The rise of remote working was one of the greatest changes to our lives in 2020 and the trend looks set to continue for some time. Although the vaccine rollout is bringing much-needed hope of an eventual return to normal life, many organisations say that they are now committed to continuing remote working on a more permanent basis.

Cloud Technology Supports Remote Working

Of course, the switch to remote working was largely made possible by the accessibility of cloud computing services. With a range of software and infrastructure solutions now available online at an affordable price, it makes sense for businesses of all sizes to embrace a migration to the cloud. There’s no doubt that making the move can bring benefits in the form of increased flexibility, scalability and agility. Now, thanks to the latest software tools, the prospect of enabling genuine collaborative working across home based employees is becoming a reality.

Collaboration Tools Are Improving

Indeed, the development of a wider range of improved collaboration tools has been listed amongst the cloud computing trends predicted for the remainder of this year. Also known as productivity tools, it’s expected that we will see cloud-based collaboration products become more tailored and easier to use. This means that individual departments such as finance or human resources will be able to choose collaborative applications that have been specifically designed for their respective workloads. The diverse needs of different departments will be better accommodated.

Advances in AI technology will lead to a rise in collaborative tools with improved capability to cancel out background noise, improve video transmission and offer more sophisticated virtual backgrounds. Those essential tools that many organisations have already adopted, such as video conferencing, screen sharing and chat facilities, will become more closely integrated, improving efficiency and productivity. Read on to discover our candidates for the best collaboration tools currently available.

The Best All-Rounder: Microsoft 365

The latest incarnation of Microsoft’s office suite makes an excellent, versatile choice for businesses of all sizes. Now branded simply as Microsoft 365, this cloud-based platform provides all of the applications needed for streamlining workloads and promoting efficiency. The familiarity of the software is a key advantage, as it means employees can get to grips with the applications without difficulty. Features such as Teams and collaborative editing make it a real productivity booster.

The Best Bargain: Slack

Not only does it offer superb communication features, such as making video calls and sending direct messages to individuals or groups, Slack is also a useful application for organising conversations into tailored categories. It’s supported on both desktop and mobile devices. With a free version available, it’s certainly a very smart choice, although storage is limited, making it an option to try out or for use in smaller organisations.

The Best Organiser: Asana

If you want a collaborative working tool which also helps to keep everyone on track, take a look at Asana. A popular tool, used by Uber, Pinterest and TED amongst others, Asana not only allows communication, but also enables project tracking. The app allows you to create useful to-do lists, deadlines and task assignments and send reminders to employees. Projects can be easily searched and pinned, making it an excellent means of maximising productivity.

Ultimately, when you’re choosing a collaboration tool for your business, it’s essential to prioritise communication. This means making sure that any application you adopt is accessible across a range of devices, including mobile. The best applications will include productivity enhancing features such as task and deadline management along with responsive support. This will ensure that your team can get the best of the application and your business will definitely benefit as a result.