Internet itself was developed in order to support collaboration. In the era of Internet, online collaboration is a must. Not communication but collaboration. Unlike communication which is still preferred by most people, to be face to face, collaboration is about working with others to achieve shared goals. How can online collaboration affect your business? Company’s objectives can be reached with far less money, in shorter time period, more productively and efficiently if the work is done online. These are things which you can achieve if you start doing your business online: Save money! Times are changing. Instead of working in an office, using pens and paper, these days most people work online. If you use Internet, you do not have to use it in an office. Employees who work from home mean far less money for renting and office expense, for the company. A company can have its headquarters in a smaller space and a conference or meeting room is not necessary. These are important things in a company’s budget. Nowadays, an option as common as video conferencing, makes holding a meeting much easier. Participants can be a thousand miles away, in different countries and time zones, but they can see each other and have a business session. And the company does not have to pay for travel expenses. Increase productivity! In order to do the business online, the right tools are required. Various types of collaboration software are now available. Technologies that create shared space and tools for collaboration fall into two categories: real-time and asynchronous or persistent. Online meetings, IM chats, calendaring, document management and workflow automation are done and shared among users of real time software. All the work done can be instantly reviewed by all team members, which makes their work highly efficient without slowing down to check out the others. Asynchronous tools also serve as a permanent, always accessible archive for discussions and document versions, keeping track of who decided what and when. These days many applications provide both. The Water Network is a leading knowledge network created by TallyFox for global water professionals, connects more then 10 000 experts who share a common database which is open for comments and discussions. Instant access to a great deal of information and experience, with collaborative experts makes any job easily done. Find experts you need! Online collaboration enables you to hire experts from different cities and different countries either as full time employees or freelancers. Telecommuting refers to workers who do not commute to a central place of work and ‘one in five workers around the globe, particularly employees in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, telecommute frequently and nearly 10 percent work from home every day’. This fact does a great deal for company owners, since it is easier to find professionals with specific expertise or experience around the globe. Or if you prefer personal recruitment you can visit, for example, a conference of interest and make contacts with people who you find enthusiastic and collaborative. While at conference, you can check their background and expertise using EventFox. This application is used for managing events and one of the options is identifying a person and providing his or her professional background. Manage easily! All the work which is done online can be managed far more easily. Online collaboration tools have a variety of project tracking capabilities that allow team members to see the evolution of a project from day one. You can easily track who made the latest changes to a document, and review how the document was before the changes, or tag a colleague to review the document. Meetings are easily organized, all members can confirm their presence in advance or the recording of the meeting can be provided for those who were absent. In addition, online collaboration tools remove the need to use e-mail as the primary means of communicating with team members, so they need to search an inbox for a lost document, for example, is completely removed. All the project details and documents are saved on a platform and all team members have access to all necessary documents, regardless of their location. Providing various reports is easily done if all the information is in one place. It has never been easier to manage a project. Modern workplace has gone online. No offices are needed. Members of your team could be just about anyone from anywhere in the world. For teamwork to be effective, it is important for companies to adopt modern work practices and technologies that help co-workers, wherever they are, share their work in a simple and efficient way. Online collaboration tools might be a shared database in which employees can store and access data in a collaborative way, or it might be as complex as a full-fledged virtual environment. Having it all in one place makes it easy to manage it. Online collaboration is the next step in your business. And it is a crucial step if you want to do business in the future. Images: ”Online Communication Concept, Present By Computer Laptop With Green Wifi Sign Isolated on White Background/ 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. 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