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The soft benefits of collaboration technology

The soft benefits of collaboration technologyWhatever industry you are in, collaboration is often key to developing products, managing projects or making decisions. Technology has revolutionised the way we work and there are now many different tools available for collaborating, such as video conferencing, online document storage, data sharing and so on. Some of these technologies are free or low cost – such as Skype and Dropbox – while others, like SMART Boards and dedicated video conferencing suites, come at a price, and it’s not always easy to see where the return on investment will come. In these situations it’s important to understand the soft benefits of collaboration technology, because that is where you’re likely to find the ROI.

Perhaps the biggest soft benefit of collaboration technology is the additional time you will gain. If you are required to travel to meetings on a regular basis you’ll know just how much time is lost sitting in traffic or waiting at airports, and while it may be possible to work while on the move, you’re unlikely to be as productive as you are in the office. Using, for example, an interactive white board or video conferencing to communicate and collaborate rather than physically travelling to meet your colleagues, suppliers and partners potentially saves you hundreds of hours every year – hours that can be used more productively.

The soft benefits of collaboration technology 1So increased productivity is a soft benefit of collaboration technology too – and not just because you can reduce the need for travel. Being able to collaborate remotely means you can reach decisions more quickly. There’s no need to call everyone together at a convenient time; you can set up a meeting, invite the right people and sign off projects or brainstorm ideas instantly. You’ll find your teams are able to spend more time working than talking about working, which helps keep projects on time and under budget.

You’ll probably find that staff morale is improved when you introduce collaboration technology too. Working away from home, travelling long distances and working to impossibly tight deadlines causes stress and that can affect morale and, ultimately, productivity. By enabling much of the collaboration to happen remotely – perhaps even letting staff work from home, at least some of the time – you give your staff a better work life balance which improves both physical and mental health.

And then of course there are the financial benefits of collaboration technology. Travel expenses – fuel, air and train fares, accommodation and so on – will be cut drastically, providing a measurable return on investment. However, don’t forget the additional income achieved through extra working hours, better staff morale and increased productivity.

Finally, one of the soft benefits of collaboration technology is a reduced carbon footprint. As businesses we should all be striving to reduce the impact we have on our environment, and by decreasing the amount of travel you do, you’ll make a small but meaningful difference.

Smarter Interactive supplies businesses of all types with a wide range of collaborative technologies. To discuss what would work for you, call us today on 0118 336 0010.

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