Web-Based Collaborative Platforms

Does the work environment within your company seem disorganized?

Use collaborative platforms to improve workplace communication and organization. If you are a business manager or department head, one of your top priorities is probably efficiency. Certain projects have tight deadlines. It is also important to make sure employees you oversee make the best use of time. An efficient workplace often leads to more happy clients and increased profits. Maintaining company efficiency is notoriously difficult, especially if your staff is spread out. When certain staff members work from home or in other locations, you must find ways to improve communication and collaboration.

In the past, communicating between multiple locations was limited to telephone calls, and later emails were added to the mix. Today, there are no such limitations. Staff members can communicate from across town, another state, or even another country in real-time. They can also use various web-based collaborative platforms to keep work flowing smoothly and efficiently. In fact, many companies now consider such platforms essential work tools.

What is a Web-Based Collaborative Platform?

Collaboration is working together to meet a common goal or share ideas. Web-based collaboration involves using various online tools for that purpose. When companies use web-based collaborative platforms, teamwork is improved for the greater good of those companies. Team members in spread out locations can still work together without traveling to physically see each other. 

What Are Some Popular Features of Web-Based Collaborative Platforms?

One of the most important features of web-based collaborative platforms is instant communication capability. That typically comes in the form of instant messages or text messages. It can also include verbal or video conferencing options. Constant, instant access to communication allows all members of teams to stay informed regarding project progress. It also allows them to contribute new ideas to help move projects along. 

A second important feature of collaborative platforms is progress tracking. If you are a business owner or manager, the ability to track progress is pivotal if you wish to ensure work efficiency and see deadlines met. Many online collaborative tools provide tracking options in various forms, such as charts, graphs, or data spreadsheets. Having quick access to already compiled data helps you create progress reports. It also allows you to quickly identify any potential project delays or problems. Other popular features of web-based collaboration platforms to look for include:

  • Collaborative Document Editing

  • Data Security Features

  • Cloud-Based File Storage

  • Easy Integration of Other Software Programs

  • Mobile App Options

  • Calendars, Notes, and Other Personal Organization Options for Managers or Owners

What Are the Benefits of Using Web-Based Collaborative Platforms in the Workplace?

There are numerous potential benefits of web-based collaboration platform use. The primary product of using such a platform is increased efficiency, but that comes from improvements in many different processes. For example, using collaboration tools often eliminates the need to waste time on composing emails. Instead, employees can use video calls or real-time document editing to communicate in seconds. Automating certain processes also improves company efficiency by allowing employees to accomplish more daily. They may:

  • Have More Time to Devote to Marketing or Other Tasks

  • Answer Client Questions Faster, Improving the Reputations of Their Companies

  • Could Work on Multiple Projects at Once While Staying Organized

Another benefit of collaborative platforms in the workplace is the ability to share vital knowledge between organizations and countries. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) was able to use collaborative tools during the COVID-19 crisis. Its coordinated efforts allowed experts in countries around the world to compare data and work together to develop treatments. Law enforcement, education, and healthcare are some of many industries in which the sharing of information between multiple companies is sometimes necessary for mutual success or public safety.

What Are Some of the Best Web-Based Collaborative Platforms Available?

Collaborative tools take many forms. Some are designed purely for quick communication. Others focus on file sharing capabilities. Certain tools combine many different features in one convenient package as well. When selecting one or more collaborative platforms for use within your company, you must consider the features you value most. Then check top platforms to see which ones offer those features. Here are some top platforms to investigate:

  • Microsoft SharePoint is one of the top collaborative tools available from a company that has been a top name in computer software for decades. It includes email and calendar features, as well as data analytics options. Team members can also use it to share and edit documents or store important files on the cloud, such as archival files.

  • Dropbox provides a cloud-based way to protect and secure data. At the same time, it allows data editing and file sharing by multiple employees in real-time. Its data syncing features also allow a single employee to view updated data from multiple personal or office devices. Dropbox also incorporates HelloSign, which allows users to sign documents with digital signatures for easier employee progress tracking.

  • Confluence by Atlassian allows users to create spaces for specific projects or teams. Individuals can also create spaces to organize their own project goals or thoughts. Labels and advanced search features allow users to quickly find the spaces or pages they need. Confluence also includes announcement and blog features for sharing information between multiple teams or company wide.

  • Slack is a collaborative tool that focuses on ease of communication between members of companies. Slack offers instant messaging (IM) and group chat options. Chatters can also take advantage of other features, such as easy in-message file sharing.

  • Basecamp is one of the oldest and most well-established online collaborative platforms. It includes schedules, message boards, and document sharing capabilities. Automated reminder messages and check-in capabilities are also available.

How Much Does it Cost to Use a Web-Based Collaborative Platform?

Most collaborative platforms have multiple subscription levels and offer widely varied features. For example, Basecamp provides many collaborative tools on one convenient platform. The company offers a limited membership level for personal use completely free. However, its business subscription costs $99 per month. That subscription provides access to all Basecamp features. In contrast, Dropbox is focused solely on file sharing and has far fewer features. Its subscription services range in price from $9.99 to $16.58 per month. Carefully compare features and prices before selecting collaborative platforms for use within your company.