White Paper

How Innovative Collaboration Tools Enabled the Shift to Remote Work

Improvements in digital workspace solutions helped companies maintain productivity and a connected work culture that will remain beyond the pandemic.
by: Ozzie Vargas |

The global pandemic that struck in 2020 has profoundly changed the workplace and how employees work. The massive, abrupt shift to remote work models required companies to rely on technology solutions that had seen major advances in quality and usability over the previous decade.  

In the years leading up to 2020, vendors created tools that truly added value for users. Then, when the pandemic hit, millions of managers and employees were forced to rely on these solutions for the first time and got a chance to see exactly what they could do. 

Here are some of the latest innovations in collaboration technologies, and how they can help businesses achieve their goals: 


While video calls are still sometimes hampered by poor network connections when people connect from their spotty home Wi-Fi, videoconferencing is leaps ahead of where it was only a few years ago. High-definition video helps users read each other’s facial expressions and nonverbal cues more easily, leading to a more lifelike experience that mimics face-to-face interaction. Additional features such as screen-sharing add even more value, making video collaboration the preferred form of communication for many business professionals. 


The percentage of companies that will allow employees to choose to work “fluidly” in the future, moving between remote locations and the physical office

Source: CBRE Research, “2020 Global Occupier Sentiment Survey: The Future of the Office,” 2020


As users worked from home, most did the best they could with their laptop cameras or inexpensive webcams. However, cameras can be an important differentiator in video meetings, especially for high-level board meetings, important sales calls, training sessions and other interactions where a stationary camera might lead to a dull experience. As employees return to physical offices, many companies will likely see the need to invest in tools such as wide-angle cameras, 360-degree HD cameras and pan/tilt/zoom cameras that can focus on the action of a meeting without sacrificing resolution.

Audio Features

Although it is an often-overlooked factor, audio quality is a critically important part of an effective video collaboration solution. Today, enterprises can purchase microphones and speakers manufactured by vendors that have traditionally been associated with music production and recording, and then integrate these tools with their video collaboration systems. Almost as important as the tools themselves is the way they are deployed. For instance, microphones should be placed as close as possible to the people who will be speaking to enhance sound quality, and as far away as possible from electronic speakers to avoid feedback. Conference rooms should also receive professional acoustical treatments to prevent reverb and echoing. 


While the emergence of ultra-high-definition (UHD) displays may seem like an incremental improvement over the already high quality of HD displays, the truth is that fine details matter. When people interact in person, they make all sorts of unconscious observations about other people’s facial expressions that can sometimes be lost in video calls. With today’s high-quality displays, meeting participants can more accurately convey their affect and their meaning.


A background image on a video call may seem unimportant — but, as knowledge workers with messy living rooms and home offices across the country will attest, a smart-looking background can make the difference between a meeting that feels professional and one that seems slapped together. Virtual backgrounds are sufficient for most meetings, but fabric or paper backwalls are small investments that create a nice touch.

Collaboration Software

For many organizations, videoconferencing was the feature that led to their wholesale adoption of collaboration technology. However, collaboration suites have far more to offer, including calendar integration, meeting transcription, virtual meetings, noise reduction, chat, voice commands and artificial intelligence. With many features integrated in a single solution, users can easily and instantly escalate interactions as necessary. Organizations that can help their employees effectively leverage such collaboration tools will position their users for success.

Data and Document Sharing

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many organizations found that their on-premises file shares overwhelmed their VPN connections. Companies can modernize their files by moving data to cloud collaboration solutions, giving employees instant access to data from wherever they’re working. Even within organizations that have already invested in collaboration platforms, some employees may continue to engage in legacy workflows and processes; for example, burning large files to CDs and sending them through the mail. Technology training can encourage adoption and help ensure that all employees are using the data and document sharing features of collaboration tools in ways that add value to the business. 

Data Analytics

Through data analytics, organizations can get real-time information about when and how employees are using collaboration solutions. These tools give visibility down to the user level, helping IT departments and managers better understand who is (and who isn’t) using new tools, allowing them to either offer additional assistance or pull back resources to optimize the collaboration environment. 

Customer Engagement Centers

Collaboration tools make it simpler than ever for companies to offer multiple, integrated channels in their customer engagement centers (sometimes called call centers or contact centers). Many customers now expect retailers and other companies they interact with to offer support not only via voice, but also through text, webchat, video and other channels.

Discover ways to support the new era of work by reading the white paper “Improving Business Outcomes with Modern Collaboration.”