What is Collaboration?

07/25/2013 12:00 AM | Sky Stebnicki

Collaboration is a word that gets thrown around a lot, but what exactly are we talking about when we use it in the context of the workplace?

In its most basic form, to collaborate is to work with others on something. Any time you include anyone else when doing work you are collaborating.

While working together is a nice concept, sometimes doing so with conventional tools can become cumbersome. For example, let's say you are creating a new graphic for a webpage and you would like to get feedback from others on your team. Conventionally you have a couple options:

1. You could email the image to everyone.

The issue here is that email can get out of hand when coming in from multiple sources, about many different subjects, over an extended period of time. Not only that but unless you create a folder or group for every single image, it is difficult to keep all the team feedback with the image for future reference. Either you end up with thousands of folders, or you read the comments once then potentially lose them forever.

2. You could bring people into your office.

Sometimes this is useful and necessary, but it can be highly disruptive of the team's overall productivity - not to mention the challenges of remote / offsite coworkers.

3. You could call a meeting.

Meetings are a drag and extremely expensive from a resource standpoint. Unless the graphic is really really important, few images are worth the aggregate cost of everyone doing nothing but helping you with your image for any amount of time.

A"non-disruptive" Collaboration Tool

We created netric to enable team communication in a non-disruptive way. For example, any file you upload in netric allows for comments by anyone on your team. Meaning this - you can upload a graphic, then send out a comment notifying anyone in your organization. When they have time, they can log in and comment on the file. You will be notified of each comment via email, but the comment will forever be linked to the file so you can simply delete the email from your inbox and forget it forever because the full conversation is attached to your file online. Not only that but everyone gets to take part in the conversation because they see what everyone else added as well, all this while sitting at the comfort of their desk.

Of course, file comments just barely begin to scratch the surface of the vast array of powerful collaboration tools now available. No matter what you end up using, keeping it simple and non-disruptive is a proven way to allow people to work together without negatively impacting personal productivity.

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