4 Ways businesses like yours can boost collaborationPosted in Blogs on 10/08/20
Invest in the right tech that empowers collaboration
Flexible and remote working is now a reality for most businesses. Whilst technology has enabled more secure, better connected and easier remote working experiences, it has also created some practical barriers to communication.
We are all guility of using email when a phone call or face to face meeting would be more appropriate. It feels like a quick way to get a question answered or a task complete, especially when colleagues are working in another location. However, that quick email can quickly turn into a to-and-fro email essay with information relayed bit by bit - this could of been resolved with a 10 minute conversation. There is also the pitfalls of communicating tone of voice to consider; It is very easy to create a misunderstanding on email because you can't use verbal and physical cues that usually express to the other person how you are feeling.
That's why businesses are investing in technology like Microsoft Teams or Zoom that improves internal communication and empower collaboration through tools such as live-document sharing and live document editing.
Optimise your office layout
Research has found an up to 15% productivity increase in workplaces that are designed to foster collaborative working. Most business to have the luxury of designing their headquarters from the ground up, but there are some basic workplace design principles that even small businesses can apply to their working environment.
To start with, it is important to recognise that different individuals and different roles will have different needs. A flexible workspace should aim to encourage collaboration by providing appropriate areas that can be used in different ways. For example; private meeting rooms should be used for brainstorming, add an interactibe whiteboard for live collaboration. Private cubicles are perfect for users who need a distration-free zone to concentrate on complex projects.
Build team morale
If you want teams to work well and be productive, then help them build a connection with social or team-buidling activities. During lockdown Crusade took part in weekly quizzes, happy hours and Taskmaster challenges. We each took it in turns to come up with a quiz or task. You should consider allowing staff to take control of organising their own activities and giving them a budget allowance to do this.
Create a collaboration culture
When it comes to the way people work and behave in business, culture comes from the very top. An advantage that small businesses often have over larger businesses is that senior staff are usually much more visible and availalbe to the workforce. What this means is that your senior staff have much more opportunity to influence and set an example of the kind of collaborative working practices they want everyone in the business to employ. When your staff experience how effective those collaborative methods can be, demonstrated by you their leader in the organisation, they are more likely to replicate this behaviour and encourage it in others.
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