Employers and business owners are starting to see the importance of workplace collaboration and its attendant effect on efficiency and productivity. Collaboration is subtly transforming expectations for how work gets done. It has become the ready approach to solve organisational problems and spring innovation.
With the increasing importance of technology, people feel the need to connect from any location and expect the experience to feel the same as meeting in person. Cloud computing and faster internet connections has given rise to tools enabling employees to collaborate with team members effectively; producing a more transformed, skilled and engaged workforce. What workplace collaboration represents is a more educated community—by collaborating with others, knowledge is shared, and skills are pooled from different disciplines or units to make a project more successful than it might otherwise be.
A collaborative workplace gives employees a sense of belonging and ownership, like they are a part of a family. This compels them to go beyond the expectations of their role, absorbing as much organisational knowledge as possible and driving the business forward with informed and sound decisions.
The future of productivity will also be about exploring and unleashing the potential of teams. Organisations that are collaboration-friendly will see an increase in the resolution of complex work issues and a remarkable boost in work productivity. While time zones, cultural differences, diversity and hierarchical reporting lines make team work hard, collaboration will pave way for inclusion, the unlearning of old work-patterns and the adoption of better alliance to drive productivity and efficiency. Progressive companies now see collaboration as a driving force for building a more educative and productive team.
Modern collaboration solutions have the potential to impact broader business goals. Many forward-thinking Organisations are setting the standard for communication in the workplace and are spearheading the adoption of collaborative communication techniques such as visual communication, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and other tools that demonstrate processes, improve communication efficiency and effectiveness, increase productivity and eliminate unnecessary meetings. Integrating collaboration technology, such as voice, video and content sharing tools, into communication systems, business applications and workflows will drive efficiency.
Collaboration applications and services will offer more intuitive, hassle-free capabilities that will enable virtual work environments for companywide communications or smaller work-group alliances. A recent research showed eight out of 10 information workers said that new solutions, such as digital workspaces, could better support collaboration, productivity, decision making and engagement.
These new tech offerings have transformed ‘work’ from just being a physical office to a virtual space. The cloud, for example, makes it possible for employees around the globe to create, share and access information. It is breaking down barriers to communication, so that collaboration can happen regardless of devise, location or platform.
While collaboration is gradually becoming the driving motivation behind productivity in organisations, some studies have posited that too much of it can also get in the way of work. Rather than boost productivity, there is a high chance that collaboration overload can reduce work productivity. These studies suggest that the key to avoid collaboration overload is to collaborate productively in a way that boundaries are set and there is focus on actual collaboration meetings for the sake of productivity and efficiency.
For now, we can tell that the benefits of collaboration outweigh the disadvantages. We see a future that will include augmented processes and machine learning. There is no doubt that collaboration will continue to evolve as new technologies unfold.