Co-browsing stands for collaborative browsing. According to the most common definition, it means “joint navigation through the World Wide Web by two or more people accessing the same web page at the same time.”
Co-browsing trends are already a part of the onboarding, sales, and support processes of business entities. However, due to the fact that many businesses are relying on remote freelancers nowadays, it’s about time we started implementing co-browsing technology as a collaborative solution for freelancers.
Co-browsing is great because it replaces the old-school screen sharing practices. When you want freelancers to collaborate (and you do want that), you’ll gain tons of benefits from investing in this type of software and teaching them how to use it.
Let’s tackle the issue from top to bottom, shall we?
Co-Browsing Trends and Freelancing – What’s the Connection?
With co-browsing, you get an opportunity to see another person’s browser and take remote control over it. This is useful during onboarding processes, when you want to teach someone how to do something online. That’s why the technology is so commonly used in the hiring process. Where do freelancers get into the picture?
Laura Smith, a freelance writer from aussiewritings.com, explains: “Business owners often have the impression that remote freelancers should work independently. They give us the tasks, expect us to meet deadlines, and that’s it. The truth is, we often need assistance, and it’s much easier when we can collaborate with our colleagues. It saves us time, and it saves the client from multiple emails going back and forth.”
It makes sense.
A freelancer treats their work as a small business. They have an entrepreneurial mindset, and that naturally imposes the need for collaboration on tasks. Instead of seeing a task as something they must complete by a given deadline, they see it as an opportunity for progress and learning. That’s why they need to have the tools and resources that are necessary for collaboration.
Let’s list few important benefits of co-browsing software for remote freelancers:
Co-Browsing Simplifies the Decision-Making Process
When freelancers are left on their own, they have difficulty making decisions. If, for example, you hire a graphic designer to create an infographic, you’ll give them general instructions. You’ll hire a writer at the same time, so they will complete the content for the infographic. If there’s no communication between them, the process of completion will be longer and more complex.
The graphic designer won’t know what the content writer is up to, so they won’t be able to start working on the design before they get the content. The content writer won’t have a precise idea of the graphic designer’s plans, so it will be hard for them to match their own ideas with the expectations ahead. Do you see the gap that collaboration could fix?
Co-Browsing Boosts the Effectiveness of Your Leadership
Without achieving a collaborative spirit among remote freelancers, your leadership will not be effective. You’ll be suffocated with messages waiting for responses.
In order for freelancers to be effective, they must fit their achievements within the expectations for everyone involved in a project. They need to collaborate so they can eliminate the need to ask you one question after another. Plus, they will minimize the potential for making errors. Through collaboration, remote freelancers can deliver a uniform project that requires fewer improvements. That will certainly make the entire effort more effective, and it will also make you more effective as a leader.
Co-browsing Is the Best Way for Freelance Researchers and Writers to Collaborate
If you let at least two writers collaborate on a long-form post, they will combine their strengths and balance out each other’s weaknesses.
As an example, a researcher can be responsible for finding statistics, research studies, and various types of evidence for the thesis statement they want to prove. Another researcher will be in charge of examining the existing online content on the matter, and finding unique angles to discuss it. Finally, a writer will take the information provided by these two researchers, and will deliver a detailed long-form post that’s ready to hit the web.
Without co-browsing, you’d probably leave the entire task to a single freelancer. If you do opt for collaborative efforts but you don’t recommend co-browsing as a technique, the communication within this group will be conducted over email or another type of messaging tool.
“Do you see these statistics? I need you to combine them with the data from this other website.” Then, a link will be provided, and another link will follow, and the process will continue forever. With co-browsing, the researchers will simply show each other what page they are on and what parts they are looking at. If the writer has access to these screens, they can start working on the content simultaneously, without waiting for complete instructions that take time to compose and can still be confusing.
When a Remote Contractor Encounters a Problem, a Colleague Can Help
Let’s say you tell everyone to use a specific online tool, like Quora for example. You want them to find specific questions and offer answers from an expert’s point of view. Needless to say, they will promote your brand along the way.
One of these freelancers encounters a problem. Hey, it happens and there’s no need to stress over the issue. They have three options:
- Try to find a solution online. This may work, but a Google search doesn’t always lead to a final solution.
- Contact you. This may also work, but the issue will disrupt your daily routine.
- Contact a colleague and discuss the matter over email. This could also work, but the communication won’t be as efficient as possible. Imagine the questions: “What error did you get? Are you sure you’re on the right page? Please send a screenshot! Do you see that green button at the right bottom corner? Is it solved yet?”
And now there’s a fourth, better option:
- Contact a colleague and solve the issue through co-browsing. Now we’re talking about a real solution. When this person contacts their colleague for help, a simple “Let me see what you’re seeing” will do the trick.
Then this colleague will get access to the web page the other person is seeing, so they will immediately spot the problem and guide them through a solution. It’s as simple as that. Co-browsing trends are strong not only because they enable easy screen sharing, but also because you can remotely move with the other person, highlight parts of the page, scroll, and click for them.
According to the statistics provided by Upscope, companies that used co-browsing saw an annual improvement of 2.4% in support costs. This is a great step forward in customer support processes. However, business owners must not forget the fact that remote freelancers need support, too. Co-browsing trends can also be implemented really well in that aspect.
Co-Browsing Software Trends: What Tools Can Remote Freelancers Use?
You can’t just tell remote freelancers to start collaborating through co-browsing. As a leader, you’ll have to provide them with a co-browsing tool that they won’t hate, and you’ll need to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
The best thing about co-browsing is that there are no downloads involved, so the tool won’t be consuming any space on anyone’s computer, and it will not impose any malware threats. Moreover, the freelancers will only see each other’s internet browsing tabs, so they won’t invade each other’s privacy. It’s a very secure and simple process that can lead to enhanced collaboration and improved results.
The only question is: what co-browsing tool should you start using?
There’s no universal answer that works for all. There are many options to consider, so you should simply choose the one that works best for everyone involved. We’ll suggest few tools that are setting up co-browsing trends:
This is one of the most commonly used tools of this type, mainly due to its simplicity. Although it’s mainly designed for customer support centers, remote freelancers can still use it to collaborate with each other.
The users can highlight and draw on the web page they share, and they can change pages to navigate through the specific website. The person who shares the screen can control what the other person sees, so they can easily protect their private information, such as credit card details, for example.
Acquire also enables co-browsing via mobile apps, so that’s another advantage you should consider.
The official website of this tool is not that attractive or convenient, but the tool itself is pretty good. It’s simple: you get access to the web page that someone is viewing, and you guide them through instructions by controlling the page, highlighting parts of it, or using arrows to direct them.
The person who shares the page can hide sensitive information, so their privacy will not be affected. Pega comes with an implemented chat feature, so it further improves the effectiveness of the co-browsing process.
This is another simple and effective co-browsing tool. You can control the web page another person sees as if you were holding their mouse. When someone asks for help and you suggest co-browsing, you’ll send a simple, optional pop-up to ask for permission.
In essence, most co-browsing tools are pretty similar to one another. You just need to choose the one that you and the freelancers you hire are most comfortable with. There’s no specific co-browsing tool for remote freelancers, but you can definitely adjust the implementation of these trends to your own needs.
Remember: you don’t want to be a follower. You want to be a leader! So don’t hold back – test co-browsing for improving remote freelancer cooperation today. You’ll be surprised with the results!
Olivia is a passionate blogger who writes on topics of digital marketing, career, and self-development. She constantly tries to learn something new and share this experience on various websites. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.