Email is a decades old collaboration tool utilized by businesses across the country. However, many business users are disenchanted with this communications tool, complaining about inbox overload, frustration and lost productivity. McKinsey Global Institute estimates the average person spends 28 percent of their work week (or 13 hours a week) reading and responding to email, and studies have shown frustration with email is a top complaint for employees.
Because of this, a growing field of companies is re-thinking email and how we communicate online. Small business interactions and the technology platforms used to accommodate them are changing and small businesses seek conversational tools allowing them better collaboration and information sharing abilities. The next generation of communication software will act more like a private social network, helping people communicate more efficiently with co-workers and customers.
Chookka co-founder Yves Schabes analyzed the collaboration technology space and has identified what small businesses should look for when deciding to invest in collaboration software.
Collaboration: Moving Beyond Email
Click through for features organizations should look for when investing in a collaboration platform, as identified by Yves Schabes, co-founder of Chookka.
Addressing Key Problems
The top collaboration technology tools focus on the challenges small businesses face using email and solve four key problems most small business users experience:
- Locating lost emails and shared files in an inbox.
- Forwarding long email threads and conversations.
- Keeping sent emails organized without wasting time filing or labeling.
- Collaborating with work groups without always having to “reply all.”
Today’s best collaboration tools encourage the sharing of ideas, some using formats inspired by social media ideas such as the hashtag from twitter, and the idea of posting shared comments from Facebook. Look for a collaboration technology that effectively integrates the concepts from social media of posting, followers and hashtags – that are now in the vocabulary of our generation.
Small businesses navigate emails on a multitude of topics and recipient touch points as part of daily client conversations. Look for collaboration technology tools offering cleaner, more intuitive ways to organize internal and client conversations and the email threads making up these conversations.
The millennial generation, a growing and influential segment of the workforce, is bringing their technology preferences with them. This includes social media. Collaboration technologies offering interfaces similar to familiar social media tools like Facebook and Twitter will be the applications of choice for the millennials.
Household names like Google, Facebook and IBM provide collaboration technology options. But these communication tools are not the exclusive domain of enterprise giants or their respective customers; small and medium-sized businesses, as well as start-ups, are turning to them to increase productivity. Search for the option that best matches your business size and needs.