The nature of work has changed over the years. There has been a recent upsurge in remote work as most people no longer sit in brick-and-mortar offices but work from their homes.
This change has influenced tasks like editing files and signing off on documents. And many accessible file-sharing software on the internet have contributed to better teamwork.
With a PDF editor online, you don’t need to email or fax documents to colleagues to get their input. And it doesn’t end there. This article covers other examples of how document-sharing tools have streamlined teamwork.
Four must-have collaboration features for document sharing
Your file sharing solution should have specific features for efficient collaboration in the workplace. Here are four of them:
Electronic Signature Integration
Sending and receiving documents by fax or email with coworkers’ signatures attached can be difficult at times. For businesses with a diverse workforce or remote employers around the globe, it can also be time-wasting.
Think about how much time you spend emailing a document to a colleague and then waiting for them to sign it and send it back to you before you can continue your task. Also, differences in time zones can make these kinds of things exponentially more complex.
These reasons are why file-sharing programs should have electronic signature features. Employees can quickly sign documents online instead of having to print, sign, scan, and mail the papers back to the sender.
Whether the document to be signed is a PDF or any other file extension, the sharing platforms should be built so everything can be handled online on the software.
A file sharing service must always have a version-tracking feature so that it can be easier to audit logs.
Version tracking keeps a proper audit of who accessed the document, what they did, and when they did it. Since all these records are taken, it helps improve accountability and transparency as there is a proper log of everyone who has accessed the document.
Also, with the version tracking feature, it is easier for everyone to track changes and have a proper history of the document’s changes. As everyone will be working through online document sharing, it’s easier for any team member to pick up from where someone else stopped without confusion.
Version tracking is also an essential feature since it helps secure the contents of documents. With this feature, it can be easy to identify when there was unauthorized access to the documents and what the person who gained access did.
Multiple Device Access
An efficient file sharing program must always have room for multiple device access. Users must be able to access the platform from their laptop, tablet, or mobile device.
Team members can be away from the workplace when input is needed. So, document-sharing software must always have a service that is accessible no matter their location.
With this feature, it can be easy for collaborators to make edits when they’re from their desks or commuting. That way, the work is always ongoing, and there’s no need to wait for hours before getting the file and working on it.
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A document-sharing software should have features that allow team collaboration. Employees must be able to work simultaneously on the same document without any hiccups. They should be able to see changes and updates on the document in real time.
Best practices for document sharing
Sharing files and documents has become an essential part of our day-to-day activities. Whether you choose to collaborate with a colleague or share files with a client, there are some things you must take into consideration to preserve the sensitive nature of documents.
Here are three best practices for document sharing:
Encryption and Secure Transfer
Even as document sharing is now relatively straightforward, there’s still a need to put precautionary measures in place. So, encryption and secure transfer are necessary when sharing files over the internet.
Meanwhile, every business owner knows that personal and client information should be protected at all times against unauthorized access as they can be stolen by anyone and tampered with.
So, for secure document sharing, files must be encrypted to protect them during the sending process. Features like multi-factor authentication, SSL certificates, HTTPS, and other protocols should be present.
Compliance with Data Protection Regulations
Every business must comply with data protection and regulations unless they want to have a run-in with the law. The regulations are put in place to protect employee and client personal information at all times.
These data protection regulations are enforced by the government to guide and address how businesses use individuals’ information. Some compliance regulations include SOC II, ISO 27001, GDPR, PCI DSS, CCPA, etc.
Before getting or using people’s data, you must get their consent first. You must also inform them why you need their data and how you plan to use it. The responsibility falls on the business to guard the information collected and stored.
When using file sharing software, you must understand that personal data is sensitive. So, take precautionary measures against theft and encrypt the data for secure transfer.
Backup and Disaster Recovery Planning
When handling data and documents, put proper backup and disaster recovery planning measures in place.
Before online file sharing, businesses should store those files in a secure location like the cloud. So, even if there’s a loss of critical information because of human error, cyber-attacks, or hardware problems, they can still be retrieved.
When documents are updated during file sharing, you should back up the recent copy. A good practice is to save versions of the file on external drives and the cloud. So, even if you lost the original document and access to either your local backup or the cloud, you can quickly get a copy back from the other.
Every organization needs efficient collaboration as it helps improve communication, thereby improving productivity. Also, the constant back and forth of emailing the documents can become time-consuming as it can tamper with workflow and productivity.
That is why file-sharing software with features like electronic signature integration, version tracking, multiple device access, and team collaboration have become more common.
Even though file-sharing software can make collaboration more manageable, you need to take some precautionary measures. If you follow the recommendations in this article, you will have started off firmly on the right foot toward streamlining your team’s collaboration while sharing documents.