One used to have to talk to someone face-to-face if they wanted to collaborate. Generally, collaborations were held in a meeting room, and if they couldn’t be, they were held over the phone. It was one or the other, never in between. Now, it’s easier than ever if two people want to collaborate on something, whether it’s for work or not. If two people need to communicate ideas but are on opposite ends of the world, it can happen with a message and a Skype call. If you have access to the internet, you can collaborate with pretty much anyone else in the world (if they have a WiFi connection).
Sites and software like Slack, Google Drive, Hootsuite, and even Facebook and LinkedIn are all ways that getting something done has revolutionized the modern workplace. Someone can start a business from the comfort of their own home, and gain clientele and customers without having to open their front door. Of course, meeting people in person is the tried-and-true way to connect on a personal level. A person 2000 miles away from you can only learn so much about you when all they’re seeing is your LinkedIn or Facebook profile. A flat screen can only give you so much.
The stage of collaboration has more hidden behind the curtain. The aforementioned website Slack is a whole business built off of people in a whole different business communicating with one another. Messages can be exchanged and files can be shared in one platform. Google Drive is a way to work on a singular project with multiple people at once. A group of 10 can edit a Google Doc at one time, which can’t be said as easily for Microsoft Office, though they’re trying to keep up with Google’s share game.
Of course, one should know how to operate a collaboration all online (it’s how someone gains experience in the field of modern public relations), but being in an environment where a face-to-face conversation can happen in seconds should always take the cake for how people get a project done. I, personally, could never work all on my own. Working with people and talking with people makes it 100x easier for me to get something done (if the project required needs multiple people to succeed, of course). Confrontation is nowhere near as easy behind a screen. Working remotely has become more popular in recent years, and many businesses function just fine without employees needing to meet up every so often. Though big businesses still need an office, as meetings are still a thing and word-of-mouth is still the most effective way to get ideas across. You can guarantee a response when you say something to someone’s face. The same is not true with an IM or text. Businesses will most likely keep an in-office format of collaboration for a long, long time, at least until technology could replace us completely.
Many different methods are used to communicate and form partnerships in the modern age, and there are many options due to the many types of communication businesses need to succeed. There isn’t a right one, or a wrong one, only the one that makes the most sense for you and/or your business or the business you work for. Reaching out to someone has never been easier in 2018, and chances are, it will only continue to be that way in the years to come.