In the past, businesses were restricted only to having physical files, hundreds of folders, and a physical file management system. Team collaboration was also quite limited as technology wasn’t yet as advanced as it is today. Now, things have changed. Businesses have the advantage of technology by their side such that file sharing and collaboration are now digital and automated.
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Whatever the system you have in place, however, it’s also not surprising that you may have experienced some limitations in your file sharing and collaboration abilities. It takes a lot of changes, mistakes, and lessons learned to improve your practices. But in the end, your goal should always be better file security, productivity in collaboration, efficiency, and higher profitability.
For your improvement, here are four file sharing and collaboration practices your business should try out:
1. Practice Collaborative Online File Sharing
Online file sharing practices are important, especially now with more collaborative teams. With the work environment changing rapidly, your business has to keep up. So, apart from saving files on the cloud, your business should also have a mechanism for online collaboration. This includes communication and sending of files, so employees on a remote setting can instantly read and review files.
With that in mind, here are some of the best tips to practice collaborative online file sharing:
- Make use of apps and enterprise file transfer software which make it easier to communicate with other members of the team as well as to send, read, and review files;
- Always use password protection if you’re sharing confidential files and information;
- Don’t allow multiple offline copies as your workplace’s documents should all just be saved in one shared location and folder.
2. Take Advantage Of The Cloud
The cloud is a software system for saving files, unlike traditional storage, which is usually a hard drive. It’s one of the best solutions that’s easiest to install and implement in any office. Cloud storage works by storing all the data on a remote server, which also makes for easy access remotely. There, you can maintain, manage, and access the servers even when you’re on the go.
Cloud storage also serves as a good backup of your files saved on the hard drive, so just in case those files get distorted or lost, you’ve backed those up. You no longer have to feel the dread of having lost files. Apart from that, there are other advantages your business can enjoy from cloud storage, including:
- Convenience, especially that files can be accessed even when employees are on the go, which makes for more collaboration, efficiency, and productivity;
- Scalability, especially since with the cloud, you’re only paying for what you use.
3. Plan A Good Shared File Structure
When you’re sharing files across teams in your business, it’s important to have a good plan as to the file-sharing structure. This includes uniform formats and consistency in the way files are structured, saved, and named in folders. Having this kind of system can avoid any confusion and loss of time spent searching for files simply because the filenames were confusing.
Here are some good practices in terms of shared file structure:
- Be consistent with all files with no exceptions;
- Group similar documents together, so it’s easier to delete or archive as a group;
- Keep your folder levels only up to three to five levels;
- Name folders according to function and then by date.
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4. Have A Password Manager System
Just imagine the sheer number of passwords teams will have to remember if there are different passwords for multiple apps and through different devices. But these are non-negotiables as you should know by now that a strong password is always key to data security.
For digital files, those are your digital passwords. For physical files kept in folders and your business’s file rooms, you can protect them with a password through a door and cabinet lock. It’s very important for your business to have a password management system to remember all the codes.
Collaboration and file sharing are two inherent practices in any team. Even if your business may be employing a remote team, the distance is no longer a disadvantage with all the positive effects that modern-day file sharing and collaboration technology come along with. The tips above are only the beginning as once you get started, you’re going to come across so many other effective means. Don’t be afraid to try new strategies or apply new practices and change what your business has gotten used to already as long as you know those changes are for the better.