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A collaborative workspace or shared workspace is an inter-connected environment in which all the participants in dispersed locations can access and interact with each other just as inside a single entity.
The environment may be supported by electronic communications and groupware which enable participants to overcome space and time differentials. These are typically enabled by a shared mental model, common information, and a shared understanding by all of the participants regardless of physical location.
Communication comes in two forms: synchronous and asynchronous.
The popularity of synchronous forms has increased over recent years driven by improvements in processing capabilities and the widespread availability of high speed internet. These include video and voice messaging services including shared whiteboard capabilities. Program sharing has also become available to allow remote users to share much more detailed information through CAD packages, spreadsheets, etc. and have access to these in real time.