As technology has advanced, the ways people do their jobs have undergone a shift. Whereas people used to work on their own most of the time, completing routine tasks that didn’t require a big picture perspective, more employees these days fit into the category of knowledge workers. These employees need to be able to make decisions and solve problems throughout their work day, and this requires access to other people and information. Collaboration tools are a critical component of equipping knowledge workers to make the best possible decisions.
Top ways collaboration tools help knowledge workers
— Put information at their fingertips. Knowledge workers spend much of their time searching for information they can use to make the best choices. While the information revolution has made it easier to access data in general, specialized knowledge workers still have a hard time finding relevant information. Collaboration tools make it easier for knowledge workers to connect directly with others who have that information.
— Expedite decision making. When knowledge workers have the information they need to understand a situation, they are better able to make wise decisions without wasting time. Rather than spending time researching, which isn’t necessarily part of a knowledge worker’s skill set, they can use their mental resources to analyze the information, think about how it comes together and actually make the decisions they need to. Collaboration tools also help individuals work with others on preliminary steps so they can focus on making decisions.
— Improve interdepartmental communication. Seeing the big picture is key to making smart decisions at a large organization. However, with so many departments, it’s hard to find the relevant information from each department. Collaboration tools make it easier for departments to engage with one another without being face to face. As more departments get together and put information and analysis into the tools, others are better able to use this information.
Working from anywhere with collaboration tools
Another key feature of collaboration tools is that they allow knowledge workers to roam freely. Many individuals who are entering the work force today are specifically looking for jobs with flexible hours and locations. When used to their full potential, collaboration tools make it possible for employees to work independently from the physical office. They can communicate with clients, managers and team members effectively and can even be more effective than they would be on a traditional work day schedule because they are better able to respond quickly to changes and to work during their most productive hours.