Online Collaboration Tools - The New Normal for Business Meetings
- Published on - Jan 09, 2022
- 6 mins read
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Summary: Covid-19 has already disrupted normal work practices across industries, and it was digital technology for collaboration that came to the rescue of most businesses at this time. The crisis will have a lasting impact on how organisations function and will encourage them to be more flexible with their work culture, even if they were not originally the proponents of a remote workforce.
Before moving ahead, it is essential to understand what is communication and collaboration. Further then, this page will brief you on how collaboration tools improve team communication.
Businesses could not have envisaged a crisis that would, almost overnight, leave a lasting impact on the way companies do business. Despite initial qualms that it would be complicated for employees to work from different locations and do effective communication and collaboration, most organisations have realised that the remote work practice enforced by Covid-19 could be a norm for the long-term. Businesses already under pressure to tightly manage costs should be able to sense a clear opportunity to realise the cost benefits of a remote workforce if they are smart.
According to a recent Gartner survey, about 74 per cent of CFOs plan to “shift at least 5 per cent of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post-COVID-19.”
What are collaboration tools?
Communication collaboration between employees is an essential feature of their productive operations. When they do not share a common workplace, audio and web communication and collaboration tools emerge as the smart tools that keep them virtually connected. By leveraging such systems and understanding what are the tools of communication, communications can be executed more effectively whilst they retain the safety of their homes.
Even after the lockdowns are fully lifted, communication and collaboration solutions will remain significant in the corona-impacted world where domestic and international business trips may also remain suspended for an extended period. Organisations able to confirm that they expect minimal disruptions to their work processes, with most activities ready to be executed off-site, will emerge ahead of the curve.
If you are also wondering how to improve team communication, then collaborative tools are the go-to choice for you!
The user-friendliness and technology improvements that conferencing tools have imbibed over the past few years have come in handy, just when the world needs them the most and it is improving collaboration between teams. They are expected to reduce friction and virtually bridge the gap between colleagues. However, the multiplicity of these applications and their haphazard use by employees makes them less effective and actually ends up hindering collaboration communication. It also poses a challenge for IT teams that find it difficult to keep track of the different apps that might be in use. Some of these apps may also carry bugs that can compromise on personal details of users and harm their devices.
Choosing collaboration tool that will contribute to the productivity of your organisation
When you have a wide range to choose from, it is essential to adopt a tool that is consonant with the ways your teams function. Are some of the employees comfortable using only the audio features while others prefer to see each other as they collaborate? Do teams communicate in real-time, or is there any time-zone lag?
As you select an application, remember that online collaboration tools must operate the way your employees do, and not the other way round. You can also interview your IT administrators to list the qualities of a conferencing system that will be secure and productive to use.
The audio and web conferencing solution by Tata Tele Business Services (TTBS) offers a carrier-grade collaboration and communication experience as direct and seamless as meeting colleagues in person. Users can effortlessly navigate through their online conference with a centralised control menu bar to quickly access all meeting controls.
TTBS’ audio and web conferencing tool enables your employees to host a meeting online with one click from any device – smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop – giving a unified and consistent experience. It can be used on Windows, Android and iOS devices. Up to 125 people can participate in the online meeting.
They can choose to use their webcam or simply participate via an audio-only mode. The application provides the freedom to make unlimited domestic audio calls with crystal-clear voice quality. The premium version of the application also brings international dial-in access. The auto-dial feature helps to call multiple numbers quickly without gaffes of dialling in wrong numbers. What’s more, it is easy to record a conversation for future reference and create minutes of meetings for those who missed the discussion.
Users can mute their individual lines to avoid unnecessary noise when someone else is speaking and can share their screens for presentations or to let others see their spreadsheet, document, video or software. Thanks to customisable video layouts, it is simple to toggle back and forth between the screen share and webcam-based video.
Long-term usage of audio and web conferencing service – is it different this time?
This is not the first time that web conferencing collaboration tools have seen a spike in demand. On a global scale, the disruption caused by the 9/11 event in 2001 and the outbreak of SARS contagion that affected 29 countries in 2002-2003 had also prompted companies to use video meetings instead of travelling. However, those earlier generations of videotelephony were complex, sluggish and costly to operate.
Technology has advanced since then, and web conferences today are easier to deploy and join and they improve team communication. The new cloud-based hardware-as-a-service systems allow organisations to build personalised meeting rooms with the flexibility of scaling up and down as required.
Furthermore, the rise in demand for web conferencing applications goes even beyond technology this time and broaches the issue of how humans choose to work. As per a recent study by Frost &Sullivan,³ agile and radical working patterns will be one of the key forces driving the future of work. It also mentioned that 90 per cent of Gen Z workforce would prefer to choose their work location, and 80 per cent will want to leverage cutting-edge technology.
The environment created by Covid-19 will only accelerate the need for such agile work styles and will increase the adoption of apps that enhance the work-life balance.
We saw the containment measures against coronavirus leading to lockdowns, mandatory social distancing, and closure of organisations of all kinds. The impact of this pandemic on virtual collaboration in 2020 and the years ahead will be disruptive. The way it has affected connected workplaces around the world, it is bound to have a sustainable and long-lasting influence on user awareness, and eventually, the acceptance and adoption of remote work practices.
Understanding this need to keep audio and web conferencing communication and collaboration solutions ready for the future, TTBS devised a secure and versatile app tailored to organise remote business meetings at any level. A simple OpEx model also makes it affordable for enterprises of all sizes. And it addresses the issues of manageability and monitoring with comprehensive support by a trained team of our associates.
To know more about the TTBS audio and web conferencing service, click on https://www.tatateleservices.com/business-services/collaboration/conferencing-services.
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Covid-19 has already impacted normal work practices across industries, and it was digital collaboration technology that came to the rescue of most businesses. This crisis will have a long-term impact on how businesses operate.Despite initial concerns that employees working from different locations would be difficult, most organizations have realized that the remote work practice mandated by Covid-19 could become the norm in the long run.
Businesses that are already under pressure to cut costs should be able to detect a clear opportunity to reap the cost benefits of a remote workforce.Scope for the future of business collaboration is possible when they do not share a common workspace, audio and web conferencing tools emerge as smart tools that keep them virtually connected. Communications can be carried out more effectively while they remain safe in their homes by utilizing such systems.
Tata Tele Business Services and web conferencing solution provides a carrier-grade collaboration platform for communication and collaboration tools that is direct and seamless. Users can easily navigate through their online conference with a centralized control menu bar that quickly accesses all meeting controls.
TTBS' collaboration and communication platform allows your employees to host a meeting online with one click from any device – smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop – providing a unified and consistent experience. It works on Windows, Android, and iOS devices. The online meeting can have up to 125 participants.
They have the option of using their webcam or simply participating via audio-only mode. The application allows you to make unlimited domestic audio calls with crystal-clear voice quality.The premium version of the app also includes international dial-in access. The auto-dial feature allows you to call multiple numbers at once without having to worry about dialing the wrong numbers.
Organizations can progress toward collaboration maturity by taking the following steps to collaboration-
- Communication is the most basic form of collaboration, but it is essential at every stage of maturity. Organizations must first specify which tools they want teams to use when collaborating on specific aspects of each project.
- When project members progress from open communication to sharing the new information they generate, they have reached the second level of mature collaboration.
- Organizations that recognise such gaps in their processes and begin to strategically assign and share tasks and their requirements among project members have advanced to the third stage of mature collaboration.
- The final stage of mature collaboration entails tracking each project task and other types of items such as goals, deliverables, issues, risks, tests, and changes to completion or end state.