Think about your average day at work. Is it dynamic and rewarding or are you instead fighting the boredom of imagining what a fun workplace would be like? The fact is that a happy employee is more productive and naturally, this is good for business.
Still, let’s take a look at the bigger picture to better understand why collaboration can provide the motivation to become that ‘winner at work’ we all aspire to be. Why are communication and collaboration in the workplace so important and what statistics can be found to back this up?
Workplace Collaboration: The Basic (and Obvious) Facts
Let’s begin with a blog written by WeWork, a worldwide provider of shared workspaces, who pointed out that 70 per cent of professionals working in a collaborative team environment reported feelings of higher job satisfaction (1).
Simply, communication and collaboration in the workplace makes people feel more productive. Vice President of WeWork Workplace Strategy, Liz Burow said, “The future is about ‘intentional’ work” and that those who are provided with a purposeful sense of organisation are more likely to remain satisfied with their jobs. While the conclusions drawn by WeWork are undeniable, we are only beginning to scratch the surface. What else can we do to impact our performance and reach a greater sense of fulfilment?
Strength in Numbers
Have you ever been employed by an organisation that required you to work in solitary within a cubicle type environment, for hours on end? An environment that discourages the concept of “team”? If so, the chances are your only good memories consist of late Friday afternoons, when you could head home or off down the local to drown your sorrows over a pint or two. Now, think about a company which champions a sense of collaboration through modern approaches and audio visual solutions. The chances are that your experiences will be much more positive.
Once again, data backs up these observations. A study undertaken by Stanford University found that those who collaborated with others were 64 per cent more likely to stick at a specific task for longer (2). Higher rates of success and lower perceptions of fatigue were also noted. Let’s look from another perspective.
A Collaborative Sense of Competition
Whether you are a fan of football, cricket or basketball, you are well aware of the importance of being a ‘team player’. Every member of a rowing crew is motivated and effected by the actions of the other members. Lionel Messi would be nothing without the help of his teammates. Even somewhat solitary sports such as bodybuilding or darts rely upon the thrill of a friendly sense of competition. We thrive off of the energy of others and this observation is just as relevant within the workplace. Some of the other benefits directly attributed to this synergy include (3):
- The ability to learn from others.
- Experiencing a more diverse work environment.
- A “think outside the box” attitude and appreciation in the opinions of others.
- Higher levels of creativity and innovation.
Also, collaborating on a challenging project increases the chances of completing the task more quickly and on time. As the expression goes, there is no “I” in “team”.
From Concept to Reality
Now the real question, how can these levels of collaboration work within the modern workplace?
The first mistake to avoid is simply throwing a team into a new project under the assumption that they will “figure it out”. It is instead important to clarify objectives and goals at the start, while providing members with the right tools to complete the task i.e. access to audio visual (AV) technologies, such as meeting room AV, from smart boards that enable team members to share ideas, to wireless presentation systems, connecting participants and displaying content at the click of a button. These modern tools and more enable teams to know what they are up against and help them to form a collaborative game plan.
The second suggestion is to pair up those with related talents. Although variety is the spice of life, or so they say, it does little good when building teams comprised of disparate skill sets. Each member will likely shoot off into his or her own direction. Try instead to match up traits that compliment each other. This will enable the entire group to work in better cohesion, leading to a stronger ability to tackle more challenging tasks.
Also, let’s not forget that the most successful work relationships do not end after the work day is done. It is wise to encourage links outside of work too. A night at the pub, an end-of-week dinner to a local restaurant or a team-building away day are all great ways to help a team become closer (4). A happy team, who get on well together, will work better together and you’ll see the results of this translating back into the success of your business.
Into the Digital Age
Some feel that digital advancements tend to separate employees as opposed to bring them together. This is much more a myth than a reality. Collaborative workplace solutions, of which and more are offered by TwistedPair, are able to supply a greater degree of efficiency and teamwork than would ever have been possible with traditional workplace methods.
Working in a collaborative team environment should never be a guessing game. If you know where to begin, how to leverage in-house talents and which audio visual tools to invest your money in, there is no doubt that 2019 will prove to be a stellar year for you and your business.
Happy New Year Everyone!