How to prevent collaboration app overload

How to prevent collaboration app overload

Online collaboration apps are fast becoming a permanent part of the modern workplace. Businesses across all sectors are enjoying the myriad benefits of these tools, primary of which is the ability to work together wherever, whenever using any internet-connected device. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced organizations to shift to remote work arrangements.

Even before the pandemic, many businesses were already using online collaboration tools to connect and coordinate with colleagues, clients, and partners. Most organizations today use a handful of these apps to communicate, share and edit files, and manage projects, among other tasks. But while having a number of tools helps teams improve efficiency and stay organized, it can also cause employees to suffer from collaboration app overload. Juggling multiple apps on a daily basis can leave them feeling overwhelmed to the point that their productivity suffers greatly.

To prevent collaboration app overload, experts suggest using just one tool for communication and project management across your organization. By choosing a single platform that incorporates multiple apps and functionalities, the impacts of app overload are minimized, if not entirely eliminated. This, in turn, does wonders for your team’s focus and efficiency, leading to better overall productivity.

Consider these tips for choosing a centralized collaboration platform to help prevent app overload and improve your team’s performance.

Identify your business needs

The collaboration app your team uses may have all the bells and whistles, but you’re not going to get the most out of it if it doesn’t address your organization’s requirements. A misalignment between technology and business needs could drive your staff to turn to other tools to work around the shortcomings of your company’s primary collaboration app.

In choosing a collaboration app for your business, it’s well worth considering the needs or preferences of each employee and/or department, as well as your organization as a whole. Doing so will help you pick a tool with the features that meet those needs, and therefore avoid using a glut of apps to get work done.

Take stock of your current apps

Having a list of the collaboration apps your team is using will help you determine which ones are essential and which you can do without. During the audit, you may find that each department uses a different collaboration tool, and that these tools have overlapping features. You may also discover that a certain app or two haven’t been used in months, or you don’t even know what they’re for.

If you find such apps in your portfolio, put a plan in place to replace them. This plan should include training for your staff on the use of your new app. Replacing redundant apps will not only save your team from the impacts of app overload, but you will also make considerable savings by doing away with apps that don’t actually contribute to your business goals.

Replace or consolidate your tools

While taking inventory, you may also find an app that serves multiple functions and, as such, may be used in lieu of several disparate tools. Consider replacing all other tools in your portfolio with this feature-rich app. If there’s none, however, enlist the help of your IT team or managed IT services provider in looking for a comprehensive collaboration platform.

Related reading: How to successfully migrate to a new collaboration platform

Among the top collaboration apps today are Microsoft Teams, Google Workspaces, Trello, and Asana. These platforms offer an array of features that make staying connected and on the same page easy and convenient. In particular, Teams serves as a centralized hub for collaboration and communication. It comes with chat, video conferencing, file sharing, calendar, and project management functionalities. The platform also has external sharing capabilities, allowing you to collaborate with people outside of your organization with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

What’s more, Teams offers seamless integration with other apps within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem and by third-party developers. You can integrate your existing collaboration apps into Teams using connectors, bots, and tabs. Consolidating different tools provides users with a common interface and a consistent experience, which lead to better transparency, smoother workflows, and improved coordination.

For help selecting and implementing the best IT solutions for your business, reach out to the experts at Quicktech. We are Vancouver’s premier managed IT services provider, offering a wide range of innovative technologies designed to maximize your company’s productivity and profitability. Call us at 604-373-0667.