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Covid-19: exponential growth of remote collaborative tools

Anne Bioche

Anne Bioche

Written on November 20, 2020

The current health crisis linked to the coronavirus epidemic has profoundly changed habits and working methods as a whole, forcing companies, all size and sectors combined, to adapt and reinvent themselves, especially with the exponential number of people working from home.

Managers, CIOs and Head of HR were forced to react immediately to set up a new work organisation, new managerial approaches as well as adapted collaborative tools.


Such an increase of remote working had never occurred before. Apart from Google, Microsoft, fintech companies or start-ups, teleworking was until now more restricted to a small number of people and consisted mainly of an access to emails and non-operational services.


The sudden growth of people working on a remote basis has compelled businesses to dive into digital transformation, forcing them to adopt remote management methods and support tools for all of their employees.


The use of such tools has induced a new way of management, based more on a logic of horizontal hierarchy (which helps reduce barriers) rather than vertical, making it possible for everyone to work with others, not in isolation, and instantly, encouraging autonomy, agility and pro-activity.


Beyond a dedicated workspace (when possible) and a good internet connection, there are a good number of collaborative tools such as:

  • an office suite
  • a CRM, shared customer database,
  • email messaging,
  • a collaborative instant messaging or chat platform,
  • a videoconference system,
  • a task manager platform,
  • a file sharing and transfer platform.


These tools allow to:

  • recreate a workspace,
  • facilitate communication between employees, teams, customers and suppliers,
  • communicate remotely and instantly,
  • involve everyone in a project,
  • organize and centralize work,
  • access information simultaneously,
  • synchronize files.


Collaborative and conference platforms such as Microsoft Team, Slack, Zoom or Skype have seen their usage rate explode in two months.


According to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months. From remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure and security—we are working alongside customers every day to help them adapt and stay open for business in a world of remote everything.” The future will tell us if this new way of working will last.


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Photos: Patrice Negros, Adobe Stock