Problems of digital collaboration: email as a stumbling block to more efficiency


Everyone is talking about digital collaboration. Especially in the last few years, this topic has become even more important. In many companies, however, the prerequisites for successful digital collaboration first had to be literally tapped out of the ground. There are certainly numerous advantages to this – not only for the individual employees, but also for the entire company.

This article is about the opportunities and benefits that arise from successful digital collaboration. And although many new digital tools are available to us these days, the tried and tested email will continue to make up a large part of communication. Therefore, in this paper we will also look at the challenges involved.

Digital collaboration - A short definition

If you follow the tips below and stick to the rules in a disciplined way, you can get a better grip on your emails and save up to 20 percent of your precious working time. If you want to minimise the time you spend processing e-mails, you should remember two guidelines in particular: only open your inbox when you have the time to process the messages. And, if possible, tick off an email after opening it for the first time. This saves you the effort of having to look into the email again at a later date. And you free yourself from the psychological burden of open but unfinished emails.

Our digital everyday life

In our everyday professional life, we often have situations in which we work together across locations and with different parties. Regardless of the business context, we use a variety of tools to do this – from phone calls to email and video conferencing to collaborative chat applications or platforms to share documents, there are a multitude of options.

In this context, digital solutions have become indispensable as a form of cooperation. The digital transformation makes it possible to support teamwork more and more through collaboration tools. Be it for communication, in the area of knowledge management, the organisation and implementation of projects, or or or.

For example, many companies use applications such as Slack and Microsoft Teams as communication channels and repositories. Trello, Jira or similar applications are used for project planning, process analysis or task management.

The problem is often that transparency within working groups is lacking or that responsibilities are not clearly defined. This not only affects the productivity of the employees, it can also lead to tasks not being completed and processed on time, which may result in considerable costs and unnecessary additional work.

With simple solutions for a clearly defined workflow, you can ensure that these problems do not arise in the first place. The correct handling of information from e-mails, both in one’s own mailbox and in group mailboxes, is the first step in this process. This way, you can benefit from the advantages of digital collaboration and save time in the implementation of your projects at the same time.

Advantages of digital collaboration

Digital collaboration creates many benefits for teams and businesses of all sizes. These benefit not only employees but also supervisors and the entire organisation. We would like to highlight some of the benefits of digital collaboration and the use of collaboration tools below:

  • Simple implementation
    A short and uncomplicated workflow ensures a uniform process that all employees can easily learn and use from home.
  • Your work becomes profitable
    More efficient processes increase your productivity.
  • Transparent communication
    In the office, it’s not uncommon for important things to get lost in between discussions. By using digital applications, all important conversation content is preserved and can be accessed by all participants at any time.
  • All information in the right place
    With suitable collaboration tools and a clearly communicated procedure for digital collaboration, searching for information is a thing of the past and everyone knows where to find the necessary information on specific processes.
  • The flood of e-mails has come to an end
    …and the feeling of a never-ending story, when you think of your email inbox, it’s gone for good. By increasing the use of collaboration tools, you finally put a stop to the tried and tested “email ping pong”. Find the information where it should be and save yourself a long search in your email inbox.
  • You are positioned crisis-proof
    The Corona pandemic has shown it. When special circumstances require working from home, companies must be positioned accordingly. With uniform processes, transparent solutions and the necessary technical infrastructure, your employees can carry out their tasks as usual anywhere and at any time.

Outlook in the morning, ...

And yet it still exists… The good old e-mail. The first thought after opening your Outlook in the morning is often one of horror? So many unread messages again – that you have ever emptied and “worked through” your email inbox, you have already finished with that.

The secret is to link this communication channel with the additional applications (MS Teams, Jira, Trello, Sharepoint, etc.) in a target-oriented way. If you manage to do this in your day-to-day business, you will not only save time, but you can also become much more productive, delegate work or make it available for discussion/information.

Perhaps you know situations like this: You ask yourself, “Have I already filed this e-mail somewhere? I have already forwarded the e-mail, but I don’t know anything about the current processing status. Is there anything left to do now? Someone will come to me if there is still something to be done on my part…”.

This is just a simplified example of the daily email chaos – but it shows the lack of transparency for what comes after the email is received – The tasks, projects and further activities that derive from the receipt.

Digital collaboration, group mailboxes & Co.

In collaboration, a lot of time is lost searching for up-to-date lists and documents. A team member may even be working with an outdated list and wasting hours of work. With digital collaboration using unified software solutions, everyone has access to the most up-to-date documents and files. The result: less time wasted searching for the right documents.

Make e-mail processing easier and don’t let e-mails become a burden.

The best tools and apps for successful digital collaboration

  1. Microsoft Teams:
    Applications like Microsoft Teams are a must for the modern workplace and an ideal platform for digital collaboration. The social media-like software is not only suitable for internal departmental cooperation but also for communication in projects with customers and guests.
  2. Outlook Add In Mailissa:
    Everyone benefits from this simple function extension of your Outlook client – the individual employees and the entire organisation. You can use this add-in to comment on your e-mails directly in the Outlook sidebar, take over editing or pass on responsibilities and set a status. You can file the emails directly in the right business context in your systems (MS Teams, Sharepoint, and many more…) and access the processing history at any time – and all this without leaving your Outlook client.
  3. Office Expert & End Performance Management
    Digital collaboration is great when the conditions are right. Fast devices, reliable applications and services are of great importance for end users. They play a major role in terms of acceptance and their productivity. Analyse and work with real-time data, save yourself the hassle of collecting log data and increase the efficiency of your IT and thus the productivity of the end users.

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