Businesses in today’s market are exposed to a variety of tools, methods and strategies to increase collaboration than ever before. This means they will need to target and identify which exact collaboration techniques they want to adopt in their SMB, such as new devices, solutions, downloaded apps. This makes collaboration a lot easier and assess-able for businesses alternating and changing the traditional notions of teamwork and collaboration in the workforce means.
With the growing surge of remote workers, and flexible work/life balance, collaboration is paramount for businesses to figure out and identify some of the techniques they can use to accommodate remote workers and ensure they reach their business goals and objectives.
This is further compounded with the introduction of Gen Yers, as they will be more technological adapt then their older counterparts and impact technological adoption and use in the workplace.
Therefore it’s important that SMBs look to increases collaboration in the workforce as a flexible workplace not only inspires loyalty and productivity, but reduces silos of information and creates free flowing of information between departments and staff.
Knowing this, we at Quartet have listed some ways you can increased and foster collaboration in the workplace.
1. BYOD hurdlers in the workplace.
Let’s face it, the majority of workers are using their own mobile devices during work. This presents a unique opportunity for businesses looking to expand and make use of multiple free software mobile apps that can transition into your business, such as WhatsApp, Google Drive, Skype, Office 365, VOIP, Yammer, and Instant Messengers. Making use of these apps can not only help your business increase collaboration, but also foster sharing of data and information.
It’s also important to consider the impact BYOD will have on Gen Yers and their use of technology, as their adoption and use of mobile devices is greater and therefore they would be more comfortable using mobile devices in the workplace, such as tablets, smartphones, or laptops.
Making use of mobile devices in the workplace provides SMBs the ability to reorganize and shape their office space, this is due to the mobility offered by mobile devices and an opportunity for businesses to alternate and shape their existing work space and create new work environments that foster and encourage participation and discussion among their workforce.
But BYOD is without its downsides, it’s important for SMBs to ensure that they have some sort of protection policy or risk assessment plan in place to regulate and assess the free flowing of their company information on BYOD.
Due to the nature and implication of mobile devices it can be problematic and possibly disastrous for SMBs to have their company data fall into the wrong hands, therefore it’s important for SMBs to proactively account and put in measures to deal with BYOD in the workplace and introduce cyber security, as it can be hugely beneficial but also problematic if not checked out.
2. Implementing security to safeguard collaboration.
With more open and collaborative work environment, this makes it easier to share and disseminate company data more freely, but this is not without downside.
If SMBs aren’t careful their private company data could end up in the wrong hands. This is why it’s important for SMBs to implement and introduce specific BYOD policies to account for problems such as misplaced and lost devices, employees leaving the organization, or hacked or exploited mobile devices. All these issues pose a significant risk for SMBs in understanding and trying to protect their data from falling into the wrong hands. But once developed, this can provides SMBs with clear guidelines on the best practices of how to use and manage BYOD in the workplace and this will allow their workforce to work without any concerns.
One of the additional benefits of doing so provides SMB’s IT department the ability and scope of what they need to do in order to protect their data from cyber-attacks and intruders, as any system is only as strong as its weakest link .
For more information regarding security checkout our security page.
3. Finding the right mobile solutions.
It can be hard for SMBs to navigate the marketplace, but trying to find the right mobile solutions to bring into your business can be equally, if not more difficult. This is due to the vast number of solutions available, making finding the right solutions problematic for SMBs if they’re not sure of what to look for. In looking for mobile solutions in the workplace, SMBs need to look for long-term solutions that will continual be in use and offer the security and technology they need to accomplish their business objectives and goals.
This means investing in solutions that fits in their workflow, are scalable, offers value over the long-term, is secure on mobile devices, integration with existing key platforms, and has multi-functional collaboration tools. Looking at or target some of these metrics can not only help businesses find the right mobile solutions for their business, but will offer them a map of how to navigate the marketplace and invest in technology that not only helps their business but is fostering and encouraging collaboration in their business.
This is in part to the adoption process and implementation of solutions on the mobile devices, due to their accessibility, it can be hard to find one overlaying solution that can solve all your needs, so when looking at mobile solutions it would be best for SMBs to identify certain key metrics they are trying to target and use that as a starting points in investing in particular technology. This helps SMBs in not only identifying and targeting the right solution but ensure that any solution chosen will benefit them. In thinking about solutions SMBs need to keep in mind that end-users, as they will be the ones using it day to day, and with a diverse workforce that includes Millennials as well as older employees having a solution that is easy to use and access is important. You don’t want to isolate or segment your workforce by adopting difficult or hard to use mobile solutions.
Creating an environment where the end-users have a say on which applications they want to use is vital to adopting and fully-supporting a mobile solution in the workplace. Providing consensus and feedback will allow your SMB to fluidly make changes to solutions and find the right fit instead of using a mismanaged or ill-functioning solution. It’s also wise to keep in mind the accessibility and use of any solution you adopt. You have to face the fact that your workforce is also going to be remote and mobile and therefore ensuring they have a useful accessible solution is your first concern, especially considering your workers could be in coffee shops, at home or on the go, having a fully functional and connected solution will help and encourage them to be more collaborative and productive.
4. The right environment for each tool.
When considering mobile solutions that encourage collaboration, you have to start considering some of the environments and obstacles your workforce will be facing while trying to accomplish their work, such as issues sharing files, video conferencing, and having real-time conversations with workers remotely. Being able to target and deal with these issues should be the prime objective for SMBs not only looking to encourage and foster collaboration, but also increase productivity and cross-disciplines in their business.
With the selection and range of mobile solution available, it’s important to also consider that your workforce will have different expertise with technology, not all going to be working in the office, and will work in different times depending on their schedule. This means some of your workers are going to be more productive at night than in the day, or if some are across the world and still need to connect and communicate with their peers back home. Having the right tools not only accommodates these situations but also allows them to flourish and make use of their positions.
It’s also important to ensure that any communication is secure and offer real-time collaborative environment that keeps objectives and projects moving forward without experiencing deadlines or pushbacks due to remote employees. Doing so will allows better clarification, problem solving and supports employees to work on independent tasks collectively, fueling content and production based activities.
Using cloud based mobile solutions can be hugely beneficial for projects that need to be worked on seamlessly regardless of location and destination, and with new improvements made with the new generation of mobile collaborative apps your workforce can create text-based chats with audio, video, web clips and share any files regardless if it’s from a mobile devices, desktop or in the cloud.
With growing innovation continuing through 2016, it’s important for SMBs to continual adopt and use mobile solutions that not only offer to help increase collaboration but change the way their workforce shares, participants and completes projects. This ensures that your workforce get the most out of their technology and use their time productivity regardless of where they are.