The remote-first work world has reimagined what it means to be connected. Employees are more reliant than ever on their ability to collaborate efficiently while afar. However, despite the massive prioritization of digital-first productivity and collaboration tools — a disconnect still exists for many workers, and real-time cloud collaboration can help to fix that.
In 2020, 60 percent of office workers reported feel less connected to their colleagues since working from home. As an organization, it is essential to find not just to provide collaboration, but the right tools to support growth and productivity. Real-time cloud collaboration can be that game-changer. By prioritizing real-time interactions, you remove the “work from home” wall many employees feel today — boosting creativity, speeding up decision-making processes, and fostering more community amongst employees.
The benefits outweigh any cons brought on by real-time cloud collaboration with Google Workspace. When considered early on, any cons can easily be minimized, particularly with the implementation of a change management program.
Real-Time Cloud Collaboration Advantages
Reduces Employee Downtime
Google Workspace allows users to access documents and meetings and contribute anytime, anywhere. This can drastically reduce the amount of time spent waiting for information and making decisions.
In fact, Forrester Research found that the average user saved 171 hours per year (that’s 21 days a year) when moving to Google Workspace.
Increased Work Schedule Flexibility
Cloud collaboration is more conducive to flexible work scheduling because accessibility is drastically increased. The always-available nature of the cloud means more and better opportunities to share globally across time zones as well as locally over a variety of work schedules and locations.
Cloud collaboration offers advantages in the form of fewer infrastructure needs and maintenance costs. It also minimizes the cost of upgrades, reducing overhead with a larger remote workforce, work-at-home options as needed, and part-time employee solutions.
Google Workspace delivers a 331 percent average ROI after three years.
Real-time cloud collaboration makes it easy for a larger number of employees to weigh in on projects and discussions, without taking up too much time or distracting from an end goal. This means more ideas and innovation, faster forward momentum, and increased access to organizational goals and achievements, which in turn fosters a stronger community overall.
All project details, including conversations, drafts, and documentation can be saved and accessed at any time via the cloud. This maintains quality control by tracking and saving all interactions and managing documentation all in one place.
Whether an organization is collaborating on a multi-year enterprise software project or a three-person business analysis report, cloud software allows for easy and efficient scaling as needed.
Compatibility with Other Cloud-Based Tools
Timing is important, especially when large teams are trying to connect and communicate. A cloud-based collaboration solution can take advantage of other real-time solutions your workspace users might employ – such as calendaring, task lists, and project management tools all within Google Workspace.
By its very nature, collaboration can be a risky endeavor. Paper documents, shared desktops, phone conversations, even in-person meetings, can all present security risks. With cloud collaboration, you can rely on robust security features for all your digital assets.
Manageable Cons of Real-Time Cloud Collaboration
Less In-Person Contact
Since a significant portion of communication is non-verbal, conducting more interactions online can cause a natural decline in the quality of those communications. It often takes longer to convey the same idea digitally than it would in person, and the risk of miscommunication is higher. Video conferencing and prioritizing important in-person meetings can mitigate this.
Achieving an acceptable work/life balance is challenging enough these days, but cloud-based collaboration can make it a little more tricky. Used correctly, these real-time systems provide greater accessibility because they’re available whenever and wherever you are. Used incorrectly, however, they can create the expectation that you (or your employees) are always accessible instead. Consistently setting and respecting access boundaries is always important to the morale and wellbeing of your team.
Diffusion of Focus
Because it’s so easy to invite and involve new members (even temporary ones) in a cloud-based collaboration system, you may encounter some diffusion of focus. It’s true that as more people become involved, more ideas are generated. However, all these fresh ideas can make it harder to achieve consensus. If not properly managed, this brainstorm overload can bog down the entire decision-making process. Setting clear expectations around who has input and who has the responsibility for decision-making early on is crucial.
Tool Fascination and Sprawl
Cloud-based systems are much easier to connect and integrate than traditional software. There could be a temptation to include more features and tools than are actually necessary for collaboration. Playing with these extraneous features wastes time. Similarly, too much emphasis on collaboration software can lead to social rather than productive interactions.
Operating an online workspace requires dedicated management. Just like team meetings require good management to ensure productivity, an online workspace needs to be properly administered to enable, encourage, and monitor contributions. Real-time cloud-based systems can require more of this administrative attention, especially when operating through multiple shifts or time zones.
Get Started with Google Workspace
Start using Google Workspace and implement a Change Management Program today.