News Working from Home

How digital tools drive collaboration in the workplace

Written by: Aiya Rodjel

In this increasingly interconnected world, nearly half of the human race has embraced digital tools. From collaboration tools to cloud services, digital tools have been instrumental in most companies and educational institutions.

Even before the pandemic, businesses have automated a lot of operational tasks. Instead of having face-to-face meetings, people manage meetings through video calls instead. Instead of standing up to go to other people’s workspace, people have their private conversations on instant messaging platforms instead.

However, the pandemic caused an unparalleled collaboration for team members in the online space. Heavily relying on digital tools might not be on everyone’s business plans, but using a digital tool has become a must in this modern era.

In this article, we’ll discuss digital collaboration tools have changed the game. We’ll also delve into the best online collaboration tools today.

You can also check out these related articles:

Online Tools for a More Productive Workplace

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Gone are the days when team members just rely on e-mail for professional communication. While this digital tool remains relevant, people have embraced other tools as well.

Nowadays, online collaboration tools have paved the way for teams to stay organized and update one another wherever they are. They have made it easier to manage call traffic while making sure everyone does their jobs well. Here are some benefits of collaborations tools in the digital workplace:

Collaboration increases the productivity levels of employees.

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Online collaboration tools have genuinely transformed the way modern professionals work. Essentially, collaboration tools put all important information into a single environment.

Most digital collaboration platforms have multiple features. This means that you can share files in a single storage unit, and get instant feedback for work output through instant messaging through the same platform.

A lot of time gets wasted by unnecessary meetings. Through online collaboration tools, you can discuss ideas through the office instant messaging platform. In case meetings are needed, you can have video calls instead of having to meet each other face-to-face.

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Through the screen sharing feature of online collaboration tools, you can provide visual content for your presentations. You can also record meetings in case some team members aren’t available.

Plus, most collaboration tools are compatible with mobile devices. This means that team members can stay connected and productive wherever they are.

Collaboration tools help improve customer-client relationships.

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An online collaboration platform can also help improve your relationships with clients. Through an online collaboration tool, an account manager who is talking with a client can retrieve files quickly because they’re stored online in the office cloud. He can also ask other team members for information he would need instantly.

New tools have made it possible for team members to stay in touch as they work remotely. This means that even though the expert from a certain department is located in another city, another team member can confer with that person through tech tools.

Through online collaboration tools, you can record audio and video chat calls. Screen sharing can even be done through a mobile app as well. This means you can record all online communication to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Tracking projects is made simple.

It’s easier to manage projects through team collaboration software. You can assign tasks and organize files at the same time. Additionally, you can track progress and execute projects seamlessly by having good communication and maximizing tech tools.

You can invite all your team members for a certain project in one group chat for faster communication. This makes it so much easier for everyone to be on the same page. Interactive documents have made it possible for people to see the work people put in real-time.

You can assign tasks to team members so everyone is up to date with every team member’s role and deadline. Collaboration tools also give you an idea of the workload team members are handling. This means you can easily gauge their bandwidth through the collaborative platform.

Different members are usually assigned different tasks. There will come a time when certain files need to be sent. Through an online collaboration tool, you don’t have to save files on a USB drive and send it over to other team members. Team members can share files through the office cloud service as well.

Collaboration tools make everything more consistent.

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Aside from helping leaders manage projects more efficiently, team collaboration tools make the office workflow more consistent. Without a single team collaboration digital tool, people will end up using digital tools of their choice. Some people might prefer to share files through a free version of a digital file-sharing tool. If files aren’t retrieved before the deadline, the files might get lost forever.

Plus, a lot of things can get lost in translation. Through collaboration tools, you can discuss important matters through video calls. Although having online meetings can take up some time, sometimes, you need audio and video components to understand exactly what you need from one another.

The information management department can better safeguard the team’s files if everything is store in a single online collaboration platform as well. All the features of online collaboration tools can be maximized if the team has a certain process to refer to.

Collaboration tools help unify the office.

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It’s easier to be on the same page if you and your team member communicate clearly. Instant messaging platforms help people in the office keep in touch with each other.

File-sharing can be tricky in a world full of online threats. Through digital tools, people can upload files such as interactive presentations in a safe and secure platform. The multiple features of collaboration tools have made it possible for the team to stay united even if they’re physically apart.

Aside from discussing work matters, they can talk to each other privately as well. This paves the way for healthy relationships within the workplace. To liven things up, in-house teams can even come up with online activities for everyone to bond better and destress.

Digital Tools for the Digital Classroom

The workforce isn’t the only one that benefits from team collaboration tools. Online education has its challenges, but for now, students learn from home for their own safety. Digital tools help in providing students the platform to focus on their studies.

Digital tools have helped engage students better even while social distancing. Student collaboration for group projects is so much easier when there’s a single platform for everyone to use. They can use the video conferencing tool to discuss with each other without distractions. The online proofing tool can also make sure their work is good enough to be submitted as well.

Through digital tools, they can study at their own pace. They have access to all school work deadlines and files through the intuitive interface that helps remind them of important matters as well. Digital tools help promote critical thinking and project management as well.

Digital tools are usually available to download on mobile apps as well. This means students can work on different tasks at the same time. Anything urgent they may need can be accessed simply through a mobile app. While it can be challenging to study online, digital tools help pave the way for a better learning experience for everyone.

The Significance of Google Classroom

Google Classroom has made it possible for students and teachers to converse with each other online despite the many distractions of the internet. While you can’t go to your classroom physically, Google Classroom provides a very substantial online alternative.

Top Collaboration Tools

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There are a lot of team collaboration tools in the market, but there are certain tools that rise above the rest. These tools help you focus on tasks in a more efficient manner and manage projects better. Here are some of the top collaboration tools for you to consider investing in:

Google Workspace

From online file sharing to instant messaging tools, Google Workspace offers flexible solutions for every business. You can seamlessly integrate your work emails and files through this office online. Google Workspace syncs your Google Calendar with other tools such as your Google Drive and Google Docs.

What’s great about certain tools such as Google Docs is that they can save articles even if you’re disconnected. This means you can work on your essays even if you’re online. Google Drive even has a mobile app version. This means you can retrieve important documents wherever you are.

Other tools of Google Workspace may not be suitable for your business or learning needs. That’s why Google has made it possible for teams to use certain tools only.


Slack is basically a set of collaboration tools and services. It makes communication within the team so much easier. You can create different channels for different topics and projects. You can also invite relevant personnel to join these channels.

What’s great about Slack is that you can integrate over 1,000 other tools, including DropBox and Microsoft Office. This means you don’t have to orient your team to different workflows and processes.

Another reason why Slack is so popular for remote teams is that enables easy communication. Plus, it makes you feel like everyone is in the same place.


If your company pays its employees by the hour, Clockify is a very useful collaboration tool that helps you track each member’s productivity levels. You can track the time through its timer mode or you can do it manually.

This particular digital tool helps you gauge if you’ve spent too much time on a certain task. You can even generate reports and export Summary and Detailed Reports on all your activities. This means it helps teams go through a learning curve.

If you want to see how you’re doing on a weekly basis, you can refer to the Weekly Reports tab. This helps teams fulfill their quotas, and makes sure everyone is making the most of their time.


Trello is a web application that is used for collaboration and communication. Its intuitive interface can also manage your tasks and projects.

Trello works on the concepts of boards. Each board is a certain project, and you can add cards that represent tasks. You can then add people to these tasks, and track your progress. Think of it as a digital whiteboard your team can refer to to make sure everyone is on time.

The team can also collaborate on ideas, add comments and even vote on certain items. Plus, you can upload attachments, define deadlines and mark them as ‘done’ once finished. This makes managing projects so much efficient and easier.


There are certain tasks that can be difficult to do by yourself. This particular collaboration tool allows another member of the team to connect to your device remotely. This is especially useful when the team is working on an important presentation together.

What makes this collaboration tool so popular is that it allows desktop and file sharing, and remote control. This means you can access your colleague’s computer, and view all relevant documents, without bothering your colleague. Before you get to do so, however, you need to obtain that person’s permission.

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Business News

Spotlight: The Products, Industries, and the Economy of Ilocos Norte

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One of the best provinces to invest and to do business in is Ilocos Norte. The economy of Ilocos Norte is one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. It also boasts various business opportunities and potentials in Ilocos Region. Likewise, it is abundant with natural resources, just like Iloilo City and Guimaras of Visayas.

Ilocos Norte has 21 municipalities and 2 component cities. And Laoag City serves as its capital. The province sits in Luzón Island’s northwest corner, bordering Cagayan and Apayao to the east, Abra to the southeast, and Ilocos Sur to the southwest. Ilocos Norte’s border on the west is the West Philippine Sea and on the north by the Luzon Strait.

Aside from these geographical and physical data, there are other significant pieces of information that people should know about Ilocos Norte. These would include the economy, products, and industries in the province.

Here are 20 interesting facts about Ilocos Norte:

1.  Early trade with Asian neighbors

Historical accounts showed that long before the Spaniards arrived, there was a vast territory famous for its gold mining, which included provinces in the northern Philippines that included Ilocos Norte. Japanese and Chinese merchants would frequently visit the area to sell gold for beads, pottery, and silk. The locals, who are thought to be of Malay ancestry, named the area “samtoy,” a contraction of “sao mi toy,” which means “our language.”

2. How the Province got its name

After establishing the Spanish City of Manila in 1571, the Spanish conquistadors began seeking for other administrative sites to capture. Juan De Salcedo, the grandson of then Governor-General Miguel López de Legazpi, offered to head one of these missions. Salcedo and his troops eventually arrived in Vigan before moving on to Laoag, Currimao, and Badoc. To their surprise, they discovered several protected coves or “looc” where the people lived in peace as they sailed down the coast.

As a result, they named the place “Ylocos” and the people who lived there “Ylocanos.”

Meanwhile, Ilocos was just one province during the Spanish era. However, there was a division of Ilocos later into two povinces. This was on February 2, 1818. Finally, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur came to existence. The monarch of Spain issued a Royal Decree dividing the Provincia de Ilocos in response to the Ilocanos’ uprising against the monopolies of tobacco, basi, and vinegar, with the goal of destroying their unity.

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3. Economy of Ilocos Norte

Ilocos Norte is to become the finest area for companies to invest and do business in the country. It steadfastly has devotion to research and development, providing investors with the highest-motivated and best-skilled personnel, eager to collaborate with growing and developing businesses.

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4. Products and Industries

The province is famous to specialize in different industries and products. In the field of agriculture, the province produces palay, corn, garlic, legumes, root crops, tobacco, and other fruits and vegetables. The yields of palay and corn are greater than the national average way back in 2015. For fishery, tilapia and assorted fishes are famous as products of the province. Likewise, swine and cattle comprised the livestock industry.

Meanwhile, cottage industries in the province include loom weaving, furniture, ceramics, and iron works. On one hand, salt, empanada, bagoong, patis, basi (native Ilocano wine), vinegar, longganisa, chicharon, bagnet, chichacorn (cornick), jewelry, garments, cereal processing, packaging, and mechanized processing equipment are products under manufacturing and food processing.

5. Fantastic Logistics Launchpad

As one of the gateway in the Ilocos Region, the province is becoming a significant commercial center, connecting north and central Luzon to major Asian economies such as Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea, which are all located north of the Philippines. Because of its closeness to China, the world’s second-largest economy, the province serves as a great springboard and gateway for inward and outgoing logistics not only in the Asia Pacific but all over the globe.

6. A Fortress of Peace and Order

The province’s kind and God-fearing population, along with the country’s best police force, has converted it into a secure haven for investors seeking high profits and high quality of life. The province has a relatively low crime rate. And a proclamation proved it to be free of insurgency.

7. Power Quality and Supply Dependability

Ilocos Norte is the uncontested wind energy capital of the Philippines, housing the most wind turbines and therefore assuring the provision of quality and dependable electricity to businesses, with enormous installed wind energy capacity in the future. There are also ongoing wind projects with huge potential energy capacity that passed the approval of the Department of Energy.

8. Green Technology on the Cutting Edge

Being the country’s renewable energy hub, the province focuses on sustainable development and cutting-edge technologies. In fact, it has the first wind farm in Southeast Asia. The province’s location is ideal for renewable energy, including a solar power facility at Brgy. Paguludan, Currimao, Ilocos Norte, which broke ground in November 2012.

Meanwhile, the province is one of the country’s cleanest and greenest. In keeping with its environmental commitment, the province has implemented green measures to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and seek long-term growth.

9. A Local Government Unit that is Proactive and Committed

Ilocos Norte continues to expand at an unparalleled rate because of the provincial government’s outstanding leadership, particularly in the fields of investment, agriculture, commerce, tourism, health, and education, to name a few. Ilocos Norte is being developed as a worldwide province, with plans to make it one of the most attractive trade and investment destinations in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

10. Amazing Intermodal Transportation

The province is accessible via Laoag International Airport, Currimao Seaport, and a number of transport routes provided by bus lines leading to major cities in Metro Manila including Quezon City. The daily aircraft routes from Laoag International Airport connect Ilocos Norte to Manila and the rest of the globe. The country’s main airlines offer flights to the province, making it more accessible than ever.

The harbor at Currimao is also important for shipping and receiving products into and out of the province.

11. Strengthened Disaster Preparedness

Ilocos Norte established a Provincial Resiliency Council to disaster-proof the province, which has extended and deepened participation from all sectors. Pre-positioned food, heavy equipment, and medications have been placed in freshly rebuilt evacuation facilities.

Natural defensive barriers against weather disturbances are also present throughout the province. Typhoons from the Pacific Ocean are tempered by two mountain ranges east of the Ilocos Norte. Storm surges from the west, if any exist, are absorbed by the Laoag and Paoay Sand Dunes, the country’s sole sand dunes.

12. Highly Skilled and Educated Manpower

Indeed, the Ilocanos value great education, as seen by the province’s literacy rate of 99 percent. Higher education institutions, including technical and vocational schools, that are globally competitive ensure a constant supply of qualified and hardworking human resources.

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13. Tourism of Ilocos Norte

A coastal province where history meets natural beauty, Ilocos Norte is blessed with rich baroque buildings, plentiful rocky beaches, and the magnificent Cordillera Mountains. Now that quarantine restrictions have been eased, Ilocos Norte intends to reopen its borders to welcome back leisure visitors from the rest of the nation. The World Tourism Council and the Department of Tourism gave Ilocos Norte a “safe travel” mark for complying with safe travel guidelines and other requirements.

14. Beaches and Natural Wonders

Ilocos Norte has a diverse terrain rich in man-made natural wonders that invite you to discover the finest of land, air, and sea. Ilocos is guaranteed to wow you with its magnificent scenery, whether you’re gazing at the Kapurpurawan Rock Formations, visiting the towering Bangui windmills, or strolling along the pebbled beaches of Pagudpud. Surf-ready waves urge you to explore Pagudpud’s magnificent tropical paradise, thanks to its geography and environment.

But who says you have to confine yourself to the sea when it comes to surfing? Ilocos Norte also gives surfers the chance to ride down the beautiful La Paz and Paoay Sand Dunes.

15. Historical Sites and Destinations

You may walk down memory lane in Ilocos Norte’s streets, admiring the beauty of historic churches and bell towers! Visit the Taoid Museum in La Tabacalera Lifestyle Center to learn more about the region’s history and culture. It showcases the pre-colonial aspect of Ilocandia and its Cordilleran roots. Because they are neighbors, Ilocos Norte and the Cordilleras have developed a strong bond that continues to this day.

In the municipality of Paoay, there is also the Saint Augustine Church, also known as the Paoay Church. The church is famous for its distinctive design, which has accentuations of the massive buttresses that run along the sides and rear of the structure. In 1973, the Philippine government designated it as a National Cultural Treasure, and in 1993, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Philippines’ collective group of Baroque Churches.

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16. Culinary Specialties

The gastronomic specialties of Ilocos Norte are likewise well-known. Bagnet, deep-fried crispy pig cracklings ideally dipped in a bagoong and calamansi sauce and served with a cool beer, is a favorite meaty pork dish. This crispy-skinned delight pairs well with the traditional pinakbet, which is a must-try for any visitor. Pinakbet, a classic Filipino beef stew with boiled vegetables and shrimp paste, is a popular dish in the Philippines.

Another specialty from the province is poqui poqui is the perfect side dish made with grilled eggplants and scrambled eggs, sautéed with garlic, onions, and tomatoes. Top it off with the signature fish sauce called Patis. While, the dinengdeng is a traditional soup-like vegetable dish made with a variety of boiled vegetables and seasoned with bagoong, a salty fish sauce. Served either with grilled or fried fish on top, you will definitely have a tasty mouthful with this.

Certainly, for a snack, nothing beats an Ilocos Empanada, which is well-known throughout the country. The country’s oldest known Empanada manufacturer, Glory, is from Batac City.

17. Laoag City – Ilocos Norte’s capital

The capital of the province of Ilocos Norte is Laoag City. Its name is derived from the Ilocano word “lawag,” which means “light” or “brightness.” The city is also known as the “Sunshine City” because of its clean skyline and gorgeous blue skyline.

The city is a thriving and dynamic growth hub in the north, a really unique destination with panoramic sand dunes, rich greenery, gorgeous beaches, high land attractions, historical and heritage monuments, and more. It is Ilocos Norte’s commercial and commerce hub, with a diverse range of businesses and institutions. The central business district is home to hotels, restaurants, bars, banks, and other businesses.

The Laoag City Commercial Complex is particularly interesting since it houses shops selling Ilocano goods like Inabel, Bagnet, Longganisa, Sukang Iloko, and other Ilocano delicacies.

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18. Economy of Laoag City

On the other hand, in terms of per capita income and the Human Development Index, Laoag City is one of the wealthiest cities in the country. Indeed, Laoag City, with a total land area of 12,747.35m, offers a lot of room for economic growth.

Laoag is recognized as an ecotourism hub by the Department of Tourism because of its historic picturesque tourist locations, availability of internationally competitive lodgings and amenities, and the presence of supportive national government agencies.

19. Other Known Towns in Ilocos Norte

Aside from Laoag City, there are other booming municipalities in Ilocos Norte including San Nicolas, Bacarra, Vintar, and Sarrat.

San Nicolas’ major trademark is pottery-making. It was first brought by the Spaniards, who named it Alfareria, which means “Art of Pottery.” Meanwhile, the town of Baccara’s two main agricultural income crops are tobacco and garlic.

Vintar residents work in agriculture, fishing, and herding. The municipality is primarily rural, although it is known across the province for its stunning ladies with distinct Spanish characteristics. As a result, the town is known as “The Home of Beautiful People.”

Sarrat is notable for its church, which is regarded the province’s largest and has the country’s longest nave, as well as an Important Cultural Property of the Philippines.

20. Pamulinawen Festival

Another is the Pamulinawen festival, which takes its name from Pamulinawen, a classic Ilocano folk ballad about a woman. To encourage friendship and sportsmanship, the event is happening in the city of Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

Every year in the first week of February, this event is in Laoag City, to honor the city’s patron saint, Saint William. It evolved from a modest celebration of Saint William’s Feast Day into an elaborate festival that highlights the city’s culture and traditions via a range of events.

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Streamtech now serves Ilocos Norte

Certainly, Ilocos Norte is such an ideal place for business and investments. And subscribing to a reliable internet service provider is a necessity if you intend to set up a business or simply get the best fiber internet service in this province.

Great news! Streamtech, the newest telco company in the Philippines, now offers unlimited fiber internet services in Ilocos Norte. Serviceable areas include Bacarra, Sarrat, Vintar, San Nicolas, and Laoag City

Indeed, Streamtech provides a fast and reliable fiber internet connection at a reasonable price. For as low as P1,499/month, you can enjoy an internet speed of up to 25Mbps. This is the fastest home internet speed ever available.

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