Something just doesn’t seem right. Your team is working overtime, but disorganization stalls projects and frustrates employees. A host of company-provided software applications are at your disposal, but conversations remain scattered, sparking confusion. Finding internal information is an excruciating task, and getting a new team member up to speed is even more time-consuming. And though workers are putting their best foot forward, the overall direction is hazy because daily work is detached from the company’s mission and vision.
If any of these problems sound familiar, don’t despair. Businesses around the globe are facing similar challenges. The good news? A well-built collaboration app is what your team needs to smooth lines of communication and function like a well-oiled machine. What, another app? A collaboration app can do more than provide a medium for communication—it can replace several one-function apps to simplify both communication and work.
What is a collaboration app?
A collaboration app is an online platform where employees share ideas through posts and links to achieve a specific goal or solve a business problem with greater efficiency. Team members can brainstorm, manage documents, track tasks, and hold productive work discussions from any location in real-time to generate imaginative solutions and accelerate progress.
Businesses don’t have unlimited IT budgets, so be sure to select an app with features matching your company’s specific needs for at least the next five years. Avoid high-cost subscriptions and shelfware by performing due diligence before choosing a match. These five popular apps are an excellent place to start.
Best Collaboration Apps in 2021
Unlike other vendors, Kissflow offers a collaboration app that links seamlessly with any productivity software, including G Suite, Microsoft, Jira, and more. There’s no need to introduce a new way to manage documents; simply connect existing systems through pre-built integrations.
Employees can celebrate achievements, discuss company or industry news, or address project matters in channels. Need an internal poll for informed decision-making? Send out a survey with a few clicks and collect data in a snap.
Modules for managing projects, processes, and cases inside Kissflow enable team members to control all work in one tab. Don’t waste time wondering who’s responsible for what task or attending dull meetings for project status updates. A bird’s eye view on the dashboard reveals all the info you need.
2. Atlassian Confluence
Jira software users will find Confluence a convenient collaboration app for creating, sharing, and storing documents. In an organized space, team members plan projects, record meeting notes, form a marketing plan, and post internal blog articles. Similar to Google Docs, users can build documents in templates, track document history, and edit documents in real-time.
Confluence begins at a low rate but steadily increases with the number of users, and businesses using software other than Jira might not experience a smooth transition.
3. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is bundled with the Office 365 suite, making integration a cinch for businesses running on Microsoft. Teams offers a diverse number of options for collaboration, including sophisticated features for enterprises. SMBs might not need the number of options available, and larger companies need standard communication policies in place to prevent confusion.
Setting up Teams usually requires IT professionals due to the greater complexity, and can take longer than other providers. Microsoft built a mobile app for Teams, but the best user experience is on a desktop.
4. Salesforce Chatter
If you’re primarily looking for a social networking app, Chatter is geared toward knowledge-sharing through forums to connect people and information. Chatter’s social network extends beyond employees to include partners and customers, creating a secure environment for collaboration.
Chatter’s cost is low, but the features are limited. Organizations desiring a basic, easy-to-use collaboration app will be satisfied, but those seeking a more interactive experience may be disappointed.
5. Workplace by Facebook
Brand recognition is Workplace’s greatest asset, as 2.41 billion people around the globe use Facebook. Workplace plays to this advantage and employs an interface very similar to Facebook, but does not link personal and work accounts.
Employees can host discussions in social network groups, comment in a company-wide feed, and communicate with individuals or groups through audio/video features. Workplace’s auto-translate feature is a big plus for multilingual, international businesses.
Why do you need a collaboration app?
Maybe your business isn’t plagued by communication challenges on the surface, but a collaboration app offers more benefits than meets the eye.
1. High-quality productivity
Everyone is talking about productivity apps these days, but if work quality doesn’t improve, the long-term effects will be mediocre. Your business can achieve both better results and increased productivity by opening communication lines between siloed departments and divided employees, enabling company-wide, innovative synergy.
2. Positive atmosphere
Clicking “like” on an employee comment may only take a second, but the receiver often feels noticed and valued by this simple act. When employees can effortlessly encourage ideas, celebrate accomplishments, and openly discuss problems, turning on the computer each morning becomes a purposeful moment, not a dreaded one. 85 percent of employees with access to a collaboration app are more likely to perceive themselves as happy in the workplace, cultivating an upbeat work environment.
3. Stronger employee engagement
Many employees rarely hear from their CEO and feel disconnected from a company’s mission and vision. Collaboration apps provide an avenue for management to share industry news, celebrate internal achievements, and announce upcoming milestones. Employees visualize the big picture and are more motivated and committed to contributing their best toward organizational success, deepening long-term loyalty. Healthy communication and workplace collaboration practices have reduced turnover by 59 percent in many businesses.
4. Centralized data
Decentralized data is a significant obstacle to achieving highly efficient operations. About 416 hours a year per person is wasted when internal information isn’t consolidated, and two-thirds of employees spend 60 minutes a day just navigating the various work apps. Imagine how much more could be accomplished in a workday when data and work-centered discussions are all in one app!
6 Essential features for Collaboration Apps
The first step in creating a want list is determining the specific business needs a collaboration app should address in your business and the features required for solving those problems.
Crucial elements include:
1. Multiple functions
66 percent of workers want a single platform for communications, but what if you could take it a step further and deliver a unified platform for both work and conversations? Comprehensive collaboration apps include features for managing documents, tasks, and projects. Communication is directly tied to work items for effortless organization, and miscellaneous discussions are posted in group feed channels.
2. Smooth integration
Not every company has an extensive IT department to code integrations by hand, nor do IT personnel like to spend weeks writing custom integrations. API integration quickly connects software, streamlining administrative tasks to give teams up-to-date information as they meet goals together.
3. Friendly user-interface for desktop and mobiles
If employees must repeatedly use the “help” button to figure out how a collaboration app works, engagement will drop, and most workers will stick with the old, broken methods. Even technically challenged team members should be able to navigate the collaboration app on any device for maximum engagement.
4. Powerful search engine
You have a collaboration app that integrates all internal information—super! But, can employees find precisely what they need? A wiki search engine keeps workflow moving along without document hunt delays.
5. Strong vendor support
Digital snags happen from time to time, and you need a vendor who will personally assist within 24 hours at no additional cost. Reputable vendors also provide a well-rounded database for basic troubleshooting FAQ’s.
6. Flexible permissions
Managers must be able to maintain control over confidential and sensitive data, including documents and discussion channels. Top-notch collaboration apps include intuitive, adjustable permissions settings.
What can Kissflow do for your workplace?
Are you ready to solve multiple business problems in one collaboration software? Information problems, miscommunication, extra rework, and disjointed employees are just a few everyday issues Kissflow can resolve.
Revamping workplace practices doesn’t have to be a daunting undertaking. API integrations and a user-friendly interface make it possible for team members to begin fruitfully collaborating in a single business day, without a host of IT experts. If assistance is needed, friendly support staff offer personal help at no extra charge.
Add value, boost productivity, and increase agility through a collaboration app that covers all the bases under one tab. Your journey to a hassle-free, unified digital workplace starts with Kissflow.