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What are the benefits of online collaboration tools?

Conversations around the topic of collaboration have sky-rocketed since the onset of the pandemic. Organisations across the globe were faced with a new challenge: how can remote working be facilitated and, above all, how can it remain as collaborative as the office environment?

For many, online collaboration tools played a significant part in this.

Whether you are continuing to work remotely or are resuming in-person collaboration, it’s important to ensure that you collaborate effectively with colleagues as much as possible. After all, the best organisations benefit from a collaborative process that brings people together to:

  • Solve complex problems
  • Learn new things
  • Improve communication
  • Generate inventive ideas
  • Boost efficiency and productivity

So, can online collaboration platforms enable this? In this blog, we take a look at 5 key benefits of online collaboration tools. We also include some real-life examples of good collaboration that demonstrate the advantages of using online tools.

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The advantages of online collaboration tools

1. Save time and resources

Emails probably take up more time in your work life than you think. In a single week, the average worker spends 28% of their time reading and answering emails and 19% of their time searching for and gathering information. That’s almost half your week spent completing admin-type tasks.

An online collaboration tool could speed things up.

That was the case for Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and WIN / RATIO. By adopting document collaboration software, colleagues were able to work on a single document in real-time. The result? Both organisations were relieved of the tedious, manual process of collating feedback and comments from emails. And they saved hundreds of hours. 

2. Increase productivity

This leads us to the second benefit of online collaboration tools: increased productivity. By automating certain tasks and making work processes more straight forward, your time is freed up to spend on more important activities. So you can get more done in your day.

It also means that you can focus on the tasks that digital tools can’t yet do. Rather than collating feedback from colleagues about, for example, a proposal you’re working on as team, you can concentrate on perfecting your contributions and brainstorming the next great idea. 

3. Improve communication

With an online collaboration tool, your workplace can become more connected than ever. This is especially useful for colleagues who aren’t always based in the same office or even the same country – something which is becoming increasingly common in our hybrid working world.

Even when not working in disparate locations, online collaboration tools can help improve your team's communication skills. A good online collaboration tool minimises the chance of colleagues missing important emails or updates, and ensures that everyone working together on a project is on the same page. 

4. Remote collaboration is made easier

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, many businesses embraced online collaboration software, perhaps for the first time. Not only does it improve how colleagues communicate when working in different locations, but it can also help when working with external third parties.

Take Covid Moonshot, for an example of good collaboration. This was a global project that sprung into existence last year when participants working across the life science industry joined together with a common goal. They wanted to develop a pill that could help fight coronavirus. To collaborate on experiments and analyse data together, the participants used online collaboration tools. As a result, the group achieved impressive breakthroughs in drug development and are testing a pill next year.

Another benefit of online collaboration tools during the pandemic? They removed the need for travel between locations. Not only ideal during Covid-19, this also had environmental and cost-saving benefits as virtual collaboration proved an effective alternative to traditional in-person conferences and meetings.

One example of this would be the World Health Organisation’s World Health Assembly that took place during the midst of Covid-19. Ordinarily, the Assembly would be attended by hundreds in person. However, due to global lockdowns, the WHO used PleaseReview, an online document collaboration tool, to ‘conduct its first-ever digital World Health Assembly.’ Without an online collaboration tool, it’s likely that the Assembly could not have gone ahead. 

5. Boost team morale

Online collaboration tools provide employees with more freedom to work where they want, while doing so more efficiently. If everyone’s work is also being received and acknowledged – rather than becoming lost in email chains – they’re likely to feel more appreciated.

What’s more, we know that good collaboration can generate inventive ideas and help colleagues learn from one another. With a virtual tool that enables better communication and sharing of knowledge, it becomes easier to inspire each other. For example, a comment on a shared document that is visible to everyone may spark an idea in somebody else.

And when your business starts to see improved results, there’s a good chance your team will be more engaged, happy and productive.


Next steps

To summarise, the advantages of online collaboration include:

  • Saving your business valuable time and resources
  • Increasing productivity so you can focus on the most important tasks
  • Improving communication within teams, between teams and with third parties
  • Making remote working more efficient
  • Boosting team morale by making work processes simpler and generating improved results
  • Helping to overcome obstacles, and generate ideas and solutions to complex problems

Wondering how to bring these benefits into your own business? Discover the benefits of online collaboration tools for yourself with PleaseReview, our document collaboration software designed to make your collaboration headaches a thing of the past.

Find out how PleaseReview benefits our customers

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Written by

Abbie Glossop

As Digital Content Executive at Ideagen, Abbie is responsible for writing engaging and educational content for Ideagen’s digital channels. With a background in writing and social media, Abbie is committed to understanding the needs of our customers and providing insightful and valuable content that helps them to achieve their objectives.