Remote collaboration - How rich text editors can improve working from home
There are various remote work tools available on the market today, but collaborative rich text editors that can be integrated with application frameworks natively and internally are often lacking. This is a need that only recently started to be addressed thanks to software like CKEditor 5 that allows workers from around the world to remotely collaborate with one another during this pandemic period we are going through.
# Remote collaboration is the future of work
Today’s workforce is drastically different from what it was in previous years. The Covid-19 epidemic of 2020, which we are still experiencing today in terms of restrictions, changed the expectations of work. It paved the way for a globalized remote working environment to expand and become the norm for many companies.
Many companies today have shifted to a fully remote or hybrid approach — where their employees work either fully remotely or part-time remotely and part-time in the office and at home. This is possible due to various advancements in technology as well as advancements in remote collaboration software. This includes better cloud storage options, video conferencing software, and broadband connectivity being more widespread worldwide. The office of today is also more geographically sparse and decentralized, as more employees work together from different regions of the world and different time zones.
According to Remoters, a company with its own remote work job board, the US Google Search "work from home” queries grew by 309% in a year-over growth (YoY) growth comparison from March 2020 to March 2021. Remoters also saw the remote job listings on its job boards grow during this period and observed a spike in companies announcing a hybrid or remote work model indefinitely going forward.
# How collaborative rich text editors benefit the culture of remote work
Remote work relies on effective communication between team members within a company and text forms an important function in this regard. This form of communication also transcends to more effective collaboration overall, which is a key component of an effective digital transformation strategy of today.
Due to so many people working remotely now, companies are relying on employees to coordinate with one another and with less oversight than before. They need to communicate together efficiently and coordinate on assignments or projects. Remote collaboration tools and software are being utilized for this purpose and continue to become more efficient over time.
# Examples of remote collaboration tools
An example of such a solution today in terms of remote work software that allows companies the ability to collaborate on a single document in a real-time manner is Google Docs. It has real-time collaboration features that allow team members within a company to work on a text file simultaneously. They can see the cursors or caret points of other coworkers in real time and can make changes or suggestions within a document in real time.
This is the sort of collaboration that will drive efficiency and growth within organizations’ structures in this new remote and digital age we are living in. However, Google Docs is not a solution for every company or every workflow that needs to be filled. Companies may have CMS systems in place they need an embedded text editor for. Alternatively, they may simply need messaging solutions within an application with less robust toolbars to deploy.
The office of today is also more geographically sparse and decentralized, as more employees work together from different regions of the world and different time zones.
Like Google Docs, CKEditor 5 is another solution available for real-time collaboration. It is a rich text editor that does works in a similar way to what Google is doing with Docs, and this includes collaborative options. However, it does this within an application or a company’s internal CMS system.
This editor has been built from the ground up with collaboration as a goal. It also comes packed with a customizable working environment for companies to set up their workflows the way they see fit. This means that companies can create a wide range of text solutions for their employees that can aid them in having remote work teams that collaborate remotely on such text files.
# How rich text editing can foster remote collaboration
A collaborative rich text editor can aid companies in more ways than one. Some examples of how companies can integrate CKEditor 5 into their application workflows include a chat protocol or communication platform, similar to Slack, or something more fully robust that allows team members to insert and edit images, add tables or create to-do lists together. There are many ways it can be integrated with already-existing remote work tools that companies rely on.
Google Docs and CKEditor 5 both have their advantages and disadvantages and ways to be used by remote workforces worldwide. For instance, CKEditor 5 offers a to-do list using Markdown shortcode
[ ], as part of the autoformatting feature, with checkmarks for users to check off once tasks are complete; by the way, a new shortcode available within CKEditor 5 27.0.0 allows boxes to be created already checked. One has to use roundabout solutions such as table insertion to get this feature in Google Docs.
However, both of these remote work software solutions offer real-time collaboration, commenting and track changes. This is something that strongly benefits a collaborative workforce dispersed over long geographic distances.
CKEditor 5 offers collaboration features in a very intuitive and beneficial way for remote workers due to the fact multiple roles can be assigned to different users. Someone may be assigned the role of writer, meanwhile another person can be assigned as a reader, and a third person can be made a commentator. This way a team of different professional levels can work together efficiently without running into issues related to too many edits or opinions on the content creation process.
The way collaborative editing works in CKEditor 5 is that multiple users can open a file simultaneously and work on it while seeing the other users’ carets on screen and being able to distinguish them by different colors. Depending on their assigned role they can also simultaneously write the document together or have one person edit while the other writes and so on.
Track changes allows users to suggest changes to the text such as different formatting options or deletion of certain parts of the text and have this suggested change accepted or rejected by another user to become live.
Finally, commenting refers to the ability to select anything on the document from text to images and even spaces between paragraphs and add comments about any aspect of the document or project.
# Remote collaboration - industries with the highest potential in the long run
Not all tasks are alike just like not all industries are alike. Some industries have work and tasks that employees are engaged in on a regular basis, which work just as well remotely as in person and others only work in person. Mckinsey & Company devised some metrics showing examples of industries with the highest potential of remote collaboration to flourish in, due to the tasks needing less hands-on and person-to-person interactions.
According to Mckinsey & Company’s report, finance and insurance; management; professional, scientific and technical services; IT and telecommunications; and education were the five industries with the highest potential for remote work.
Some examples of how companies can integrate CKEditor 5 into their application workflows include a chat protocol or communication platform, similar to Slack, or something fully robust that allows team members to insert and edit images, add tables or create to-do lists together.
# The potential for rich-text editors to aid collaboration within these industries
CKSource has provided its CKEditor 5 software to companies and professionals within a wide range of sectors and industries. This includes IT or software development, science and education, all among the top fields that have remote work potential, according to Mckinsey & Company’s report.
A CKSource case study shows how Spotlight Analyst Relations, a company specializing in insight-driven analyst relations, was able to add CKEditor 5 onto its platform that connects industry analysts with technology vendors. The company works using collaborative software with multiple teams. However, it did not have an integrated editing tool in its system and had to deal with constant copying and pasting files to get things done. Spotlight ended up choosing CKEditor 5 for this reason in addition to its overall collaborative features.
“When do we collaborate?” Rick Nash said, who is the Managing Partner at Spotlight. “Let’s say the team is on an important phone call together. We all collectively type notes in one document at the same time. Or when we strategize with our clients.”
In terms of scientific research, Renku, a code-sharing platform run by the Swiss Data Center, integrated a rich-text solution in the form of CKEditor 5 for its platform, as a CKSource case study points out. It has allowed scientists and researchers to simplify communication and collaboration within data science projects.
At first, the company considered using a Markdown editor for such communication. However, a WYSYWIG editor with full support for creating rich text media like tables and lists encouraged precise and expressive communication related to data, analysis techniques and findings results.
Finally, a third CKSource case study shows how useful CKEditor 5 can be for the education sector. A book writing and publishing platform called Tablo integrated CKEditor 5 with its Tablo Writer platform, which includes real-time collaboration between students.
The way this integration came about was that the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) wanted to integrate Tablo’s writing and document sharing capabilities within its learning management system. Tablo decided to take it a step further by pitching the idea of collaboration to the university and that was the start of the journey where CKEditor 5 ended up being the rich-text and real-time collaborative writing solution.
# Prospects for remote collaboration depend on location
Mckinsey & Company’s report went on to say that this potential can vary across countries as industry sectors within different countries may differ. Business and finance are huge in the UK, for instance, and it has the highest potential in this regard to work remotely at least part of the time going forward.
Different countries and geographical regions have different cultures of work as well. Comparing the average Japanese person in the corporate world and their schedule, for example, will differ significantly from a European. Thus, in some places, remote collaboration and hybrid work make more sense than others, at least for the long term past the pandemic where businesses have fewer restrictions.
# Activities and tasks that can be done entirely remotely
Mckinsey & Company’s report broke down individual tasks that can be done remotely without losing much productivity and ranked these tasks accordingly. Some of the top-ranked tasks include updating knowledge and learning; interacting with computers; thinking creatively; communicating with and guiding colleagues or clients; and processing, analyzing and interpreting information.
Rich text editing is a tool that can help many remote collaboration activities and tasks listed above. For instance, the task of updating knowledge and learning can benefit from a rich-text editor because information can be written down in a note-like fashion and later presented to clients or colleagues with rich media features.
Some of the other tasks, besides critical thinking, may directly refer to word processing, such as processing, analyzing and interpreting information or interacting with computers. These tasks can all benefit from a rich text editor.
Rich text editing is a tool that can help many remote collaboration activities.
# Collaborative software fosters an inclusive workforce
A side effect of so much of the workforce being remote these days within industries that do not necessarily have a history of remote work and people not used to working this way is changes within mental focus and clarity that people experience. For some people, it is easy to feel there is a void present, or that they are not included in the overall work culture if they just do assignments the traditional way while sending them via DOC or PDF files to their managers.
Remote collaboration tools can go a long way in alleviating this and making them feel included in their office culture or team. This is because their input is heard as they give comments within an assignment, help to edit it or have their input taken for consideration.
# Making remote collaboration meaningful
According to Gartner, knowing and prioritizing a purpose at work is important. It gives meaning to the work you do and to you as an employee that is a part of it. This is because you feel like you are part of the greater whole of your overall company. Remote work software will reinforce this fact and your role within an organization as you work with other coworkers on files and help them complete their tasks.
Collaborative software, such as CKEditor 5, foster such a relationship between people and reinforce everyone’s value as being part of a team. Such software also helps bring people together from different geographical zones or areas and encourages teamwork along with the exchange of knowledge as coworkers work on documents together.
# Remote collaboration on text files can benefit employees’ mental clarity
This is good for the company as a whole and for workers’ individual mental focuses, as they will feel empowered and a part of a greater team and the company as a whole. Being a part of a team is particularly important during the isolation we are currently going through as new Covid-19 restrictions take shape in many countries with fear that the third wave of the virus mutation is approaching.
Many of us today cannot even go to a coffee shop and sit down to get some work done in a public setting while the restrictions are just as bad as they were a year ago. Thus, working together and collaborating can help a long way in alleviating the feeling of isolation many people are going through during this time.
A rich text editor can go a long way in transitioning to a better overall collaboration on documents and within the office culture at large many of us are currently a part of. It also can accelerate an entrepreneur’s ability to help people collaborate remotely more effectively if adopted within their app.
It is no secret, most WYSIWYG editing solutions are subpar or not up to the standards of many industries today, but CKEditor 5 is a solution that is definitely worth giving a shot. It may just surprise you with its robust feature set of collaborative options second to none on the market today.
If you would like to get your hands on a modern, sleek, seamless and customizable editor with real-time collaboration at its forefront, please get in touch with us at CKSource. Try our CKEditor 5 demo out today and find the right fit for your needs during this pandemic period where good collaboration can be the key between success and failure.