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The Benefits of BIM for Facilities Management

Watch How To Leverage BIM for Facilities Management

Many organizations still rely on different data sets for the separate phases of the life cycle. But by leveraging BIM, facility managers can track current usage and costs for better decision-making. They know where to invest and where to cut back. BIM for facilities management also helps with reducing risk while increasing agility. It helps you move more carefully but also faster, and always in the right direction. Implementing BIM for FM is a long-term, iterative process, but it starts with just three critical questions. 

Before looking at the implementation, it’s important to have a set of shared definitions for both facility management and BIM. 

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5 Best Business Collaboration Tools for 2023

Business success is built around a great team. Employees who work well together achieve great things. But to work seamlessly side-by-side, your team needs the right collaboration tools – especially if they don’t all work in the same place at the same time.

Finding the best collaboration software for business involves drilling down into the individual segments of cloud computing. It’s important to give employees the resources they’d have if they did sit next to one another. More importantly, you need to provide them with these tools in a way that connects their efforts as a whole.

Best communication tools for productivity

First things first, teams can’t collaborate if they can’t communicate. The best communication software makes it easy for team members to connect – combining instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing – all in one place.

Top communications applications are:

  • Slack: Slack is a powerhouse among company communication tools. Organize messaging into topic-specific threads, invite coworkers to relevant conversations, and share files. It’s the messaging app every business needs.
  • Microsoft Teams: Teams is Microsoft’s equivalent to Slack, with a seamless tie-in to Microsoft’s full suite of programs. For companies using Outlook and OneDrive, Teams is an alternative to Slack with nearly identical features.
  • Zoom: Messaging isn’t just a text platform anymore. In the age of remote work, video and audio are equally important. Zoom’s platform was specifically built for multimedia conferencing, making it easy to video chat or join a call with dozens of individuals at once.

Communication applications allow teams to work successfully on projects, no matter if they are in the office, hybrid, or remote. Thanks to the cloud, it’s possible to collaborate with someone halfway around the world as easily as if they were sitting next to you.

Best online collaboration tools for your team

Business changes rapidly – daily and sometimes even hourly. Teams need a way to adapt just as quickly, and real-time editing platforms give it to them.

This collaboration software supports dynamic workflows and team agility. The ability to act, react, and reallocate resources as fast as projects change is an asset teams can’t function without. Editing software helps teams respond to changes as quickly as they’re expected to, prevent setbacks, and keep projects on track.

Here are some examples of real-time editing platforms:

  • G-Suite: One of the earliest and most widely adopted business communication tools, G-suite is the bread and butter of many businesses. Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations, and other apps offer real-time editing and input.
  • Dropbox Paper: Dropbox Paper is a tie-in to Dropbox’s cloud storage platform. It’s a great way to annotate files, leave collaborative notes, and work together on a document or project with all your resources on-hand.
  • Evernote: Evernote is one of the simplest collaborative applications and also one of the most robust. It supports just about any type of media you need to document, with cross-collaboration that’s easily controlled by whom you share notes with.

Best cloud storage tools

Collaborating on projects requires organization. Cloud storage tools store data online –presentations, spreadsheets, documents, or images – giving everyone access to the same information. It acts like a filing cabinet; your team can put all of a project’s relevant materials into one place. This accessibility means that team members can easily and instantly access project documents whenever needed.

Commonly used cloud storage tools are:

  • Dropbox: Dropbox is one of the original business cloud file storage platforms. As a result, it has integrations, tie-ins, and support for every other piece of software your business might use. It’s simple interface and superb security makes Dropbox the favorite enterprise application.
  • Box: Box offers the same concept as Dropbox but with more native apps to improve team collaboration within the platform. Box is also less expensive and offers more flexible plans for smaller teams. Permissions sharing in Box also tends to be very robust, making it easy to loop in third-party partners and clients on specific repositories.
  • Google Drive: If you’re using G-Suite, Google Drive is already an active part of your business computing experience. Google’s cloud storage platform is free with an email address, extremely secure, lightning fast, and easy to navigate. Permissions can get tricky, but the native file viewer makes Google Drive worth using.

Cloud storage software simplifies how teams work, as a secure collaboration with anyone, anywhere, on any device.

Best tools for project management

Expecting people to collaborate without full visibility over what, exactly, they’re working on together is a recipe for disaster. Every member of the team needs to see the bigger picture and how what they’re doing fits into it. Project management tools make this possible with the ability to see task timelines. Everyone is on the same page, working toward the same goal.

Leading project management programs include:

  • Wrike: If you’ve got tasks to assign across team members, Wrike is one of the better task collaboration tools out there. It’s got everything required to create detailed tasks, delegate, track progress, and measure results. All that, and a user-friendly navigation system.
  • Asana: Asana helps teams prioritize goals, stay on-task, and collaborate across all parts of a project. List, timeline, calendar, and accomplishment views let employees pick their perspective on work, while in-app messaging and integrations bring the project together one step at a time.
  • Trello: Trello uses “cards” to collect tasks under a single project header. Each card is assigned to someone who manages it as part of the larger project. It’s a visual take on project collaboration. Plus, there are tons of high-profile tie-ins that make Trello an instant asset within your digital app ecosystem.

With this visibility also comes an element of accountability. If a task isn’t finished, team leaders know whom to hold accountable. Or, from a proactive perspective, team members can see when others need help and collaborate to keep the project on schedule.

Best calendar software

Employees working on the same project won’t necessarily have the same schedules. Shared calendars offer transparency into coworkers’ availability, encouraging team members to schedule time together – to discuss joint ventures – when they are mutually available.

Top calendar software:

  • Microsoft Outlook: The old standard, and for good reason. Outlook is an email-calendar client all-in-one. Many businesses utilize Outlook for email, making its calendar component a natural fit. That, and the fact that it’s incredibly easy to use, intuitive, and directly integrated into your email and address book.
  • Google Calendar: In all the ways Microsoft Outlook is convenient and accessible, so is Google Calendar. Where Google has the edge in its usability, which features numerous custom options for creating events, integrating with other cloud services, and recognizing appointments sent to your Gmail account.
  • Calendly: For a calendar that’s not bundled with email or other software, Calendly is a simple, intuitive choice. Calendly makes a great collaborative calendar, allowing users to sync calendars to find common free time for meetings. Calendly also has smart scheduling tools to connect users within the same group and outside contacts.

Calendar software also gives insight into one another’s workloads, encouraging a culture of respect.

Collaboration tools help teams success

Whether instant communication, document collaboration, project planning, or shared calendars, the secret to seamless teamwork is implementing the right tools. Collaborative software enables full group participation and synergy – everyone contributes meaningfully. Each person uses their unique skills and talents to drive the project forward in a show of true collaboration. The easier it is to collaborate and communicate – in real-time – the easier it is for the team to succeed.

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What Mobile Apps Help Increase Productivity?

No matter what line of work you’re in, technology has a foothold in some way, shape, or form. The simplest technological integration is a smartphone application. Workplace apps have become a staple for businesses — especially in hybrid work models — for communication, collaboration, and general operations. Employees use one or more apps as part of their jobs daily.

The benefits of workplace apps are night and day. From improved productivity to real time collaboration and faster communication, using the right applications makes all the difference in the workplace.

Employee productivity relates to efficient work, developed self-confidence, increased motivation, and better creativity. Let’s dive into today’s mobile applications that make this a reality.

Slack

Slack has taken workplace messaging to a whole new level. It’s quicker than email, more organized than texting, and offers more integrations than most other messaging platforms. Slack allows you to maximize productivity.

Slack can be divided into threads specific to a singular topic, allowing you to start an ongoing conversation while staying on-task. Share files, tag collaborators, assign tasks and create checklists, all within a specific channel. The platform is customizable and integrates into many other applications and platforms.

Trello

For those who seek a visual task management system, Trello is a superb tool. It creates a visual workflow and process management system for projects, acting as both a to-do list and a tracking tool. In addition, its cloud-based platform lets you work with collaborators and upload documents directly to each task, keeping everything organized in one place.

As far as simple workplace apps go, Trello takes the cake! Its highly intuitive interface makes it easy for anyone to pick up quickly, making it an excellent tool for businesses with higher staff churn rates or those that rely on contractors who come and go.

15Five

This app is praised as one of the most user-friendly employee apps because it opens a line of communication between managers and subordinates — and across teams. The app allows managers to set up weekly check-ins with employees and has a feature that lets workers ask questions or seek clarification from supervisors. It’s a smart way to boost employee engagement and productivity.

Fast-paced environments and workplaces with bigger teams benefit most from 15Five. This app helps everyone get the recognition they deserve for a job well done while assisting managers in pinpointing areas where they can coach better performance.

Skedulo

As an app for teams operating across multiple workspaces, Skedulo answers the 5W question: who, what, where, why, and when? This workplace app allows managers to schedule their employees at a specific time and location, complete with a job description. The shift gets shown to everyone on the team, so each project is properly coordinated.

With features like maps and calendars built in, job information can be exported or used in conjunction with other productivity apps. Plus, data capture capabilities within the app allow workers to document the job in real time for recordkeeping and transparency purposes.

WhenIWork

Another scheduling app, WhenIWork is a device-native app that comes with the smartphone integrations needed to make it a core part of employee operations. Gig workers — who are currently thriving — and contract employees will get the most out of this app. It pushes schedules and changes via text messages or notification alerts in conjunction with time, date, and location details.

WhenIWork is also a manager’s best friend! Supervisors can approve shift switching, answer questions, and manage a virtual time clock. The tiered permissions of this workplace app make it easy to delegate with transparency.

ClickUp!

ClickUp! saves employees time as an all-in-one productivity platform that brings team members, tasks, and tools together in one place. Its main goal is to have one app replace multiple with all work living in ClickUp. As a result, people are more productive and can dedicate more time to other tasks. The workplace app is for both small teams and large teams.

ClickUp! also has excellent client support, offering assistance 24 hours a day, every day, even through holidays. This is especially beneficial for companies that thrive during the holidays and cannot afford technological mishaps.

Evernote

Note-taking is an underrated skill that benefits anyone immensely in the workplace. Whether tracking the conversation in a meeting or jotting down ideas for a project, Evernote remains the leader for note-taking workplace apps. It’s simple to use and can quickly become an integrated part of any company.

Evernote also shines in its multimedia capabilities. Notes can be supplemented with pictures and video, turned into checklists, tagged and annotated, or stitched together for comprehensive knowledge. Whether for personal or collaborative use, Evernote makes keeping track of notes simple.

Zendesk

Every company has defined processes and practices. But unfortunately, not all have Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) documentation. Zendesk is a hub for your company’s Q&A needs and SOP documents. If anyone has a question, you can point them to Zendesk, where the answer has already been archived. And, if it’s a brand-new query, you can easily create an entry for future reference.

Zendesk has the bonus of being both an internal and customer-facing piece of software. Use it as a workplace app for your day-to-day operations or create a tool your customers can reference to streamline customer service.

Expensify

Expense situations always arise and are usually accompanied by a tedious documentation process. Expensify is a must-have mobile employee app for real time tracking and cataloging expenses.

Employees enter the nature of a purchase, the amount, and other pertinent information. Then, they can take a picture of the receipt with their smartphone. Expenses can then be exported individually or in bulk for processing and reimbursement. This app reduces the headaches and pitfalls of expense reporting and minimizes processing time for quicker reimbursement.

Employee Mobile Apps to Increase Productivity

With smart technology always in our pockets, workplace apps are constantly integrated into everyday business operations — and for a good reason! The right app in the right hands can drastically improve an employee’s ability to get their job done quickly and correctly. Team members can stay focused and complete tasks with better time management.

Whether it’s workplace communication or expense reporting, ultimately, everyone benefits. Explore the above app options to see how they can improve your workplace operations and increase employee productivity.