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Top 5 tools for effective collaboration at work

By 5th July 2023October 9th, 2023No Comments
Illustration of three colleagues working together on laptops. Behind them is a large jigsaw puzzle.

Collaboration is essential in any workplace. By working together, you can combine strengths, share knowledge, and create something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

There are plenty of tools and apps out there that promise to make collaboration easier and more effective. But which of them really deliver on that pledge?

In this blog, we’ll review popular collaboration apps and share our favourites.

1. Best for innovation – Miro

For a team who thrives on innovation, Miro is a must-have. This virtual whiteboarding tool has the functionality and flexibility to help you get ideas flowing.

Whether you’re partial to mind maps, flow-charts, sticky notes, drawing tools, or workshopping, Miro’s infinite canvas and engaging templates can help you capture your team’s imagination.

With Miro, you can collaborate in real time, vote on ideas, build plans and processes, develop designs, present slides, and more.

Miro lets you connect ideas and add tags, colour coding and comments so you can track decisions and dependencies in a visual way.

There are also some useful integrations with Microsoft Teams and other productivity apps to help transform ideas into action.

If you’re looking for similar products within the Microsoft 365 suite, there is the Whiteboard app. However, with limited content and styling options, it’s not quite as fun to use.

2. Best for project management – Asana

This project management tool helps teams keep track of tasks and deadlines. If your team is spinning more plates than the potters in the Denby factory, Asana can help clarify priorities, track goals, and keep everything moving.

Illustrated checklists in bright colours

The simple interface lets you create to-do lists, assign tasks, and track progress in real time.

If your tasks are too big for a spreadsheet, but you’re not ready to dive into the complexity of something like Microsoft Project, Asana is a slick alternative to handle your team’s to-dos.

3. Best for creating connections – Viva Engage

Although visible project management is important, true collaboration goes beyond the daily round-up of who’s working on what. It’s about sharing knowledge, creating connections, and experiencing those serendipitous moments that spark great ideas.

In the world of remote and hybrid working, it’s becoming more important than ever to build company culture online and nurture those weak ties across your organisation. Microsoft’s Viva Engage creates a shared virtual space for your people to build communities and find belonging at work.

Viva Engage is a rebranded version of Yammer (don’t make that face). This app, with updated features and a sleek new look is built into Microsoft Teams for intuitive access as part of your working day. It’s a great way to share updates, interests, events, questions and milestones, and seek out connections across your company.

4. Best for task management – Trello

Trello is a well-known task management app. It’s popular for a reason. Trello’s simple system of cards, lists and boards is a great way to visualise team projects and keep everyone on the same page.

Since Trello arrived on the scene twelve years ago, the app has introduced handy power-ups such as due dates, calendar view, checklists, automated workflows, and integrations with Google and Teams.

four stacks of bright playing cards

Microsoft’s Planner is a little-known alternative to Trello. Planner doesn’t have the exact same features as Trello, but for teams looking for simple functionality at a low cost, Planner can be a useful tool for flexible project planning and is included in your Microsoft 365 licence.

5. Best for all-in-one productivity – Microsoft Teams

If you think Microsoft Teams is just for chat, it’s time to think again.

Microsoft Teams is a powerful collaboration tool that enables you to work with your colleagues in real time. With Teams, you can make calls, access shared files, collaborate on documents, and build an open working culture with Teams channels.

Users save up to 8 hours per week*

Over £4k savings per user across 3 years’ use*

Average time-to-decision reduced by up to 20.2%*

Over half of users said Teams helped boost inclusion and support a multigenerational workforce*

Teams works seamlessly with other Microsoft 365 apps, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, so you’ll always have the most recent version of a file. And your data protection officer can rest easy, knowing that everything lives in your secure tenant.

If your organisation runs on Microsoft tools and Teams isn’t one of your most frequently used apps, it’s time to start exploring!

Create a collaborative culture

Of course, having a great set of tools doesn’t automatically create a collaborative culture.

You need to develop a supportive environment where people want to pitch ideas, ask questions and work together. Then, you need to ensure that your team have the skills to make the most of new tools, systems and processes.

At Inform, we help organisations chose the right solutions for their people. With our expertise in change management, culture and behaviours, communication, engagement and training, we can create a bespoke package of support to help you reach your goals.

To find out more, book a free consultation with our team.

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