1.3 Importance of Online Collaboration for Business
Now that we have established the meaning and the difference between synchronous and asynchronous online collaboration, it is time to get an insight on its importance, and understand the ways in which it can be beneficial for your business.
During the last decade and especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people are choosing to work remotely. Entrepreneur’s business activities are no longer confined to one office or building. Online collaboration has become the basis of entrepreneurial success (Gaurav Tiwari, 2021). The reason for this is that it brings about various business benefits in many different industries.
Let’s have a closer look on the main advantages of Online collaboration:
Time and Cost Efficiency:
By using an online collaboration software (e.g. Google Docs), team members are able to work on the same document in real-time and provide feedback directly on the document without having to exchange numerous emails. Most online collaboration tools and software offer free versions or flexible pay-as you go licensing ensuring you only pay for the exact amount of users you need. Moreover, by collaborating remotely businesses can save up on equipment, electricity and space (Kahootz, 2021). It is more convenient to organise meetings online via video conferencing tools especially if people live in different locations. Research shows that virtual meetings are more likely to start on time and that participants are more focused and do not waste time as they tend to do during face 2 face meetings (Arreola and Daems, 2021).
Online collaboration provides people with tools they need to work with others from any location, including from home and while travelling. It enables people to be productive when it best suits them (Kahootz, 2021). In addition, online collaboration tools automate tasks which make work processes more straight forward and save up time. In this way, you have more time to spend on more important activities and get to accomplish more during the day
If you choose to keep all your documents and personal information within an online collaboration platform, then you do not have to worry if it is safe and secure. Majority of these platforms include firewalls, two-step authentication, encryptions, password protections to protect your data (Kahootz, 2021). However, being extra safe is always a good idea. Make a habit of keeping a backup copy of your documents on your device or on an external hard drive to eliminate any risks of losing your data.
Through online collaboration, your business can become more connected than ever. Especially if you live in a rural area away from the city, you will be able to expand your network and business without having to leave your house. Even if that is not the case, online collaboration tools can help improve your team’s communication skills as they minimize the risk of missing important updates or meetings and ensure that everything is organized and on track.
By using the right online tools, you can reach your audience/clients way faster and cheaper. Instead of contacting them though phone calls, face-to-face meetings and paper surveys, you can simply contact them through email or social media, organize a virtual meeting or create on online survey though Google Forms.