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How Cloud Collaboration Builds a Stronger Team

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Businesses are always looking for ways to build stronger teams. When your team is functioning well, your productivity and innovation increase, not to mention, you have a happier and more engaged workforce.

But how do you build a strong team? There are literally thousands of pages of advice and best practices for team building, but one approach that’s getting a lot of attention these days is to offer high-quality collaboration solutions. While collaboration has always been a foundation of teamwork, without the right tools, it can be difficult to get your entire team on the same page and communicating effectively, especially when they are spread out geographically.

Employing a cloud-based collaboration tool, like the Cisco collaboration solutions, can remove some of the barriers to your team’s ability to work together. Not convinced? Here are some of the ways that collaboration can build a stronger team.

Communication Beyond Email

Anyone who has ever been part of a group email knows how quickly things can get out of hand. Between following the email chain and the endless cycle of replies to all, the message can quickly get muddled and no one will know what they are supposed to be doing. A cloud-based collaboration system takes email out of the equation, allowing teams to share documents, make changes and comments, and stay on the same page in one place. Most solutions allow for asynchronous conversations, which allow your team to check in and out and follow the discussion and chime in when necessary, without forcing them to untangle a complex email chain or stop what they are doing every few minutes to check in. This helps keep productivity high, and everyone feels “in the loop.”

Improved Efficiency and Organization

How often do you have to work on a document, and then email it to a colleague — or send a printed copy for feedback? Not only does that create extra work to incorporate their changes or suggestions, but there is always the possibility of things being lost along the way. Using a cloud-based system, you can place the documents for review into shared cloud drive where everyone can work on them as necessary. This saves time and keeps everyone organized, and allows for better tracking of changes and suggestions.

Working within a hosted collaboration solution also helps keep your team organized. Instead of searching for information or files, they are all stored in a central location that everyone can access. The days of asking, “Hey Bill, do you still have those reports I sent you?” and waiting for Bill to locate them are done. Collaboration solutions, in effect, can improve accountability, which helps teams stay on track, since everyone knows who has what and what’s been done, keeping everything organized and on track.

Improved Flexibility

One challenge faced by many small businesses is the ability to attract top talent, especially when located outside of major metropolitan areas. Cloud collaboration solutions remove most geographic limitations from the hiring process. When employees can log into the work system from anywhere in the world and contribute to projects the same way they’d be able to in-house, small and mid-size businesses can expand their search parameters and draw from a deeper talent pool.

On a more local level, hosted collaboration allows for greater flexibility among your in-house team as well. Research indicates that as many as 70 percent of employees want to work from home — with that number rising to more than 80 percent among those ages 35 to 44 — and a hosted collaboration system would allow more of your employees the flexibility to do that without hurting productivity.

More advanced solutions allow them to receive phone calls, emails, and other messages, and access shared workspaces in the cloud, so it’s almost as if they are actually working in the office. These solutions can go a long way toward improving productivity and employee satisfaction, making your team and your business stronger.

There are a lot of factors that go into building a strong team, including the personalities of the individuals on the team, the leader of the team, and the office environment itself. However, you can give your team a better chance of success by incorporating collaboration solutions into the daily workflow, keeping everyone on task, organized, and happy.

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