Online workspaces help you stay on the same page as your teammates and clients. Online workspaces are unified digital environments where you can access all the data you need, share insights and even communicate with others. These workspaces offer convenient, time-saving options both for big enterprises and small startups.
However, not every workspace is a perfect fit for your company and its business needs. Some of them lack built-in features or add-ons, have a complicated structure or just aren't super-convenient to use. Picking a random online solution isn't the best way to solve your problems. You need to consider a lot of factors beforehand.
Sow do you pick the top online workspace for your team so that it has everything you need to effectively achieve your goals? We got you covered! In this post, we gathered all the best solutions that would fit companies of any size and niche. Read on and pick your ultimate favorite!
What is an Online Workspace and Why is it Useful?
Online workspaces are centralized virtual environments that allow users to get equal and free access to the same type of content. These are pretty popular among teams and departments in a company.
With various integrations and add-ons, virtual workspaces help create a universal space for all your coworkers to communicate, share new ideas and feedback, set up project plans and much more.
The importance of online workspaces in modern companies
Online workspaces are becoming more popular each year. Over 3 billion people are using Google Workspace alone, while others opt for different online collaboration services. But what are the main reasons people stick to digital workspaces? We've picked some of the most popular reasons:
- Increased employee resilience in arranging work environment — customizable dashboards and multiple add-ons enhance your workspace flexibility and help organize the most convenient environment for completing tasks and generating new ideas;
- Reduced costs on business travels, office rents, electricity, etc. — working within an online workspace is an excellent opportunity to save on your corporate budget, especially when it's limited due to a number of reasons. Plus, it's more eco-friendly and reduces your carbon footprint;
- Increased productivity and hence, bigger revenues — avoiding distractions at work like switching between apps helps boost efficiency. This way, your team works more productively, bringing extra revenue to the company;
- Enhanced knowledge management — having a unified place where all the data, necessary documents and guides are stored helps your team easily reach everything they need for proper task completion and self-development;
- Increased communication effectiveness among employees — instead of using dozens of messengers and forgetting where you shared a particular file, having a unified online workspace will help your team easily communicate and adequately retrieve information within a single system.
Top Features of a Good Online Workspace
Collaboration tools need to be convenient, intuitive and helpful in your team's daily work routine. For effective project management and communication with your team, the workspace you choose needs basic features that will fit any company and need universally. Let's see what makes an excellent online working environment.
Useful integrations and add-ons
Once you pick an online workspace, you want it to be as universal as possible and to contain the essential tools. These can be calendar or email integrations, built-in chat boxes, customization features, etc. Make sure the workspace you like has everything you need to avoid switching between other apps and therefore lower distractions.
As a team, you're working with huge piles of online documents, files and media. Whatever the type and format of the content, it's always nice to be able to work with it in a single place. That's why you need to be sure you can easily share, upload and look through video files, text docs and audio recordings in your workspace for maximum convenience.
A wide range of functions facilitates more processes and helps automate them and solve tasks faster. This should not just include service integration notifications but also progress trackers, comments, shared document processing and so on. Plus, online workspaces offer companies a custom range of tools so that they avoid overpaying for unnecessary functions.
Customizable workspaces allow you to use only the tools you need, add necessary integrations and even add your company's branding to dashboards and task lists you show to your clients. That's why you should find a solution that has all these capabilities for you and your employees. This will not just add more reliability from clients and partners to your brand but also add more comfort to your team members.
Having a lot of sensitive information, passwords and personal data stored in online workspaces and corporate databases, it's crucial to ensure everything is safe. That's why you should use tools that provide security features and have access settings you can manage. This will help avoid sharing information outside the company and unexpected data leaks.
Intuitive design and interface
Sure, most of your employees are familiar with technology and know how to use multiple complex tools. However, you might hire interns or have other coworkers who haven't used any of these at all. Hence, to ensure maximum comfort for everyone, your online workspace needs to be easy to use, and you should provide proper instructions on how to use it. This helps teams work and stay on the same page instead of wasting time trying to learn the system themselves.
Cloud-based file storage
This is one of the most secure and reliable data storage options. Clouds are centralized, and you can easily limit or grant access to it, manage its capacity and keep track of all corporate data and sensitive information for years. Nowadays, you can encrypt your storage and protect it from possible hacker attacks. Plus, it's way more convenient (and eco-friendlier) than storing every document in paper form.
How to Create an Effective Online Workspace
Once you realize you need an online workspace to enhance productivity and improve team collaboration, follow these next steps.
Pick the main communication channel
Whether a fully remote, in-house or hybrid group, you'll need to consider the most convenient means of communication that would fit everyone. This can be a team chat in messengers or social media, a dedicated work network, an online meeting system or a planning dashboard. The best option would be to integrate this tool into your collaboration system so your colleagues won't get distracted switching between different apps.
Build a collaborative company culture
Proper collaboration needs to become a habit in your workspace. To foster this, you should work things out with your colleagues. Organize trainings, show everyone how your new cooperation tool works and give your teammates time to get used to it. Make them believe it's not another app they won't need but a helping hand in their daily tasks.
Bring structure to your workspace
It's essential to organize your workspace and make it comfortable to use for every team member. If you're working with multiple departments on joint projects, categorize tasks by the area of responsibility, share documents with relevant groups and make sure your duties don't mix up. Make your online workspace as clear as possible and ensure everyone knows where to search for necessary information.
Encourage and invest in using tools that facilitate collaboration
Keep up with the latest tools and apps that can facilitate your work and collaboration with your team members. Examine your team's needs and how you can enhance their working routine. Test different tools, integrate the most used apps if possible and analyze their effectiveness afterward to see if they're worth the money.
5 Best Online Workspaces for Empowering Team Collaboration
Now that we've covered what a perfect online workspace needs to increase your team's productivity and improve internal communication, time to look at the best services to help you. Below, you'll see the top five contenders that won't disappoint you!
Nimbus Platform is a universal online workspace that helps your team communicate and solve issues in one convenient location. The tool offers a lot of built-in tools like chats, comments, video, audio recording and many more to facilitate internal communication and get rid of switching between communication tools forever.
The main perks of the Platform include:
- Nimbus Capture — it allows for improving visual communication between your teams and sharing presentations, feedback and new ideas among your teammates and clients. Record yourself, share your screen and spread them among all your workplaces to ensure everyone's on the same page;
- Customizable workspaces — add your corporate branding, manage the outlook of your workspace and add relevant sections, folders, documents and notes wherever you need to make your working environment as comfortable as possible;
- Multiple integrations — enjoy multiple services implemented into your workspace. Nimbus Platform supports Figma, Dropbox, Google Suite, email integrations and many others;
- Super Documents — this feature allows you to iterate and add files of any type and format and facilitate working with them. You can include links, texts, video files and audio recordings to easily work and collaborate with various mediums.
Nimbus Platform is the best fit for remote teams of any size and niche as it encompasses all the essential features for proper communication and task coordination. Find out how to manage your workspaces in our guide.
Slack is a corporate social network for teams of any size and purpose. The tool allows you to quickly communicate with your team, share necessary documents fast and create comfortable conditions for communication between different departments and project groups.
Here are Slack's main features:
- Public and private channels — if you have a large team and several departments, dedicated channels will help you avoid mixing up information and communication between them. You can create public chats for internal communication with colleagues, while you can use private chats to invite your clients or partners to discuss work-related issues;
- App integrations — Slack allows you to connect your account with several services for easy knowledge management and data sharing. The list includes Jira, Google Drive, Trello and others;
- Slackbot and reminders — enable in-app reminders, so you'll never miss a meeting or forget about a project deadline. Plus, Slackbot can make custom announcements and send out important messages automatically.
Slack works best for teams who constantly communicate and need to share information quickly.
Jira is a corporate workspace that mostly fits big enterprises with complex projects and management systems. It can be quite complicated to learn how to work with the tool since it has a complicated interface.
However, Jira includes various features and add-ons to handle workflows, create reports and ensure proper task allocation between your coworkers. Plus, it provides custom packages for companies so they can pick the necessary functions for work.
The main features of Jira include the following:
- Templates for managing workflow — depending on the framework you picked for your company, Jira can adjust to it. You can choose Kanban or Scrum and select the purpose for using dashboards (e.g., bug fixes or DevOps);
- Reports — they help you track project progress, get insights on the team's productivity and see whether your team is all set for successfully operating and achieving business goals;
- Roadmaps — sync your team's tasks, allocate deadlines and assign colleagues to particular projects.
Jira is the best solution for enterprises with complex projects and workflows as it has all the assets for proper structuring and organizing them.
Monday.com isn’t just a practical and well-known work operating system. It allows you to customize workflow and integrate special tools tailored to the purposes of your team or department. This tool offers integrations for marketers, developers and project & sales managers. It's got a slick, intuitive design, so it won't be a problem to work with Monday, even if you haven't used something like this yet.
Monday.com has the following features:
- Adjustable workplace — you can customize its interface depending on your tasks: it's suitable for everything from project management to tasks related to HR and operations;
- Various visualization formats — this online workspace offers a range of designs and outlooks: tables, timelines, dashboards, kanban and Gantt charts;
- Multiple file type support — Monday.com allows you to work with any file type, so it won't be an issue to use videos, music files, text documents or PDFs in your dashboards to add more context and bring clarity to particular tasks;
- Integrations with other services — easily combine and add third-party services of any kind: from Jira and Mailchimp to Hootsuite and Adobe Creative Cloud. You can even integrate different online workspaces into the tool's ecosystem. Monday.com supports Trello, Asana, Basecamp and others.
Monday.com will fit middle-sized agile teams that want to ensure smooth collaboration and constantly keep track of the group's productivity and progress.
Trello is a more accessible version of Jira, so it's suitable for more companies and people of different levels of experience. It's an easy, drag-and-drop-based task planning tool with features necessary for prompt and effective communication between small and middle-sized teams. It's an excellent tool for automating work-related processes and ensuring transparent project completion and sharing feedback.
Here's what Trello offers:
- No-code automation (Butler) — this helps your team reduce the number of repetitive tasks and clicks in their dashboards and ensure faster project completion for everyone;
- Cards — this is where you get all the information about upcoming, current or past tasks, see conversations and attachments, keep track of deadlines and look through necessary documents;
- Simple navigation — suitable even for newbies, Trello is intuitive and easy to use. You can quickly switch between boards, find your teammates, tag them where necessary and look through your own or your team's current tasks;
- Templates — pick your industry and select useful dashboard templates for your team. This will save you time on getting your Trello board ready and help your team get the most convenient outlook for working together.
Trello is your choice if you want your colleagues to easily integrate into a new corporate culture and quickly learn how to use a new online workspace.
As you see, there are numerous options you can choose from to facilitate team collaboration and project management in your company. Online workspaces can provide a variety of opportunities for your colleagues, lower distractions and enhance the efficiency of every team member.
Once you've seen the best online workspaces, you can try them out, compare their functionality and eventually start using one of them to meet business goals with complete readiness. However, you may have noticed that some of them fit different types of companies. One of the most universal solutions here is Nimbus Platform. It perfectly fits remote, in-house, and hybrid working teams, and it's suitable for both huge corporations and startups. Let's get started with our guide.
Try it out for free to feel the difference and boost your team's efficiency right away!
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