Gone are the days when the only way work associates can collaborate is by facing each other personally in a conference room or production area. In today’s work environment, online collaboration has been proving its worth in terms of providing much better options than physically traveling to a designated place to work on a single project. This effort is multiplied many times over depending on the actual number of team members who will have to do the same thing to facilitate collaboration. Enter Online Collaboration.
What is Online Collaboration?
Online collaboration makes it possible for people to work together in real time regardless of location primarily through the Internet. This set-up has effectively addressed the common limitation in having project members who are located in different parts of the world. Through this set-up, work associates are able to access common files and documents needed to provide timely and relevant contributions to the effort.
It is not to be confused with web conferencing which is actually just a virtual meeting or discussion. Online collaboration is all about working together in an atmosphere of transparency and teamwork. Its use is not only limited to employees in a company since its features can be tapped as well in working with clients and customers.
Workforce of Today
Online collaboration is especially relevant at this time due to the fact that most companies are eyeing globalization. The logistical dilemma of having a dispersed workforce has the most practical solution in using tools that bring people together with the least cost, time, and effort. Online collaboration does just that.
In lieu of a conference room, a team will be using a shared database for storing and accessing data. Since members will be working on the same files and documents, each will be able to see updates as they come. This makes it possible for everyone to provide their inputs based on the flow of the work that is taking place.
Possible Challenges of Online Collaboration
In every idea presented, there are always possible challenges that need to be overcome. Competition between companies and employees may be a major obstacle since collaboration would mean sharing. Unless the common goal takes priority over self-interest, online collaboration may remain more easily said than done.
Online collaboration can also mean the need for technical upgrades. This will equate to costs especially for companies that are not yet collaboration-ready. Also, there may be some concerns with the manner of interaction between members.