5 tips for online collaboration

Written on 31 October, 2016 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories Small BusinessTags office 365online businesssmall business

There are a number of tools now available to make collaborating with your team across time and distance easier. Software like Microsoft’s Office 365 have various in-built collaboration tools to make secure and simple file-sharing, connecting with your colleagues, and managing security a breeze.

Manage documents easily

Online collaboration tools make the most of technology by allowing us to work on and edit documents without the difficulties associated with trying to circulate and edit hard copies, especially when you aren’t always located in the same office as your colleagues.

You don’t need to be restricted to only one person working on a document at a time, or emailing files back and forth for reviews and edits – with file sharing tools, you and your colleagues can work on the same file at the same time, even if you’re in different locations.

It helps with version control too – you won’t lose track of the latest version in lengthy email chains, or waste time getting halfway through making edits to a file then receiving an updated version before you’ve sent your changes off to the group!

Access your files across multiple devices

The days of working exclusively from the same device in the same office are long gone. Now, it’s feasible that in the course of one day you could work from a desktop computer in the office, from your mobile phone or tablet, and from your personal laptop at home or while commuting.

Ever planned to take work home with you to finish but forgotten to email it to yourself or take the file with you on a USB? Using cloud-based storage allows you to work on the same file across multiple devices and removes the risk of forgetting (or losing!) the latest file or version.

Manage security and permissions

Using team sites and access permissions carefully significantly reduces the worry of accidentally emailing a sensitive file to the wrong person or losing a USB containing confidential documents. You can put together a team site that only your team can access, and/or control permissions on a file-by-file basis, including distinguishing between read-only and edit controls.

This isn’t limited to people in your team either; you can give access to people both inside and outside of your company or team.

Encourage flexible work arrangements

Online collaboration tools make it easier to allow remote working, for yourself or for your team.

Don’t let public transport hassles, cars breaking down, sick kids home from school, or middle-of-the-day appointments write off a whole day right when you don’t need it - set up a remote access team site, share files using cloud-based storage, and catch up from wherever you are, on any device.

Meet in real-time across locations and time zones

Using a program like Skype, you can connect with colleagues anywhere in the world with video, voice, and even screen sharing.

Setting up for meetings using a program like this can save you significant time and travel costs.

Learn more about our online collaboration tools here.