Companies from around the world are constantly searching for ways to help increase the productivity of their employees. Online collaboration tools make it possible for teams to work collectively on projects either in real-time (synchronously) or at their convenience (asynchronously) no matter their locations. Although the concept of business collaboration is not new, it’s becoming increasingly more important as more and more companies begin to connect with one another from around the world. Effective collaboration allows teams to pool together their knowledge so they can more efficiently complete projects and brainstorm ideas. Here’s a short list of some of the most common types of online collaboration tools that allow teams to easily partake in both synchronous and asynchronous communication. Online Workspaces Sometimes, it can be difficult to schedule a meeting when an entire team is available to work on a project. In situations like these, asynchronous collaboration tools are key because they enable flexibility, allowing all participants to receive information when it’s most convenient for them. It gives people more time to understand the information and less pressure to act immediately. Online workspaces are ideal for creating a virtual space that allows asynchronous communication. Workspaces make it possible to grant special permissions for documents so only select individuals have the ability to view, comment or edit them. Team members can review documents when they can find the time, properly digest the information and respond on their own time. Workspaces are perfect for collaboration on projects that don’t require immediate attention, or that have geographically disparate teams working on different schedules. Intranet Sites Employee portals help employees work productively across an organization, bridging the gaps between departments and locations. Finding answers to questions or getting advice from others who are working on similar projects has never been easier. The internal space also provides a secure environment where employees can have greater visibility of company events, news and resources. By allowing employees greater access, they are able to better understand their role within a company. In the long run, this helps create energized and engaged employees, which will in turn raise productivity. Online Meeting Tools Often, you will have a project that requires immediate attention from all group members. Real-time, face-to-face conversations make it possible to easily collaborate with others. However, this can sometimes be difficult with geographically dispersed teams. Using a reliable online meeting tool provides a great solution to this problem. Top of the line online meeting tools come equipped with several features that makes collaboration even easier. HD-video features allow teams to communicate face-to-face, which helps teams have a more personal and honest conversation. Other features such as chat sessions, whiteboard drawings, polling and screensharing only add to the effectiveness of a meeting. All organizations today will benefit from an effective blend of both asynchronous and synchronous collaboration tools. What are some of your favorite online tools that you use to collaborate with colleagues? Images: ”Collaboration Concept. Technical drawing of gears, the idea of teamwork and success./ Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.