Document Collaboration Tools and Timeshifting & Asynchronous Workflow
Our “A” line of office furniture, Knoll, has come up with another great insight into today’s work environment. They have noted 10 Tech Trends that are Redefining the Business World. In this post we are going to look at two of these trends: document collaboration in real time and the associated possibility of asynchronous workflows.
From the report:
“With the birth of cloud computing, and in particular apps like Google Docs and Microsoft’s new Office 365, the concept of sharing has suddenly changed. The ability to share and edit documents collaboratively in real time doesn’t just save time; it changes the entire creative process. As you and your colleagues work together, you can see each others changes as they happen, make comments to each other live, and track every change as you go. One person can lay out an outline and formatting while another fills in the content, and a third can proofread as they go.
Meanwhile, desktop-sharing with tools such as JoinMe, Microsoft’s Windows Remote Desktop, and Apple’s Messages desktop app allow workers to see each other’s entire work areas in real time, enhancing transparency and adding visual experience to long-distance collaboration. In the office, document collaboration is gaining popularity even for in-person meetings, allowing everyone at the conference table to work on the same project together. In this new collaborative world, conference rooms are less essential, and any surface can become a conference table.”
Obviously these collaboration tools allow team members to work from the home office part of the time or even full time. There is no degradation of productivity thanks to the power of cloud computing. These tech trends also allow for more flexible work-life balance which helps retain and attract talent.
From the report:
“There’s nothing especially new about globalization itself, but the advent of cloud collaboration tools is profoundly changing the way we think about teamwork, time zones, and international boundaries. While syncing up global teams can be a challenge due to difficulties in scheduling calls and meetings, there are some distinct advantages to having a team that’s distributed around the world.
The principal advantage of the global team is timeshifting—the ability to distribute workflow across timezones to keep a project progressing around the clock. A consultant in California can now spend her day gathering client feedback on a project, queue up tasks for an offshore development team in Bangalore which then passes the code to a design team in Italy, and arrive at the office the next morning to find a completed product that’s ready to present to the client. With the right distribution of talent distributed across multiple time zones, teams can now accomplish in a day or two what might take a week for a team working together in one office.”
Asynchronous workflows do not apply to most small businesses but it does make the large ones they interact with more efficient. Small enterprises that have to compete with large organizations taking advantage of timeshifting can do so through the use of freelance talent.
What it means for you
No matter what size of business you work in technology is increasingly changing the way you work, your vision, your health and the spaces you work in. Stay on top of tech trends like document collaboration tools and timeshifting. That way you can prosper in these exciting times.