Is anybody else missing the office? We never thought we’d say it, but as we roll over for our extra hour of sleep this morning, the allure of fluorescent lighting and small talk around the water cooler has never felt stronger. Let’s face it, you get some of your best work done when you’re working alongside your team — but times have changed.

According to recent data, around 22% of us will be working fully remotely by 2025 — and many more will be operating some sort of hybrid schedule, dipping our toes into the world of corporate coffee and commuting just a couple of times per week. There’s a lot to be said for the ‘new normal’ — but it’s fair to say that it’s made working together as a dispersed workforce a bit of a challenge.

If you’re looking to bolster your business collaboration efforts without running straight back to the physical workplace, we can help. Here, we’ll discuss some of the top obstacles to effective digital collaboration that workers are facing, as well as some of the tools that have helped us to operate in an office-less world.

So, hang out your laundry, make a coffee, and set your status to ‘active’. We’ve got some work to do.

Spreadsheet management

Spreadsheets are a powerful tool for data analysis and organization, but sharing large and complex files through email can be cumbersome. When these are copied and sent back and forth between members of staff, managing and ensuring that you’re all working with the same correct data grows challenging.

And what’s more, with staff each using their own devices and networks, collaborating on spreadsheets in this capacity may leave your important business logic and intellectual property vulnerable to cyber attacks, which have increased in prevalence with the onset of widespread remote working.

To address these problems, software such as EASA can be used to convert Excel spreadsheets into secure web applications. The platform “provides companies with a server-based Excel spreadsheet management system that secures the most current versions of their spreadsheets, maintaining control over access and file handling for any end-users of these files.”

This way, users can each make use of the spreadsheet without running the risk of version confusion, security breaches or some of the other challenges associated with traditional spreadsheet sharing.

Internal communications

When it comes to streamlining your workplace comms, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Sometimes, you’ll need face time with your team to brainstorm different ideas, have in-depth discussions, and build productive working relationships. These more personal interactions are crucial for team cohesion and effective communication.

Video conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype bring teams together virtually, fostering a sense of connection and camaraderie. These platforms enable seamless video and audio communication, and even screen sharing during meetings. Video conferencing bridges the gap between remote team members, making collaboration as effective as traditional in-person interactions.

As a result, one survey from Lifesize found that 80% of responders rely on video conferencing for 1:1 meetings, while a further 90% say video calls have helped them develop a stronger connection to their workplace and colleagues.

Other times, however, a quick instant message will do. When questions need immediate answers or urgent matters require attention, platforms like Slack can help. Slack is a popular workplace messaging app that allows teams to create channels for different projects or topics, keeping conversations organized and searchable. It also integrates with various tools like Google Drive and Outlook, enabling seamless information sharing and task management within the chat interface.

Project management tools

When you’ve traded in your office face time, it can still be hard to keep track of ongoing tasks, deadlines, and project progress. When it’s not possible to pop over to a colleague’s cubicle and give them a friendly nudge, you’ll quickly find that your deadlines are running away or being stalled by endless permissions. PMTI explains that “daily meetings with project managers can be very motivational. With remote work, this is no longer possible”, making it challenging to ensure progress.

This is where you’ll need project management tools like Asana or, which can help you keep on top of your timelines. SaaS platforms like these offer intuitive interfaces for creating, assigning, and tracking tasks. Across many of the tools on offer, common features include time reporting, resource allocation, permission management and more.

These platforms can provide your team with the tools and visual cues to ensure that your priorities stay aligned throughout the project lifecycle. They serve as a proxy for the kinds of physical reminders that you’d usually find in the office — like that calendar that’s been Blu-tacked to the fridge, or your manager creeping up on you during lunch to make sure that you’re keeping on top of your tasks.

In the era of the remote working schedule, effective digital workplace collaboration is the backbone of a successful business. Embracing the right tools can revolutionize how teams communicate, share ideas, and work together.