Collaborative Work Management Guide

Best Work Collaboration Tools & Software

Best Work Collaboration Tools & Software

To thrive in the current climate, you need to adapt to new ways of working. The most significant change in the past few years has been the partial or complete transition for many companies to a remote work environment. What’s more, many companies are beginning to challenge the traditional five-day week and other facets of the conventional 9-5 work model. 

In the first quarter of 2022, industry titans Google and Bolt have decided to trial new work models. Google’s proposed hybrid work model will have workers come in at least three days a week, with the remaining time spent working from home. Bolt is switching to a four-day workweek in a move that could see other companies follow suit. What does this mean for the future of work?

Big change is afoot, which means you must equip your company with the right tools to adapt without disrupting productivity levels. 97% of employees would recommend remote work to others, so it’s safe to assume that the future is digital. Even students can get in on the digital revolution, making the most of tailor-made collaboration tools to streamline study sessions.

One of the best ways to centralize operations and maintain productivity regardless of distance is to invest in software that can help you create an effective work collaboration platform.

What are collaboration tools?

Work collaboration tools are software solutions that can help you foster productive collaboration in the workplace. These tools can aid teamwork in various ways, including the following:

  •  Speeding up communication between team members
  •  Facilitating project management through visual boards and to-do lists
  •  Allowing for the sharing and editing of online files and documents 
  •  Automating workflows to accelerate project progress

Best collaboration tools

To find the right collaboration tools for your workplace, consider the following factors:

  • Bottlenecks 
  • Budgetary constraints
  • Current workflows

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best collaboration tools in four key areas: communication, document and file sharing, project management, and time tracking.

Communication

Clear and quick communication can set the tone for collaboration in your workplace, so it’s important to get it right. The following tools allow team members to stay in touch through meetings, receive instructions via video conference, and go back and forth with colleagues on a shared project.

Slack

Slack is an excellent communication tool that markets itself as a ‘digital HQ’ from which you can manage your workload. The tool allows you to message coworkers according to the project you’re working on or the team you’re working with through a series of channels.

Microsoft Teams

An integral part of the Microsoft 365 family, Microsoft Teams is a messaging app that encourages inter-team communication and calls to keep everyone on the same page.

Zoom

Zoom rose to extraordinary levels of popularity during the pandemic, so much so that it became normal to use the brand name as a verb. The groundbreaking communication software can facilitate video conferencing between as many as 1,000 people.

Document and file sharing

Digital paperwork can be as much a nightmare as mountains of physical paperwork. Yet, given that it can be the glue that holds your business together, you need an effective way to store and share your files and documents.

Evernote Business

Evernote Business is file management and sharing at its simplest. The software allows you to keep your work affairs in order with notes, tasks, schedules, and team-focused collaboration features.

Office 365

Office 365 comes with a suite of tools catering to everything from payrolls to templates. There’s Excel for spreadsheets, Word for documents, and PowerPoint for slideshows. These three tools, along with the other tools included in the package, can revolutionize your file management and collaboration processes.

Dropbox Business

Dropbox Business is a secure file management system that allows you to bring together files from various applications so you can work on them with your team.

Project management

Handling projects and tasks is a huge responsibility that can soon become overwhelming without the right tools. Project management software can lighten your load, allowing you to create actionable to-do lists, delegate individual tasks, and manage workflows. As a result, you can track and oversee progress on multiple projects at the same time.

Wrike

Wrike is a comprehensive project management tool that can help you organize your projects, create actionable tasks, and monitor performance. Use it to automate and manage your workflows in real-time, so you can deliver on time every time for your clients.

Basecamp

Basecamp is a tool that allows you to manage your workload from a centralized hub. With many integrations and features, it’s software that could be the solution to your work-related problems.

Trello

Trello is an intuitive project management tool that uses Kanban boards to create visual cards you can slide from one list to another to indicate project progress.

Time tracking

To effectively monitor employee productivity, it’s wise to look at one of the most important metrics for productivity: time. With time tracking tools, you can see how your employees spend their time during work hours and, in some cases, which applications they use most.

Harvest

Harvest allows you and your coworkers to wrestle back control of your time with time tracking, detailed reports, and invoicing features.

Toggl

Toggl is a software suite comprising three separate tools that work well together: Toggl Track, Toggl Plan, and Toggl Hire.

  • Toggl Track: Track time and view reports
  • Toggl Plan: Plan projects and collaborate as part of a team
  • Toggl Hire: Make smart hires with candidate evaluation tools

Clockify

Clockify lets you track how employees spend their work hours, create timesheets for accurate payroll, and manage time in a calendar.

The future of collaboration

The future of collaboration is tied up in the shift towards remote work. As such, to stay one step ahead of the competition, you must invest in collaborative tools that drive productivity.

Assess where the bottlenecks are in your company’s collaborative workflows, as this will allow you to identify the right software solution. Be sure to keep your employees in the loop and ask for feedback on which tools they prefer working with.

Further reading
blog post

The 8 Best Wrike Apps and Integrations for Cross-Functional Collaboration

blog post

Team Collaboration Tools: Why Wrike’s Features Are Essential for Team Success

article

What Is the Best Collaboration App for Teams?

article

What Are the Best Collaboration Tools for Students?