This is How To Boost Collaboration At Work
With so many people forced to work from home during lockdown, there is now a lot of debate around the pros and cons of remote working vs. traditional offices. However, while that debate continues, the real thought should be on how to boost collaboration in the workplace, whether they are working from home, a coffee shop, a co-working space, or their employer’s offices. Collaboration enables people to share ideas, learn, complete tasks more efficiently and often to a higher standard. Successful collaboration is enabled by the culture of the company, the work environment, and technology.
This guide outlines some ways to boost collaboration in your organization.
1Lead by example
To build a collaborative culture, leaders have to set an example for their employees. Managers who dictate instructions or share news via mass emails are not fostering an environment that welcomes input and ideas from the rest of the team, so they are unlikely to receive them. If you want your employees to discuss ideas and communicate regularly, you should be using the same communication and collaboration tools like them.
2Communicate the company’s wider vision and goals
An employee who only has visibility of the tasks and responsibilities in front of them is unlikely to be as engaged and motivated as an employee who understands why those tasks and responsibilities are important. Business leaders need to communicate their wider goals and vision for the future and make sure that each employee understands the role they are playing. This will ensure they feel that they are valued and that they are part of a team, increasing the likelihood that they will collaborate effectively with others.
3Encourage workplace friendships
Studies have shown that employees who develop social connections and friendships with their colleagues are more likely to stick with their employer and to be engaged with their work. They are also more likely to give each other honest feedback that can improve working processes. If some employees take a few minutes at the coffee machine to chat about their weekend, or they find a common interest that they like to discuss as they work, you should view it as a positive development. This is why many businesses organize team-building activities and social events to build relationships and encourage a more relaxed environment.
4Create a flexible work environment
Physical work environments have a big impact on collaboration in the workplace, and research has shown that a more flexible work environment encourages collaboration, creativity, and innovation. Consider reorganizing your office space to create break-out areas and meeting areas that your employees can use to exchange ideas. Alternatively, you could look into hiring co-working spaces on certain days that your team can use to focus on project work and collaborative tasks. Sometimes, being away from the office can help employees to relax, and a change of environment can ignite new ways of thinking.
5Provide Collaborative Tools
Effective collaboration can still happen when your employees are not in the same place if you have the right communication and collaboration tools. There are several platforms out there that enable people to share and edit files and project work in real-time, and video conferencing software that helps people to maintain workplace relationships and communicate more effectively.