Online whiteboards are incredibly effective tools to stimulate collaboration in the workplace, but while many people working remotely have begun to utilize them, they are not yet universally adopted. Virtual whiteboards are a powerful catalyst in digital workspaces and hold massive potential for teams looking to adopt them. Below we will outline some of the biggest online whiteboard advantages and the upsides that come with using them.
If you want to learn more about online whiteboards, check out our comprehensive guide, and check out our article on the TryMyUI Blog about exercises to try in your next online whiteboard session.
Online Whiteboard Advantages
Communication and collaboration are key factors to being productive in any sector of work. One of the most efficient ways to improve productivity online, something that can be lacking in digital workspaces, is to integrate a virtual whiteboard to help organize and engage your team. Here are some of the biggest online whiteboard advantages.
One of the most useful features of an online whiteboard is its ability to enlarge the possibilities of collaboration. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by allowing people to use boards that have unlimited space. Thanks to infinite zooming on these boards, there will always be more space to operate.
The limited space on whiteboards is always a point of annoyance for collaborators everywhere, and expanding this space is a struggle for people when whiteboarding. Using a whiteboard with infinite space removes any spatially driven concerns from the collaborators and means that you have much more freedom over what you can produce. This freedom drives innovation and stimulates creativity, two things that are critical outcomes of brainstorming activities.
Virtual whiteboards solve the problem of spatial restrictions and provide as much or as little workable space as you need thanks to their unlimited board space.
One difficulty with traditional collaboration is that when you have many people operating on a shared physical space, it’s not always crystal clear as to where the information will permanently reside or where it can be accessed. This problem is circumvented when the shared space you use is moved online. When you use an online whiteboard instead of a traditional one, every person has access to the document and board whenever they need it, so there is no confusion about the permanence of the collaboration or the results.
This not only helps the accessibility of the board but also helps people stay organized and understand how their workspace is set up. Knowing exactly where you can find a specific piece of collaborative information is critical to people working in digital workspaces and makes using this information much easier. Having readily accessible boards helps people engage that material as they move forward and is a huge advantage of digital workspaces.
The final product of most collaboration sessions is really important, and when you’re using a physical whiteboard it’s difficult to transition your thoughts and takeaways into an accessible format. Especially when doing virtual workshops and other sessions, if you don’t make a conscious effort to learn and prioritize your results, they will most likely fade to black.
Using online whiteboards fundamentally changes how you access information related to your collaboration sessions online. Instead of looking at a picture, a random paper, or asking someone else, you now have direct access to the results of any collaboration session you participate in. Not only do you have access to the results, but you can access the entire board to analyze and replicate the thinking process.
This ability changes how we think about permanence related to collaboration. Being able to see patterns of thought and map out your results at any time from anywhere is a huge upside for teams using virtual whiteboard tools.
People struggle to communicate properly online, and this is partly due to the lack of a visual aid connecting them. People always feel that over zoom or messaging that their communication is stunted, and it becomes further stunted when they don’t have a visual medium to convey their thoughts.
Online whiteboards provide that exact function and allow people to visualize their thoughts and contributions, This helps everyone understand each other better and provides direction and comprehensive understanding to teams working online. Especially during collaboration sessions, this visual element is critical, so it’s very important to emphasize a shared online whiteboard for people to visualize together.
Through the visualization process, people are able to communicate better both in general and during collaboration, something that is catalyzed by virtual whiteboards.
Collaboration online can be draining and sometimes boring when it feels like nothing more than talking into the void and having a scribe annotate everything. People are less likely to engage in collaboration and won’t look forward to it if there isn’t a tangible thing bringing them there.
Virtual whiteboards give people a shared space to engage in which makes collaboration exciting and effective. Because online whiteboards improve the communication between people and the ability for them to work effectively together, online whiteboards make collaboration engaging and fun for teams.
When people feel more engaged they are more likely to look forward to collaboration sessions and put their entire attention/desire into it. This is another unique upside that virtual whiteboards possess.
Virtual whiteboards have many functions that situate them as a necessary tool for people who collaborate often in the workplace. Not only are they positive for collaboration, but their ability to engage people and transform your workspace makes them essential for anyone using a digital workspace.