You’d expect a company to use its own products if it can, and we’re no exception. Here at HighQ, we’re the perfect client for HighQ Collaborate. Our team is spread across offices in seven cities on four continents. Every day, HighQ team members are out visiting clients, working from home or out of the office attending conferences or events. Using our own cloud collaboration platform means that we are all connected, able to communicate and collaborate unimpeded by physical location.
Using Collaborate helps us to find out what we can do to make our product better. But primarily, we use Collaborate to help us work together more productively, collaboratively and efficiently. Here’s what we do with Collaborate.
We work together on wikis, sharing ideas, creating drafts and distributing information. One of us will start a draft document within a wiki, and our colleagues chip in to finish it off. We sense-check and edit one another’s work within wikis, which is much easier than emailing drafts back and forth to each other. This also means that other colleagues who may be interested in the subject can read and contribute too.
Follow each other’s work
We follow one another just like on Twitter, so we can see what each other is working on or talking about. Using the activity stream, we keep tabs on the day-to-day activities across the company so we all have an idea of what’s going on in different teams or offices as well as our own. This helps us see how our work fits in with HighQ’s wider activities and goals.
Broadcast news and company updates
When there is company news or industry news relevant to us we share it in a blog post. When we have quick news to share we post it as a microblog post which appears on everyone’s activity stream. Whether this is congratulating about client wins, introducing new people to the company, or posting pictures from staff parties, everyone is free to read, share, like and comment on these posts.
We also use blogs and microblogs to share trends, ideas, thought leadership topics, and ask questions of one another. For us this is essential as we need to stay on top of the latest goings on in the industry in which we operate, as well as keeping up with the things that matter to our clients so that we can ensure we’re providing them with the services they need at all times.
Manage our time
We create events in the events module for all of the events we attend, host, or keep an eye on so that everyone in the company knows what’s going on and what they are working towards. We also use events to track project milestones to keep project teams on course.
Keep each other on track
We’re all so busy here that we have to make sure that we’re organised and keeping on top of everything. We use the tasks and events modules to keep ourselves on schedule and set goals for ourselves. When we need to keep each other on track or remind one another to do something, we assign tasks to our colleagues.
We give feedback to one another, ask questions and make suggestions using comments, either on wikis, blogs or microblog posts. Keeping this information out in the open means that everyone is aware of what has been said and can contribute to a group discussion. It also means we can pick up and carry on a conversation days, weeks and even months later if there is something new to add.
Store and share our files and documents
We store our files and documents on Collaborate, which means that all of our regional and global offices have access to the same files. This also means that multiple duplicate files don’t sit in inboxes, desktops and hard drives across offices. Rather, all files are held within Collaborate and any changes or versions are visible and available.
We share our files securely with colleagues and clients using Collaborate, so we don’t have to rely on insecure consumer file sharing services for our sensitive documents.
Access documents outside the office
Collaborate is available from anywhere with an internet connection, which means that we have access to all of our documents on the go and from mobile devices too. This is incredibly valuable when we’re visiting clients, working from home or attending conferences and need to pull up a document ad-hoc.
We use our iSheets module to store our spreadsheets, manage our data and plan schedules. These are great as they update automatically when anyone makes any changes, and we can set up email alerts from them to make sure we’re keeping on schedule with time-sensitive data.
We use custom-built iSheets solutions for several internal and client-facing operations. Our expenses submission process is managed entirely though iSheets, and we smart-generate our contracts using our document automation functionality.
Communicate with clients
We also have a Client Community site, where we communicate directly with our clients via the blog and the activity stream. Here, our clients can keep up to date with company news, and ask us questions and get response straight away.
We also ensure that any external contractors we work with are part of Collaborate too. We encourage them to communicate with us through comments, wikis and blogs instead of email, which helps everyone to keep up with what is going on with these projects, and questions can be answered much more quickly, and by the right people, than through email. By doing this, we can also share files back and forth between contractors too.
We have experts in many fields at HighQ, so if we need some advice from one of them it’s easy to connect through Collaborate. If a colleague asks a question, colleagues in the know can weigh in with an answer, or they can tag another expert in on a discussion if they don’t know the answer themselves.For us, Collaborate is central to the way we communicate with one another, the way we plan our time, the way we work and the way we do our work. If you’d like to know how Collaborate can become part of the way you work, please contact us.