Since time immemorial, individuals have worked together to contribute to achieving a common objective for the benefit of their group or community.
Back in the old days, people gathered in one location, such as town squares or city centers, to discuss matters of governance or commerce. Fast forward to the pre-internet era, group interactions were still done face-to-face in offices and conference rooms, where everybody had to be in the same place at the same time.
Technology has since upped the ante. Nowadays, people do not even have to be in the same room, building, city, or even country to work. Digital tools have allowed individuals to collaborate, regardless of where they are.
Increasing Complexity, Increasing Risk
However, digital collaboration is sometimes met with resistance, even by those who stand to benefit from it the most. For instance, a recent Gartner survey of over 3,000 workers in seven countries found that only about 7% to 18% of respondents indicated readiness to adopt products and services that support new ways of working.
Not even digital collaboration can overcome the lack of camaraderie among team members. Individuals sometimes end up having different goals due to different cultures, work patterns, personalities, or adaptive capacities.
There are people who are more technically adept than others. As a result, while some individuals may feel that digital tools are making their jobs easier for them, others may regard it as a hindrance to productivity because of the additional burden of learning how these tools work.
Technology, being dynamic, also brings the possibility of familiar processes becoming obsolete. What is good and effective today may not be as useful in a year or so. Upgrades are not only desirable but necessary, and every team member must be adaptive to changes.
Businesses are also reluctant to use digital collaboration tools for the fear of compromising the security of their networks. This fear is valid, especially given the sophistication and ingenuity of today’s cyber threats.
Collaboration Sets Your Workforce Free
Nonetheless, the benefits of digital collaboration far outweigh the perceived challenges attached to it.
Harvard Business Review's Alexandra Samuel notes that online collaboration solves very specific problems for the workforce—those that involve time, distance, and communication.
These solutions have become even more relevant in today’s increasingly dispersed workforce. As much as 95% of workers already connect with colleagues remotely, even if they themselves work in a traditional set-up.
Freed from physical constraints, teams from one country can work together on the same databases with their global counterparts as if they were just down the hall from one another.
Freed from the limitations of analog systems, employees can count on shared task lists and tracking systems to know what their colleagues are working on and how they are progressing toward completing tasks.
Freed from relying on a small, geographically limited pool of talent, managers can pull in freelance resources from on-demand labor platforms. Actually, it is more common than you think as a recent study found that 46% of businesses in the U.S.A. reported using on-demand labor for over a year at a time.
As a result, businesses can quickly configure their workforce to respond to clients’ needs and even build a wider client base from further afield.
Not that online collaboration is completely free from risks, but any risks can be managed or mitigated with the right safeguards. Challenges can be addressed through a proper briefing, constant training, and the right mindset.
How Globe Enables Digital Collaboration
Being a big player in telecommunications, we have a first-hand experience of how complex it is to keep up with digitalization. Not only is it challenging to migrate to technologies that make our services more agile, but we also have to adapt every time there is a change.
Nevertheless, change is necessary, which is why we offer businesses with a suite of collaborative products, under our Digital Workforce Solutions suite, designed to facilitate their own transformation in the digital age:
- GoCanvas allows users to go paperless and customize existing mobile business apps and forms, applying their own company logo, brand, colors, and more. Not only does it allow easy and safe access by synchronizing files with Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud storage platforms, it also enables companies to collect valuable customer data.
- G Suite facilitates extensive collaboration through tools for email, schedule arrangements, text and video chat, document creation, project website, and online storage and sync.
- Microsoft Office 365 combines the familiar MS Office applications with cloud-based business email, shared calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing. These allow users to make use of multiple devices, so that they do not even have to be at their office desks when they reach out to their team.
If you have been thinking about migrating your team’s tasks to digital platforms, there is no other time to start than now. These products bring the collaborative process into the 21st century. Not only do these Digital Workforce Solutions modernize processes, enable productivity, and fast-track results, these also catalyze an important aspect that completes the equation for success: teamwork.