Types of Digital Collaboration

Business Insights

With the increase in people working in “third space” environments like Regus and WeWork, there is substantial evidence that many companies need secure, coordinated interactions. Traditionally, if a team wanted to work together on a project, everyone had to be present at the same place, at the same time. However, through the development of digital technology, work collaboration has never been easier - team members can now work together on the same project from different corners of the world.

According to a report by McKinsey, productivity has improved by 20 to 30 per cent because of collaboration. As collaboration tools continue to evolve, they make interactions between team members, management and even customers more seamless. They help individuals become more informed to make better decisions, as well as support virtual working if the team is distributed. These technologies are changing the way employees work together and ultimately, how companies do business.

Cloud collaboration

Cloud collaboration allows employees to work together on projects, even if they are located in other cities. Documents and files are uploaded and saved to a remote database, and the internet provides access between the user’s computer and the cloud.

The project creator can create the file or document and invite colleagues to join. This allows users to view the project, communicate through the comments or chat function, and edit the document at any time, even when other users are working on it as well. All changes are saved and synced in real-time; enabling all users participating in the project to see the updated version.

Top collaboration software’s are known to provide accessible, flexible and secure cloud collaboration services. The typical features include dashboards, document collaboration, discussion forums and commenting, shared calendars, task management and many more.

Visual collaboration

Visual collaboration is another layer of digital collaboration that has transformed the way organisations work, complete projects and run meetings. These visual tools enable teams to be more efficient and productive, especially if the team works in a creative industry.

There are several types of visual collaboration:

    · Video conferencing

    With many people working remotely or from home, video conferencing can be very appealing for many employers and employees. Video conferencing allows individuals to save time and money as they do not need to travel to the place where the meeting is held. Although they are physically in a different room, video conferences can allow them to connect with the team and make it feel like they are in the same place.

    · Screen sharing

    The working environment in the present day is filled with many freelancers, contractors and employees that may be working in another branch. Screen sharing allows a user to show others what they are doing on their computer – it is typically used for training, presentations and IT support whenever your device has technical issues.

    · Content sharing

    Content sharing allows users to access documents and files and collaborate. Instead of discussing potential changes over the phone, or emailing copies of the draft, content sharing tools such as Google Docs can be used. Google Docs allows a user to create and share the document with colleagues, use their chat box system to voice their opinions, and edit that particular document simultaneously.

Workstream collaboration

Workstream collaboration can be defined as a streamlined user experience for team members to communicate with each other efficiently, effectively and with transparency. Although developments with digital tools have transformed an organisations communication workstream over the years, many employees feel that having multiple tools causes a fragmented process and can lead to miscommunication.

Employees agree that collaborating and communicating over email can be frustrating as it can be challenging to find and track conversations, and search for the updated file. When receiving multiple emails a day, along with iterations of the same document, contributing your efforts for the project can be a struggle when you cannot find the most current version. As such, many businesses are migrating over to workstream collaboration tools to effectively communicate, collaborate, accelerate innovation, and effectively get more work done from any location.


Groupware is specifically important for computer-supported cooperative work and is the umbrella term which includes the particular features of the cloud, visual and workstream collaboration. Groupware is used to describe several types of programs that allow individuals to work together collectively regardless of spatial or temporal distance.

Features of Groupware services include shared database access, sharing of calendars, electronic meetings, collective writing, email handling and more. Groupware can be divided into two categories, the synchronous groupware and asynchronous groupware, which describes whether the group members collaborate in real-time or does not.


Around 40 years ago, humans started creating smart systems, neural networks, machine learning and bots. Advances in AI have made it easier for people to collaborate as machines are smart enough to function. A variety of bots, such as Text Recruit, AllyO, VCV, MyAlly, Xor.ai are already used in a business setting. These advanced technologies can search for candidates, schedule meetings and interviews, and learn from the data to become smarter recruiters.

The use of these bots excuses individuals from carrying out tedious and repetitive tasks. Therefore allowing, individuals to focus on optimising their business’s structure, as well as improving efficiency and productivity in other areas of the company.