Advanced Collaboration Tools for a Dynamic Workforce

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the adoption of telecommuting, the work environment was transforming. Generational preferences, environmental concerns, and emerging technologies are quickly making the traditional workplace a thing of the past. Work is turning out to be more about what you do and not where you go every day.

Casting a Wider Hiring Net

The wave of Millennials and Gen Zers entering today’s workforce are looking for more freedom and flexibility than workers from previous generations. Instead of planning their life around their career obligations, today’s dynamic workers seek opportunities to integrate work into their lives. The shift to a dynamic workforce is enabling organizations to hire and retain talent from a broader, more diverse talent pool. It is easier to attract highly skilled candidates when the work is not constrained to a specific office or city. Dynamic work arrangements are particularly appealing to candidates who aren’t interested in moving to an expensive urban center or working in a cubical on a rigid schedule.

Advanced Team Collaboration Tools

Advanced team collaboration tools can unleash the potential of a dynamic workforce. Collaboration technology is essential for establishing a culture where dynamic workers can contribute effectively to the organization’s shared success. With video conferencing, file and screen sharing, real-time messaging, and presence features, people no longer need to be in the same room with their coworkers to stay connected and feel ownership, accountability, and a sense of belonging.

Goodbye Email — Hello Productivity

Traditionally, email and face-to-face meetings drove the flow of information across organizations. However, today’s dynamic workers are adopting tools that enable real-time information exchange and instant access to coworkers and resources. While email is still essential for external communications, team collaboration applications are quickly replacing email as the primary source of information exchange for internal communication.

Unlike email that can lock up information in one person’s inbox, team collaboration apps keep everyone in the loop. They retain a history of all conversations and documents and enable all team members to see and contribute to every discussion. Email threads can get fractured as senders shift between personal and group messages. When someone forgets to reply-all to a group thread or essential people are left off the cc line, team members often make decisions with conflicting information. Team collaboration applications maintain a comprehensive record of all conversations, in context, in one space, so everyone on the team is aware of their coworker’s progress and up to date on progress toward achieving team goals.

Team collaboration apps can also make email attachments and links to document folders a thing of the past. Members can add documents and background information, to a team space for everyone to view and modify. With a single copy of the document accessible to everyone can see updates as they are made, and there is no need to merge multiple versions at the end of a project.

Much like adding someone to the To or CC line of an email, @mentions are supported in team spaces to attract a specific team member’s attention. The mentioned users receive a notification, and the @mention provides a link to the user’s contact information. Team collaboration applications also enable real-time, one-to-one, personal conversations with other team members via text, phone, or video chat.

Another advantage that team collaboration applications have over email is the ability to schedule and host meetings on the fly. From group chats to video conferences, team collaboration applications offer features for recording your sessions, sharing your desktop, and quickly finding, displaying, and editing documents in place. Many experts believe team collaboration applications will soon be offering features for storing a video recording of all meetings in the team space to provide users additional background on the timing and motivation for the meeting.

With the workplace evolving to accommodate more dynamic workers, team collaboration applications are becoming more valuable for keeping them seamlessly connected with the people, information, and resources they need to accomplish their jobs effectively. Instead of stopping to check email every twenty minutes, team collaboration tools provide immersive experiences for staying connected without switching between applications. As the workplace becomes more dispersed and remote, forward-thinking organizations are moving away from email and developing new, more productive workflows that leverage team collaboration applications.

Cisco Webex Teams or Microsoft Teams?

The industry-leading team collaboration platforms, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams offer a rich set of features and services for keeping your team connected and organized. Both Microsoft and Cisco are positioning these applications as their premier web-based communications platform moving forward and are devoting extensive resources to their development. The competition for market share is fierce, compelling both companies to release updates that improve security and add new features at a furious pace.

Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams have many features in common. They both offer channels for persistent chat and document sharing, along with softphone features and video conferencing. Both integrate with a wide variety of third-party applications and extend meeting experiences with conference room touchscreens. Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams also have some key differences. How they integrate with existing technology, workflows, and licensing agreements are all factors in determining which platform is the right fit for an organization. In general, Microsoft Teams makes a lot more sense for organizations already heavily invested in Office 365. Microsoft Teams complements Office 365 productivity and collaboration experiences. On the other hand, Cisco Webex Teams may be a better option for organizations operating Cisco enterprise unified communications and contact center applications.

Advanced Collaboration Tools Lead to Team Success

Effective collaboration drives success and team collaboration platforms provide the essential tools for increasing productivity, improving staff retention rates, and attracting better talent. With advanced real-time collaboration tools, dynamic workers can get more work done in more places.

If you need help navigating the complexities of team collaboration tools, a Cerium Networks expert can help you align your collaboration technology strategies with your business needs and implement a secure enterprise-wide collaboration solution that meets the needs of your dynamic workforce today and into the future.

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