There are many benefits to coworking, which is why the concept is growing in popularity around the world. One of the many positives of coworking is that you are free to build your company dynamically, without a drastic rise in overheads. As your business expands, it is essential that you equip your team with the best tools available to provide structure, help communicate, and coordinate progress throughout all departments. With so many tools to choose from, it is important that you understand exactly what you need from each tool in order to help you make an informed decision.
1. Google Apps
Google has garnered a reputation for developing some of the best online organizational tools; their Apps suite provides small businesses with many low-cost benefits. Storing large piles of paperwork is not an option in a coworking environment, but Google’s excellent implementation of cloud computing eliminates this problem quickly and easily with the added advantage that people can collaborate on a piece of work. Microsoft Office has always been the undisputed market leader, but Google Docs is rapidly closing that gap, and for individual companies, it may be a better choice.
Slack is one of the fastest growing platforms for small business communication. Effectively an online chat program, it offers many advanced and premium features. Totally cross-platform, Slack enables teams to talk within one large group, individually, or any other variation that is needed. For instance, managers could have their own private group with individual employees, but also have integrated channels shared with everyone on the team. Communication within a company is a fundamental component to success, and Slack provides many different methods to facilitate this.
There may well be situations where instant communication could be difficult, especially if your team works in different shifts. In this regard, Slack may not be a great solution. Trello, on the other hand, is an easy way to run and coordinate your project management. Separate teams are easily able to see the progress made on projects and what remains. The software is very easy to learn and understand, which is another important factor to consider when selecting your software of choice. With the bonus of native Google Docs integration, Trello provides the perfect project management platform with only a subtle learning curve for your staff.
Dropbox provides the perfect solution for file storage. A cloud-based storage system, it has apps for the vast majority of platforms that provides easy access to all of your important files, regardless of location. This includes videos, photos, and any other type of digital medium. Syncing is fully automated, and the system can be set up to store your files on a desktop computer and in the cloud. This provides a form of resilience should either system develop a fault.
Security should always be of importance both in personal and professional situations. Clients are trusting you with their data, and as your business grows, the list of passwords and login details will also grow. Storing these vital details in a book or on a sheet of paper is introducing a significant weakness into your security procedures. Secondly, if all ten employees need access to a piece of software or a server, it is essential that you have a better system than just providing everyone with a sheet of paper. LastPass provides the perfect solution for all of these issues, as it allows you to have one separate encrypted security vault, which can be accessed individually via a private password. Each employee has their individual password, and the owner of the company has the option to limit access to certain items. LastPass provides the best level of protection, for online passwords, and your data remains safe and secure at all times.
There are thousands of different pieces of software you can use to further enhance your coworking space. As a manager or owner, it is essential to remember that any software is only valuable if your staff can operate it quickly and easily.
Keep in mind, overly complicated pieces of software will create more problems than they solve, so consider all options before making your final decision. At Novel Coworking we are always evaluating ways to further enhance the coworking experience, so come visit one of our locations and try it out!