It's hard to stay focused, organized and productive if you feel cut off from your team or disconnected from co-workers. Even in companies that try to foster a sense of community, employees can struggle to work together when keeping different schedules or holding down vastly different responsibilities.
But you can help your team regain a sense of connection in the workplace so everyone feels informed and up to date if you use some choice collaboration tools.
The right systems and apps can keep your team on the same page even when they're not in the same location (or when things simply get too busy and hectic for regular check-ins), allowing you to stay connected while remaining flexible. If you're ready to put an end to employees feeling out of the loop or out of touch with what their co-workers are focused on, then check out these collaboration tools for entrepreneurs and teams that want to be free to move — and still get work done.
Communication is key to success on any team, whether you work with just one partner or manage a team with multiple positions. Check out these tools to ensure you can stay in touch and communicate clearly, even when you're out of the office:
- Slack: Enjoy real-time messaging with the ability to archive conversations. This is a good option when you have a simple question that needs a quick answer from the team.
- Google Hangouts: Have one-on-one or group chats in real time with video. Good for off-the-cuff meetings and conversations.
- Zoom: Hold virtual meetings with large numbers of participants. Better for bigger teams, and provides the ability to host webinars.
Keep in mind that you'll want a tool for real-time chat to enable spontaneous discussions when a team member has a question or concern. You'll also want meeting-specific software to host calls and video chats for scheduled sessions with you and your team.
For Task, Project and Time Management
Many task and project management solutions come with built-in chat functions, too. You might want to consider this if an integrated solution is really important to you and your company. Here are some popular and extremely useful project management solutions that allow for chat and comments throughout the system:
- Asana: This end-to-end project manager has lots of communication features and is great for large teams and major projects.
- Trello: This platform is best for continuous and open-ended projects or very small projects.
- Basecamp: This highly customizable end-to-end manager allows you to use only what you want — and turn off functionalities you don't.
To ensure that you and your team are making the most effective use of company time, remember to track it. After all, you can't optimize what you don't measure. Use Toggl to track the time it takes to complete specific tasks, and you'll be better equipped to schedule your team's time efficiently and communicate reasonable deadlines to clients.
For File Sharing and Team Collaboration
Collaboration tools that allow you to access and work from the cloud are a must for any company that wants to remain in sync. Cloud systems allow you to access all your files from any device, anywhere with an internet connection, so employees don't feel left out — no matter where they are or what device they're on.
Gsuite provides an all-in-one solution that hosts files, documents, spreadsheets and more. It also gives you access to custom domains for things like email addresses and calendars. Dropbox and Box are also great cloud solutions for storing files and collaborating on them.