The most important aspect of working in a team is efficient collaboration. No matter how skilled the individual members, they will never function properly as a team if they can’t cooperate with one another. Although no substitute for an inability to collaborate, there are many tools to improve a team’s ability to work together remotely. Here are the best 5 collaboration tools for your home or business:

1) Screen Sharing
Screen sharing is first on this list simply because these days, it’s practically integral. In fact, any online conferencing software that does not include screen sharing is just lacking in useful functionality. Imagine having to discuss a document with a group of ten people: Sure, you could send everyone your file, but you wouldn’t be certain of who is actually following along, or whether they’ve even received it at all!

Screen sharing allows many people to view the same document simultaneously and follow along together. This tool is absolutely essential for larger conference calls, especially if multiple participants are collaborating.

2) Document Sharing
Document sharing is another must-have for larger conferences. Being able to share documents without using an external application like email saves lots of time that can be utilized more productively. Being able to share a PDF during the meeting ensures that everyone has access, and that no one is missing out. “I forgot to check my email this morning” is no longer a valid excuse, since the file is right there for everyone to see.

3) Video Conferencing
It is no secret that people communicate more effectively when they can see one another. Facial expressions and visual cues are a separate layer of conversation;removing them from a meeting could seriously hamper your ability to collaborate properly. Another bonus to video conferencing is that you can see when people are away, or not paying attention to the meeting. Of course you could probably trust your team to be attentive on their own, but a little insurance never hurts.

4) Invites & Reminders
Ever tried to organize a meet-up for a large group? For anyone unfamiliar with this experience, help is always appreciated. Automated invitations and reminders encourage attendance: a simple tool that can make a world of difference. You can even elect to receive SMS notifications. Never miss a meeting again!

5) Text Chat
Text chat is so essential to a meeting that its inclusion on this list couldn’t be stressed more highly. When you want to add your comments without interrupting the flow of conversation, using an integrated group chat is the perfect solution. You can also link to other webpages in the chat, which is vital for collaboration.

Gearing up for an important meeting soon? Make sure to give these collaboration tools a try! You’re certain to see a jump in your group’s efficiency and productivity.

 

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