Virtual document collaboration: the new norm
15 April 2020
Collaboration lies at the heart of any successful organisation. It allows individuals to constructively contribute their knowledge and expertise to solve problems and gain skills, innovating and improving every aspect of the world around us. Companies have always strived to harness the act of working together to improve day to day productivity. However, a new challenge we’re presented with is how to maintain successful document collaboration when employees are not in the same location.
Retaining communication with co-workers remotely
Problems co-operating on tasks often exist even within an office setting, however, there is no time better than the present to illustrate what issues arise when face to face interactions are removed from the equation. The main concern with remote working is communication. How can you preserve the same amount of work-related connection when the only person you can directly speak to is your partner who works in a completely different industry, your dog or perhaps a brick wall?
Currently, we are experiencing truly unique times in modern memory, with every firm turning towards working remotely where possible. Eventually, these imposed restrictions will pass, however, the current trend of increasing rates of remote working is here to stay. Global Workplace Analytics have illustrated this trend in their research. Over the last decade, they have seen the number of US employees telecommuting increase by 115%. This figure will only continue to rise with advancements of technology, resulting in a growing number of companies facing the issue of indirect effective collaboration and investing in working from home software to keep things as efficient as possible.
Streamlining document collaboration in the digital space
Working on the same document can be an extremely particular and nuanced task. Communicating the importance of your suggestions is vital. The easiest way is to simply explain your thoughts verbally, but when working remotely the opportunities to speak to your colleagues are greatly reduced. People cannot be expected to be on the phone all the time, especially working from home with kids running around and trying to maintain a home-schooling routine. When using emails or other alternative methods to convey your meaning, the sheer amount of time spent on these sorts of projects can balloon in size without you realising.
Not only do we find companies suffering from vast time-wasting inefficiencies when collaborating remotely, but in our experience, they also exhibit a lack of control throughout the review process. When reviewing documentation, the smallest details can have the largest repercussions; an incorrect decimal place can prevent your organisation’s clinical approval, or a slight rewording can win an important contract. However, it becomes clear that remote working software is needed when collaborators are working on outdated document versions, valuable insights are getting lost in the mountain of overlapping suggestions and, in worst case scenarios, sensitive information is inadvertently shared to the wrong departments or external users.
How document collaboration software can help
Our document collaboration software, PleaseReview brings together colleagues working in multiple locations without compromising the quality of the work produced. It allows multiple collaborators to work on the same version of a document in real-time. No duplicate versions, email attachments or having to collate suggested changes, it all happens within the software itself. The document author has increased control over the document, having the ability to review all edits and comments before putting them in place. It also provides a powerful redaction function when working with sensitive information, eliminating the need to do this manually.
There are many quotes I could have used to leave you with to demonstrate the significance of collaboration, ranging from poetic to painfully corny, but I think that Steve Jobs put it most plainly: “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”
Our document collaboration software can bring your team together, no matter where they’re located. Request a free demo.