By Jeff Revoy
Chief Operations Officer
SpaceIQ

Some say technology is eliminating human interaction but, in reality, new tools improve communication in the workplace. The latest workplace collaboration trends help bring top talent together—and keep them engaged—for increased productivity.

So, what is a business collaboration? It’s any activity that brings workers together to achieve a common goal. Software for business collaboration offers four core values:

  • Cost savings: Use tools to reduce labor costs, prevent errors, and make data-driven decisions
  • Flexibility: Platforms work across multiple locations on desktop or mobile
  • Scalability: Easily change the number of active users; only pay for services you use
  • Usability: Applications have intuitive graphical interfaces and built-in support

The pillars of virtual collaboration are a communal workspace and communication tools. The future of workplace collaboration is a world where distance doesn’t hamper productivity. Well-designed communication tools are essential to providing a good employee experience. You must stay on top of collaboration trends to make wise decisions about new features that will benefit your company and which tools have outlived their usefulness. Here are some recently developed features that expand and enhance basic collaboration tools:

Peer-to-Peer Communication

A phone and Rolodex used to be the communication tools for a functioning office. As tech advanced, they gave way to cloud-based software built for modern workplace collaboration. Email, chat, video, and file-sharing drive peer-to-peer contact—often in a single solution that saves money and scales to your needs. The best options make it easy to add or remove entire groups of users and require no special equipment. Support costs disappear once users direct queries to the SaaS provider instead of your help desk.

Meetings

Wireless meeting rooms will soon become the standard for group discussions. Users join or present meetings without logging into another platform—a huge improvement over speaker phones and projectors. The most-impressive applications use augmented reality to increase engagement. Co-workers communicate via 3D avatars, closing global interaction gaps in an instant. Virtual meeting rooms are quickly replacing physical spaces, which reduces workplace costs.

Support

Chatbots have been supporting customers for decades, with increasing success as artificial intelligence improves. Some employee interactions don’t require a human touch, so why not apply the same cost-effective principle to the workplace? Automated systems free IT from answering similar questions and performing repetitive procedures. The same applies to human resource tasks like recruiting, onboarding, and managing benefits. AI improves several aspects of intra-office support:

  • Faster response times
  • Trend analysis
  • Consistent service
  • Improved security

File Storage

The future of workplace collaboration wouldn’t be possible without cloud-based files. They’re secure, easy to access, and infinitely simpler to update than their predecessors. However, the cost of storing digital files can escalate quickly. Central file storage can change from a miracle to a burden when repositories are not diligently managed . Complete file synchs are costly and unnecessary for many assets. The best file management platforms let users customize synching requirements and user permissions to eliminate unnecessary data processing and reduce costs.

Content collaboration platforms are a must-have. Enhancements to graphical, drag-and-drop file spaces now allow for rich metadata that facilitate even better collaboration with tagging, comments, and version history.

Time are changing
When new trends arise, old practices are laid to rest. Cloud-based infrastructures are replacing legacy hardware. Emerging business collaboration technologies remove the physical, social, and psychological barriers to collaboration. That paves the way for more and better employee collaboration. Cloud-based business collaboration tools make local teams more efficient and make virtual teams more organic.

Keep reading: Collaboration Software for Modern Workers.