Three Fixes for Your Office Collaboration Conundrum

A look at some of today's most easy-to-use, yet powerful, tools to increase inter-office connectivity.

Courtesy Georgie Wood

In an increasingly global age, it’s common practice for companies to communicate across multiple offices—whether across town or different time zones. With multiple offices comes a host of challenges, including fostering a cohesive culture among employees who don’t often have personal interaction with each other. Modern day tools like video conferencing make it easier for staff to stay in touch. But, not all platforms are simple to use, affordable, and accessible off-site.

Here are some of the most easy-to-use, yet powerful, tools around that allow for inter-office work among multiple employees.

Highfive: Hassle-free video conferencing

This video conferencing device allows any business to create a connected company culture among several offices. Highfive’s camera-enabled device connects users over the Internet in less than five minutes of setup time out of the box. Employees can log in remotely via the accompanying smartphone app or simply by sending—or accepting—an email invitation to join the conversation. Highfive offers full HD quality video and high fidelity sound in an all-in-one package. Starting at just $1,200 per device, one Highfive unit can connect up to seven remote users.

Bluescape: Digitizing the workspace

Bluescape is an interactive system that allows users to collaborate on projects in real-time. The custom built multi-touch workspace, used by companies like Haworth, functions like a blank canvas. Employees can swipe, zoom, add to and edit projects while sharing all kinds of media, including pictures and handwritten notes. As a cloud-based system, Bluescape can be accessed via any device with a web browser.

Slack: Go beyond email

Created by the founder of Flickr, Slack is an all in one messaging platform that some say could soon replace email. Staff members can direct message, create chat rooms and share documents, videos and much more with each other. The online tool fully integrates with many well-known third party services, including Dropbox, Twitter, and Google Drive. But, Slack’s free service streamlines all of your communications into one searchable location. Users can unlock additional features with a paid monthly subscription.

From independent apps, cloud platforms and self-built proprietary systems, companies today have an abundance of virtual communication tools—ranging from free to ultra-expensive—at their disposal to better collaborate between distributed teams.

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