1. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft released its own collaboration software called Microsoft Teams. Naturally, it integrates very well with other Microsoft products.

2. Slack

Slack is a collaboration tool that offers video calls, instant messaging, channels, and private messaging. Slack leans towards synchronous communication, expecting most of your team to be instantly available when pinged. Slack also has some deep integrations with other cloud products, allowing you to do much more than just chat.

3. Kissflow

Kissflow has an asynchronous framework, encouraging teams to post updates, have discussions, and share documents. Kissflow treats collaboration as “unstructured work” and on the same platform has options for more structured work such as projects and processes.

4. Workplace by Facebook

The popular social media Facebook created a collaboration software called Workplace. It looks and feels like Facebook, but its function is to facilitate teamwork. Users can create business profiles on a separate and private network, post in an activity feed, and join groups.

Why might Kissflow be the best option for your organization?

1. Features

Kissflow Collaboration comes with the must-have features every collaboration tool needs. Make company-wide announcements in an activity feed. Respond to posts with nest comments for easy reading. Or have department-specific conversations in private channels. Digitize and share important documents.

2. Intuitive interface

Using Kissflow comes as naturally as using social media. Workers quickly understand Kissflow with minimal or no training.

3. Adding workflows

Kissflow doesn’t stop with collaboration. It also offers workflows for projects and processes. Businesses can easily add workflow options so they have all their digital needs in one place.

4. Scales with growing companies

No matter what size your business is, Kissflow has a price plan that can meet your needs.

Time to upgrade

If your organization still relies on email for its main collaboration system, it’s time to make a switch. But don’t just use the first flashy thing you come across. Make sure you know what you are looking for and which type of tool will serve you the best.

Collaboration is a great thing for any workplace and finding the best system will help you get the benefits even faster!