Technology has changed the way we work in offices for several decades now. We can only expect this to continue in the future. But, technology has done a lot to boost collaboration and improve workplace efficiency as well.
Technology has helped people collaborate since the invention of the telephone, but really exploded with possibilities once the Internet came around. Let’s look at some of the top technologies that can help boost collaboration in the workplace today.
Digital whiteboards allow people to stop fighting over the whiteboard at a meeting. If somebody has an idea, they can simply use a computer connected to the whiteboard and add in whatever they want. Since the whiteboard acts as a screen, different windows can appear on the whiteboard, allowing for much more space than that of a traditional whiteboard. No longer do you and the other people at the office have to fight over that one pen.
Digital boards can also load programs from your computer, so you can use them to share presentations with others. It’s an excellent way to get complicated ideas — even videos — out to a large group of people in the same area at once.
Microsoft’s SharePoint technology, which runs tightly integrated with Microsoft Office, lets people manage documents, lists, discussion boards, Wikipedia pages, portals, and workflow. In one single program, multiple people can share each of these and work on them together. The program is also integrated with Microsoft’s Active Directory and Exchange environment. This offers a seamless environment that allows teams to collaborate. There’s also a SharePoint Designer — a free program that lets you develop your own things on the software, and it works great for teaching developers all about SharePoint.
People often forget to what extent smartphones can actually help. Sure, it’s not the greatest platform for writing a paper, memo, or e-mail on, but it keeps you connected with just about everything you want. You can certainly check any messages you receive that you link up to your smartphone. If you have bigger programs you need to check out, Dropbox at the very least lets you view them, even if you may not have the power to open everything. You can check your e-mails, share videos, check and set schedules, plan meetings, and stay connected in pretty much every way imaginable thanks to a smartphone.
Laptops might seem like an outdated choice on this list, but they help with collaboration more than a desktop computer. These days companies like Lenovo have laptops that come incredibly light and thin so you can take them anywhere. They also have laptops with screens that aren’t stuck in one position to the keys. They can turn and flip, making it easier to show what you’re doing in a meeting. This allows other people to make changes or additions (thanks to the touch screen), acting more like a tablet than a laptop, since you can fold it so that the keyboard isn’t in your way.
IBM Lotus Notes
Lotus Notes provides people with an excellent program for collaboration. It works with other IBM programs that also increase collaboration, such as Sametime Instant Messaging. Lotus Notes has proven itself a major player in terms of collaboration software.
Jive calls its program social productivity software. The program includes project management, discussions, blogs, microblogging, polls, tagging, and announcements. If you don’t know what microblogging provides, it essentially acts as Twitter for your business. You can also customize the home page and add Jive’s Widgets on any page. It also allows you to get access to Jive data when using services on the web.
Check out how you can boost collaboration in the workplace using these technologies.