Collaboration is vital for the day-to-day running of a business.
Without effective collaboration, teams can miscommunicate, lose trust in each other, and fall apart. This can impact everything from your company’s bottom line to its entire culture.
Collaboration has many holistic benefits. It boosts productivity, creativity, and work quality among employees. People are more engaged with their work if they’re part of a strong and supportive team.
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Whether you’re using productivity management tools or unified communications software, collaboration is the key to success.
But the traditional workday is changing. Remote work, global workforces, differing shift patterns, and four-day working weeks are becoming the norm. Many companies allow all their staff to work from home, and even if you work in an office, it can be difficult to get hold of your colleagues.
How do we collaborate in a world that’s becoming more and more physically disconnected?
Screen sharing might be the answer.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of screen sharing and how you can use it to streamline communication and collaboration for your business.
- Better Communication
- Less Disruptive Meetings
- Better Onboarding and Training
- Remote Work
- Employee Happiness
- Tech Support
- Customer Support
- Remote Sales
What Is Screen Sharing?
Simply put, screen sharing allows two or more people to share what’s happening on another screen.
To introduce some technical jargon, screen sharing works like this: there is a host device and a remote device (or multiple remote devices).
The host device allows access to the remote devices through the internet, giving remote devices the ability to:
- See the host device’s screen.
- Take remote control of the host device via mouse, keyboard, or touch.
- Optimally, see HD videos being streamed from the host device
This access can be limited to simply showing presentations or expanded to allow complex data sharing.
Types of Screen Sharing
Let’s expound on some of the tools screen-sharing offers.
Remote access is the process of a remote device accessing a host device. The remote device can log into the host device and, depending on the level of access, share a screen or access data.
Remote access is the foundation of screen sharing. It’s the mechanism by which screen sharing works.
A remote device can access a host device and take remote control of it. This can be especially helpful for technical problems, where an IT support worker with remote access can diagnose and fix technical problems quickly. Or when a salesperson or a customer success agent is helping a client to fill out complex forms.
Devices can share data through screen sharing. Images, videos, presentations, spreadsheets, documents, you name it. This is especially good for collaboration, as important data can be shared instantly and discussed in real-time.
Free to use image sourced from Pixabay
A virtual whiteboard is a shared collaborative space. Think of a physical whiteboard where you’re able to write and wipe notes. Now imagine that on a screen instead.
A virtual whiteboard can be used to conduct presentations, with one person using the whiteboard whilst colleagues watch in real time. Or a virtual whiteboard can be accessed by a whole team for a brainstorming session.
11 Benefits of Screen Sharing
Screen sharing can improve collaboration and productivity across the board. Here are 11 ways to use screen sharing to your advantage.
We’ve talked about the importance of collaboration, but it can’t be overstated.
Collaboration keeps the wheels of your business turning; without it, employees miscommunicate, make mistakes, become isolated, and even leave.
Screen-sharing technology facilitates communication and collaboration between teams.
2. Better Communication
Say you have an important question about a work issue. This issue involves several staff members and requires a lengthy discussion and probably a complicated resolution.
What are your options?
Firstly, you need to be very good at describing the problem in detail so that everyone understands what they’re dealing with.
Secondly, you need to choose a way to proceed. You could call up both colleagues, putting one on hold while describing your issue to the other and vice versa. You could email both colleagues, hoping they’re available and going back and forth throughout the day. You could ask both colleagues to come to your office so you can better discuss the problem. You could even try to schedule a full-scale meeting.
By choosing the right communication tools, such as screen sharing, this issue can be resolved faster and with less fuss.
You can get on a quick screen share with your colleagues or create a group chat to instant message each other. You can share documents, pictures, videos, or even your entire computer screen to better demonstrate the problem, and you and your colleagues can discuss solutions in real time.
Screen sharing changes the game when it comes to workplace collaboration. Communicating with colleagues, higher-ups, clients, and customers becomes immediate and comprehensive. This means fewer delays, misunderstandings, and disruptions to everyone’s day.
By leveraging screen sharing technology, teams can track and measure their collaborative efforts more effectively using Flow Metrics. These metrics provide insights into the flow of work, identifying bottlenecks, optimizing processes, and ultimately enhancing productivity and collaboration.
3. Less Disruptive Meetings
Meetings can be a problem.
They’re a necessary part of collaboration, but they can be disruptive, lengthy, chaotic, and often pointless.
- Time: Workers need to take time out of their day to travel to the meeting place, either from home or from their workspaces. Meetings rarely stick to the time allocated, which can cause further time disruptions.
- Too many cooks: There are often a lot of voices included, which can make things confusing.
- Data sharing: The sole purpose of a meeting is to share data, and this is generally done via paper and presentations. But paper and presentation notes can be misplaced. A presentation can be emailed to each staff member, but will anyone open it? Not to mention that emails inevitably end up pushed further down the inbox and forgotten about.
Overall, workers cite meetings as a major disruption to their jobs rather than a benefit to collaboration.
Image sourced from livecareer.com
Just take a look at the statistics. 69% of workers think they attend too many meetings. 57% think meetings are pointless. 56% believe meetings disrupt their workflow. The statistics go on and on, and they’re pretty damning.
But many workers still believe meetings are important to collaboration—so how do you find a better balance?
Screen sharing allows for more variety when it comes to sharing information.
Most importantly, nobody has to leave their workspace. Remote meetings can be done via video conferencing or screen sharing. There is no traveling required, which cuts out a large portion of time disruption.
And if a meeting goes over time, there is less resentment from workers since a) they don’t have to leave their desks, and b) it’s easier to get time-sensitive work done during a remote meeting without causing disruptions.
Instead of scheduling what many workers consider too many meetings, smaller sessions between only relevant parties can be planned with a frequency that changes depending on circumstances. Since screen sharing facilitates better communication, not everything has to be a whole meeting.
Better control over meetings
Larger meetings can be done via video conferencing, allowing the presenter better control over the meeting. Data sharing happens in real time so that all attendants can follow along.
Meetings can also be recorded, which benefits everyone.
Technological advancements for meetings
Businesses can take advantage of new and emerging screen-sharing technology to enhance collaboration.
For example, AI technology can accurately transcribe every word said in a meeting. No more taking messy notes and doodling in the margins instead. And no more bashfully emailing the boss to ask a question about a presentation when you should’ve been taking better notes instead of doodling!
4. Better Onboarding and Training
Onboarding new employees and training them in your company’s systems can be time-consuming for both parties.
Hiring new employees requires multiple rounds of interviews. Onboarding new hires requires lengthy discussions about responsibilities and skill levels.
Screen sharing allows all of this to be conducted remotely; no travel time or securing a room to meet in. The prospective hires can go through multiple rounds of interviews and undergo real-time skill tests with HR without anyone having to leave their workspace.
As for training new employees, screen sharing can facilitate that, too.
Instead of the traditional method of getting the trainer and the trainee together at a desk, both struggling to see the screen as they vie for space and control over the mouse and keyboard, screen sharing is much simpler.
It can be done remotely. Screen sharing allows the trainer to walk the trainee through step-by-step processes in real time.
And both parties can communicate at all times via video call, voice chat, or instant messaging. The trainee can point to specific things they don’t understand and have the trainer explain as they go.
5. Remote Work
We can’t discuss screen sharing without talking about remote work.
Remote work has always been an option for some jobs, but the COVID-19 pandemic saw the necessity driving greater and more widespread change.
Working from home became the norm, and businesses had to scramble to ensure teams could still collaborate effectively at a distance. This problem needed a solution. From VoIP systems taking your phone system online to complex video conferencing apps like Zoom, software developers delivered.
Screen-sharing technology offers better ways to conduct meetings, share information, communicate with colleagues, work on projects, and store data for easy referral—things every remote worker needs for effective collaboration.
Even as the major brunt of the pandemic passed, the demand for remote work only grew. Most employees want remote work, either fully or hybrid.
Image sourced from buffer.com
The solutions that facilitated collaboration during a difficult time have become essential to the everyday operations of most businesses.
6. Employee Happiness
As the statistics above show, workers tend to prefer either fully remote or hybrid working environments. Some of the stated reasons are better work-life balance, the flexibility of choosing where to live, and having zero commute.
It’s no wonder that happier workers are more productive.
Screen sharing is one of the main tools businesses can use to facilitate collaboration during remote work. If remote work is the future of employee happiness and productivity, communication tools that allow screen sharing are likely to become the norm for most companies.
7. Tech Support
Gone are the days of putting in a call to your IT support, waiting for them to arrive in the office, and standing idly by as they commandeer your system.
With screen sharing, IT professionals can simply gain access to your screen remotely and diagnose and fix the problem from their own workspace.
This is especially beneficial if you don’t have an in-house IT support team. You can avoid the pain of scheduling a time that works best for you and the support worker, as well as the lengthy downtime to your systems as you wait.
And even if you do have in-house IT support, screen sharing will save them a journey through the workplace. They can work from their own office.
Either way, you’ll spend a lot less time waiting around for IT support and get the problem fixed a lot quicker.
8. Customer Support
Customer support can benefit from screen sharing, too. Similarly to company tech support, your business can adopt screen sharing to offer support to customers and clients.
This is a no-brainer if you run a tech company. Your customers might not be very tech-savvy, and having them try to explain a complex problem they barely understand can often send both of you around in circles. Screen sharing allows your customer support access to the customer’s screen so they can investigate and fix the problem themselves.
And once again, all without leaving their workspace.
9. Remote Sales
If you’re in the business of tech solutions, you can use screen sharing to pitch more effective sales.
It’s the perfect example of “show, don’t tell,” and it’s a winning sales technique.
You can show your client how to install, use, and get the most out of your product, and the client can ask questions as they go. This can help you build trust with prospective customers, showcasing the best you have to offer while providing a human touch and proving that you’re a customer-centric organization.
Even if you don’t work in tech solutions, screen sharing can be beneficial. You can present any sales pitch remotely, with the ability to share important data as you go.
Additionally, with the availability of free screen recorder and free screen sharing tools, you can easily record your product demos and share them with potential customers for later viewing or as a reference for training purposes.
If you’re pitching to a client halfway across the globe, being there in person just isn’t realistic. Screen sharing allows you to widen your product’s reach to a global level without any travel constraints.
Screen sharing can also be enhanced by using dedicated webinar tools, which offer additional features like audience interaction, Q\&A sessions, and analytics.
In many industries, conferences and training seminars are vital to keeping up with the latest technology, techniques, and networking opportunities.
But like meetings, travel and time are drawbacks to gaining important insights. These educational opportunities are essential for growth, but people often can’t attend for reasons outside their control. This can leave busy professionals feeling left behind.
Increasingly, events like conferences are also going remote. Workers can attend webinars from the comfort of their own homes or workplaces without having to take time off for extensive travel.
Screen-sharing technology comes with a certain amount of security.
Imagine you work in healthcare and have a problem with a patient. You type out an email describing this problem in great detail and send it to a trusted colleague. But you’ve misspelled the email address. You’ve accidentally sent it to someone else.
Not only have you breached patient confidentiality, but you’ve also put yourself, your patient, and your entire company at risk.
This wouldn’t happen if you could share a screen with your colleague and show them your issue. Cutting down the need for unnecessary external communication can greatly increase privacy and security.
And if you use third-party screen-sharing software, you should be confident that the developers strived to create top-notch security and meet regulatory standards.
Use Technology for Better Collaboration
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash
Running a successful company is all about effective collaboration between your team. In our increasingly hectic, remote, and global world, collaboration has never been a more intricate puzzle.
Whether we’re working remotely or as part of a busy office, we need more sophisticated solutions. From AI to types of office phone systems to workflow automation apps, the ones we have are getting better and becoming more widely available. However, the complexity of remote collaboration is still a challenge.
One efficient solution to this is screen sharing. Screen sharing is an essential tool in your collaboration arsenal. Consider the benefits of using screen sharing to facilitate communication, simplify workflow, and increase productivity.