The business world is expanding fast, so tasks and demands also become complicated. It is then that companies seek virtual teams to be their supportive helper who can help finish the job.

Like any other organization, effective communication is important to complete tasks and beat deadlines. But when working with virtual teams, collaboration tools are part of the essentials. Dropbox, Gmail, and many others keep track and ensure productivity in work.

Get the job done through collaboration tools.

According to Harvard Business Review, collaborative activity is the “secret sauce” that inspires creativity. It enables teams to make innovative new products or creative, buzz-worthy marketing campaigns. Virtual teams use collaboration tools to work together and inspire creativity.

Collaboration tools help open doors of communication between everyone involved and promote productivity. File sharing and audio and video conversations are also made possible by such tools. Geography become less of a problem and more of an asset.

There are many different types of collaborative tools.

According to The Couch Manager, there are many categories of collaborative tools. There are collaboration tools like Activecollab and HiveDesk.  Project management tools like Teamwork and Asana are also available. Document storage/ file sharing tools also make work so much easier.  iMeet and WebEx are examples of meeting tools for communication.

High-end video conferencing tools like Cisco Telepresence are also effective. But video and conferencing tools like Skype are also useful when working with a virtual team. Instant messaging tools like Sametime and Jabber are sometimes necessary. Document co-creation tools are also common. Examples of which are Prezi and Scribblar.  Social network tools like Jive and Chatter in itself are also useful. While scheduling tools like Timebridge and Doodle promote efficiency.

Choose your perfect mix.

The tech market introduces better and effective collaboration tools every year.  But it rarely covers all communication needs that virtual teams demand. Most collaborative tools cater to  one aspect productivity. Thus, a mix of tools is often necessary.

More than one collaboration tools are often used to ensure smooth and effective communication. Collaboration tools used by every organization usually varies and is dependent on their necessities.

According to Entrepreneur, finding the right tools take time. It is also usually a trial and error process. But it is a process that employers must go through when working with virtual teams. Going through such process does not only benefit the employer but the virtual team as well.

The effectiveness of collaboration tools also depend on the teams’ skills and knowledge. 

A recent survey proved that 54% of respondents found that such tools  are enough. According to Siemens Enterprise Communications survey, emails and telephone are the most used tools.

It also found that knowledge and skills are also important when using collaboration tools. Such tools are the fuel that keeps engines moving in working with virtual teams. But the functionality of every part of the machine is also important.

Collaboration tools can be efficient when working with a virtual team.

Collaboration tools are no longer a new trend in the business world. Employees often use IM apps to talk to each other instead of chatting during breaks. Emails deliver the necessary files. Important meetings are sometimes held through video conferences. All these collaboration tools are used while still ensuring productivity in the workplace.

Working with a virtual team often results to the use of more collaboration tools. Yet, it is as efficient as any team of employees. Geographic limitations may sometimes be an issue, but with a perfect mix, it can be overcome.