Workplace collaboration is certainly not a new concept, but it is one that has been gaining momentum lately in some of the world’s biggest companies. Google is known for its open offices and designated ‘thinking’ spaces, which have found their way into countless workplaces around the world. If you’re not convinced of the benefits of collaboration or need some help persuading others in your office to follow suit, here are just a few of the many reasons why you should be collaborating more.
Contrary to what proponents of the individualistic approach to work might say, working collaboratively can achieve much higher levels of efficiency. In order to see these improvements take shape, workers must plan effectively, delegate tasks based on each person’s strengths, and take advantage of collaborative tools. Since workplace collaboration has become more popular, more and more programs have been created to make sure things run smoothly.
Tools like this online kanban software allow workplaces to adapt to changes in the collaborative process, as well as providing an open platform for everyone to work from. This makes it possible to collaborate not only with people in your office but with anyone in the world who has access to the software. Taking advantage of this technology is bound to have massive benefits for any company experimenting with collaboration for the first time.
In order to collaborate well, teams have to have strong levels of communication. This doesn’t mean that they need to have perfect communication skills before they collaborate, though, as the collaboration process itself encourages more communication and puts a strong emphasis on its importance. If collaboration is a regular part of your workplace environment, communication is likely to improve across the board, as staff get to know each other better and build shared experiences. You can enhance this effect by using communication apps, which will support your collaborative projects and create a more positive atmosphere to work in.
Taking a collaborative approach to projects makes a company more able to adapt when something unexpected happens. When customer preferences change or new technology appears, working collaboratively makes it easier to integrate this into existing projects. It also means that staff can grow their own flexibility within their roles, as they learn new skills and spot where they can use them within the team. Collaborative work methodologies such as Scrum encourage flexibility within small teams in order to bring out a range of skills and strengths in every contributor.
It’s no secret that levels of engagement in the workplace are at an all-time low. In the US, only 33% of employees describe themselves as engaged in their work, and this is certainly reflected in efficiency, staff turnover rates and overall profits. In other words, working to increase employee engagement could drastically improve every aspect of your workplace, and encourage collaboration is a great way to do it.
Engagement at work is highly correlated with feeling connected to both the goal you are working towards and the people you are working alongside. Therefore, collaborative approaches to working are much more likely to generate high levels of engagement than individualistic approaches are. Staff who feel that they are a valued member of a team are much more likely to put all the energy they can into their work and to feel satisfied with the outcome.
One of the biggest challenges facing businesses today is attracting the most talented employees possible, and promoting collaborative is one of the keys to doing this. Thanks to the widely reported success of collaborative and creative work environments at companies like Google and Apple, working in a collaborative environment is now near the top of many applicants’ wish-lists.
Millenials, in particular, are more likely to value collaboration, so working this into your company ethos could help you to attract some of the most talented employees out there. This doesn’t mean that you need to rearrange the whole office or have a 24/7 open office policy, but adding collaborative aspects to your work processes is likely to attract professionals who are looking for somewhere that they can both share their strengths and learn from more experienced colleagues.
As you can see, there are many positives to gain from taking a more collaborative approach within your workplace. No matter what area your business is in, it is possible to implement small changes that allow everyone to see the benefits of collaborative working. Although those with more traditional approaches to work might need a little persuading at first, the positive outcomes from this style of working are ultimately undeniable.