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Virtual collaboration is more than a good internet connection

In order to make a productive and effective contribution to business objectives, good cooperation between colleagues, peers and customers is essential. Supported by trends such as: development in the labor market, technological progress and the fact that many organizations are increasingly active on an international stage, makes it so that collaboration is increasingly taking place at a distance. As a result, more and more offices are increasingly being designed for this. Of course, remote collaboration will never match on-site collaboration.  

However, virtual collaboration has become necessary, and so, organizations will have to do everything they can to supply this form of collaboration. In this blog I explain what the most important conditions are to make virtual collaboration a success. 

1. Examine the needs of your employees 
It may sound silly from a CTO, but organizations shouldn't start with technology, but with people. As far as technology is concerned, a lot is already possible and those possibilities are only increasing. But organizations should remember that ultimately, technology should be beneficial to the employees and enable them to perform their tasks more efficientlyAnd that starts with analyzing their needs and mapping their everyday processes. This provides insight into which technology is useful, and which is not. And even after purchasing technology, it is necessary to measure user behavior, so that you can be sure that the technology actually contributes to productivity. 

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2. Focus on user-friendliness to accelerate adoption 
Looking closely at the needs of employees is not limited to the activity alone. Take the example of video conferencing. Having access to technology that makes it possible to call colleagues who are working abroad is one thing. Ensuring that the technology is used optimally is another. Too often a video call starts later than planned because employees first have to figure out how again, the system works. The most important lesson here is: never make technology more complex than necessary. Where voice control will be the new standard for operating systems in the future, today it is mainly operated by a touchpad. As a good practice, do not display more functionalities on this than necessary. Because the easier it is to use, the sooner the end-users will feel comfortable using the technology. The more the technology is used, the more insight you as an organization can obtain into the contribution of the technology and the productivity of your employees. 

3.Virtual collaboration thrives with face-to-face collaboration 
Virtual collaboration should not be regarded as an alternative to face-to-face collaboration. Of course, today's technology makes collaboration between colleagues or partners who do not work in the same location easier, but it will never substitute a face-to-face meeting. For example, I am an advocate of meeting at the same location at the start of an important project. Especially when you are working with new colleagues and partners. Of course, as the project progresses, more topics can be discussed and completed with the help of virtual collaboration. 

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