Whether your team is made up of 4 people or 40, collaborating and working together as a unit can be a challenge. Especially when remote work is becoming more common and working environments become more global and diverse by the second.
If you’re not careful, hours of your employees’ days will get eaten up by unnecessary email chains and meetings as they always strive to get “up to speed.”
But you don’t need to surrender to the chaos. Use a team app to make sure that everyone knows their role and what they should be doing at any given time.
Why your company needs a team app
A growing remote workforce is only the beginning. If you don’t take action, the modern digital office is a breeding ground for inefficiency.
Here are four leading reasons why to adopt a team app in 2021.
1. Remote workers have more than doubled since 2011
You probably have at least a few full-time staff that occasionally work from home. 54% of full-time employees could work remotely in 2020, and we expect that number to have skyrocketed with the global pandemic.
That’s a sharp increase over the past decade, where it has almost doubled. In some industries, like IT, 100% remote workers are starting to become the norm.
And the majority of them (65%) work remotely frequently, very often, or all the time. Once a week or more often is more common than just now and then.
The ability to work from home has also become one of the highest priority benefits among job seekers. If you want to attract top talent, having the infrastructure in place to allow remote work is an excellent start.
To get a complete guide to the impact that working from home has on productivity, check out our Working from Home ebook.
2. Keeping track of documents and files is a challenge
Without a system in place to keep track of relevant project (or process) documents and files, your workers will have to work to find them every time. 49% of employees struggle to locate relevant documents and files.
It’s a huge problem even if everyone works in the same office. The lack of a comprehensive system makes it an unnecessary time suck for your staff.
Now, if staff from multiple locations are collaborating on a project, things get even worse. They desperately need an effective way to share and keep track of documents across locations.
And if you have even a single worker who works remotely even some of the time, it gets worse.
3. More efficient digital collaboration and work assignment
Remember how we mentioned that your average employee might lose hours every day trying to keep track of project status and relevant tasks?
That wasn’t a number we pulled out of thin air. The average worker spends 3.1 hours per day checking, reading, and replying to work emails.
That’s almost 40% of the regular working hours that you pay your staff for. If you want to boost productivity, reduce their need for constant communication.
The best approach is to introduce a platform for managing tasks, projects, and processes.
4. Distributing responsibility and ownership is essentialCompanies with engaged workers outperform those with unengaged staff in every area. They have higher productivity, lower absenteeism, and better profitability and sales. You need a system in place to foster engagement.
As an example, check out this graph showcasing percentage improvements for companies with top quartile worker engagement.
With the right digital team app, you can empower your employees to take on more responsibility without increasing the risk of any unforeseen failures or delays.
What features does a team app need to improve productivity?
But just settling for any smartphone app isn’t going to do your team any good. You need to make sure that you get features that will help you solve those challenges.
Here are the top 5 we think are the most important:
1. Project and task management and transparency
A team app that has complete project status transparency will help eliminate a lot of unnecessary communication.
monday.com offers fully customizable team management boards that you can easily tailor to create your ideal workflow. If you’re looking for a basic task board for your team, you can create one in minutes with the team tasks template.
With a single look, a manager can see the status of tasks and find potential bottlenecks. That means they can directly contact and help out team members they already know are behind schedule.
And monday.com isn’t just a simple task management tool. It’s a complete digital work platform that goes way beyond that.
2. Real-time communication and collaboration
Your team needs a channel for real-time communication and collaboration if they’re not in the same office.
monday.com offers comments with threaded discussions, mentions, and notifications at the task level.
The context makes communication more effective and ensures that unrelated team members don’t spend any time reading or responding to it.
If you want to go beyond comments, we offer native integrations with Slack and other team chat apps. You can automatically send messages based on updates on monday, or create task cards based on messages from Slack.
3. Intuitive file management
If you don’t want your team to waste their time searching for docs, you need a team app that makes logical file storage simple.
What’s easier to understand than relevant files and documents attached directly to tasks?
You can add a specific file column to your board if your deliverables are files, like with graphic design. You can also upload files with task status changes or in the updates section.
You can then add comments and start discussions directly on the uploaded files. For example, a creative director can provide quick feedback on a wireframe or mockup design.
If you already use a cloud-based platform like Google Drive or OneDrive, don’t worry. monday.com has integrations for those platforms. You can easily add files from your cloud storage solution too.
4. Multi-platform support
You want an app that supports all major platforms, not just for your staff’s desktop computers but also for everyone’s mobile device.
monday.com offers apps for the following platforms:
- Desktop app for Windows
- Desktop app for Mac
- Mobile app for Android phone and tablets
- Mobile app for iOS phones and tablets
5. Real-time KPI dashboards
Want a better image of your team’s overall performance than just looking at completed tasks will give you?
monday.com also offers dashboards where you can customize the widgets to highlight your KPIs (key performance indicators) of choice.
Our dashboards can also help you make calculated decisions every time.
We even offer integrations with payment processors like Stripe, e-commerce platforms like Shopify, and much more! That means you can pull real sales data from these services into your dashboards.
3 essential digital tools for a productive team
To create the optimal workflow for your team (whether remote or not), you need the following apps.
1. The Work OS
What we’ve coined the Work OS is a digital platform that acts as the foundation for all your projects and collaboration.
What a Work OS helps you achieve:
- Keep all your employees up to speed on current tasks and project status.
- Manage all your files and data in the same place.
- Optimize your workflows with smart automations and integrations.
- Visualize essential data with customizable dashboards and reports.
- Implement permission control over tasks, workflows, and file access.
It not only makes it easier to work together as a team but also breaks down silos between multiple teams and departments.
It creates a digital workspace where your team can come together and work efficiently without needing to waste their time on mundane tasks like copying data from one platform to another.
With a host of native integrations and smart workflow automations, monday.com almost becomes like an extra assistant manager for your team.
If you want to boost productivity, it’s the best place to start.
2. Real-time chat and meeting apps
For brainstorming and live meetings, you sometimes want a more free-format live chat or video call.
If you’re not using one already, consider using a chat app like Slack. It will let your teams communicate quickly and freely when necessary.
Real-time chat or even audio or video calls can often be the fastest way to answer complex questions or solve problems as a team.
The integrations serve as the foundation for a fast and interactive workflow. For example, you can automatically message specific channels when a task reaches a “stuck” status.
3. Document and collaboration apps
If you run a creative team, multiple team members probably often collaborate on the same project.
You likely also have a review and editing workflow for both text and visuals. Platforms like Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 can help make these workflows smoother.
Multiple copywriters can work on the same document in real-time and get a change history for any edits made by the editor.
Through our Google Drive and OneDrive integrations, you can easily add any shared documents directly to tasks.
5 tips for successfully making the transition to a team app
Old habits are hard to break. If you want to make the transition to a better way of working, you need your entire team to commit to it.
1. Include your team in the decision-making process
If you want to make a smooth transition, include your entire team as early on in the process as you can.
For example, you can ask them to review the different tools you are considering and offer their opinions.
(We’re confident enough in the usability and unique integrations and features of our platform to bet your team will end up seeing eye to eye here.)
2. Schedule the switch to give everyone time to learn
No matter what method you’re currently using (if any!) it’s a good idea to give your team some advanced notice of the improvement they’re about to endure.
If you can give your staff a week or at least a few days to play around with the new platform, so they can get used to the idea, and maybe even assist others with cool tips.
After the switch, however, you need to focus on a 100% rate of adoption. Don’t give anyone the excuse to follow the old system by keeping it up and running.
3. Make the team leader an advocate for the new platform
Once you’ve made the switch, you need an advocate in place to help everyone become proficient.
If nobody else stands out, it makes sense to let the team leader or manager play this role.
But if you have another team member that loves new and shiny tech, you can give them the responsibility.
Bottom line: if someone takes the time to get to know the platform extra well, that will help speed up the transition. A quick, “Hey, did you know you could do this?” from a coworker is more powerful than any tutorial or onboarding video.
4. Use it to schedule all mandatory meetings or share meeting notes
You don’t want to give your staff any excuses to avoid the platform. If you use it to schedule mandatory meetings, they will inevitably have to check and start working with the platform.
You can also use it to take meeting notes and create action lists during meetings.
This approach will help keep everyone on the same page during the early days.
5. Create a simple onboarding doc or video for new members
Once your existing team is working effortlessly with the new platform, it’s easy to think that the battle is over.
But not so fast. New members who join your team or company won’t be familiar with the platform and your unique workflows.
We highly recommend investing some time and effort into outlining how you use the tool at your company in a video or onboarding document.
Get started instantly
If you want to reach that golden ideal of effortless teamwork, you need a smart and self-explanatory system in place.
monday.com’s team app, available for both Mac and Windows, is a powerful extension of our core Work OS.
With our intuitive interface, there’s really no learning curve required. And from there, you can start molding our platform to your own workflows and creating your team’s ideal digital workspace.
We recommend you get started with one of our simple templates, like the team task management template.
Try our platform now, the first two weeks are on us!