Collaboration in multiple apps
Apps that facilitate collaboration are an absolute must in every company today, especially with so many businesses going partly or fully remote. And it’s not an unusual thing to see that a company uses more than one app to collaborate. When starting a new job, it takes quite some time to get used to all the tools and it doesn’t make it any easier if there are too many. According to research, 91% of businesses use at least two messaging apps and the average number of workplace chat apps used by each respondent is 3.3. Another study, which shows that 85% of end-users report using multiple platforms for collaboration, seems to confirm the trend.
Why use multiple collaboration tools?
The choice of tools usually depends on the needs of different departments within a company and these might differ significantly. Finding a tool that fits everyone’s needs is a big challenge, so it oftentimes happens that an IT department and a customer service team use different collaboration app, even though they are part of one company.
It might also be the case that the choice of app is imposed by clients. Customer preferences may differ and so companies end up using multiple apps, all of which facilitate the collaboration with clients, but not necessarily within the team. Another scenario is that as new members join the team and want to keep using their favourite apps that are ever so efficient. Or, on the other hand, the employer doesn’t want any changes and insists on using separate tools for communication, task management, video calls and so on. Whatever the reason, the question is whether using multiple collaboration apps is actually good or bad for a company.
Pros and cons of using multiple apps
A bigger choice of tools can have its pros and cons so there’s no one right answer to the question. One argument for the solution is that using more than one app lets you choose the best one for a particular purpose. Some tools are more efficient for video-conferencing, whereas others are better for task management or communication, so, if possible, why not choose them? Also, maybe it’s a good idea to let employees choose their favourite tools, since they are to improve their collaboration and using multiple apps makes it possible.
On the other hand, introducing multiple apps can make it harder to communicate and hider collaboration instead of facilitating it. It also makes the onboarding process longer and more challenging, as the new team member has to get to know several tools, instead of working with just one. With more than one app, it might be difficult to keep up-to-date with the progress of projects and stay on the same page with other team members. And of course, for purely practical reasons, it’s just not convenient to switch between apps to find what you need.
How to facilitate collaboration with multiple tools?
Just like in any other context of managing your staff, you should first and foremost try to understand them. Find out how your teams collaborate, whether they use mobile apps, emails, video calls, and what their preferences as to task management are. Don’t insist on an app of your choice if it gets negative feedback. Accept the fact that your employees can have their own collaboration habits and, as long as they don’t hinder the workflow, support them and do your best to facilitate their work. You can do, for instance, choose tools that are easy to customize and meet different needs or implement integrations between apps. Thanks to that, your team will be able to collaborate efficiently and not lose time or focus. The best thing you can do is listen to your employees and look for solutions that can increase their productivity and make their work more effective!
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