Collaboration in the workplace is nothing new. However, it is becoming increasingly important in the modern world as we become more connected around the globe. Cloud computing and faster internet connections has given rise to tools enabling employees to collaborate with colleagues effectively, producing a more educated, skilled and engaged workforce. Moreover, this collaboration is increasingly happening online, rather than in person.
In this article, we delve into why collaboration in the workplace is important, key benefits and what you need to know.
Why collaborate? The benefits of collaboration
When working on a project, an individual often needs the input of other employees. By collaborating with others – different departments or even different offices, skills can be pooled to make the project more successful than it might otherwise be.
Employee collaboration not only equals a happier workforce, it represents an educated one. A collaborative workplace naturally cultivates a sense of community within an organization, with employees feeling almost like they are a part of a family. This compels them to go beyond the expectations of their role, absorbing as much organizational knowledge as possible and driving the business forward with informed and sound decisions.
The Digital Workplace
In today’s digital age, effective collaboration is increasingly achieved via the digital workplace.
Step Two Designs defines a digital workplace as a holistic set of workplace tools, platforms and environments, delivered in a coherent, usable and productive way. A digital workplace is a place, that empowers individuals, teams, colleagues, clients and partners to share, communicate and collaborate with little to no friction, delay or challenge; allowing all these stakeholders to perform their jobs more effectively.
There are a range of digital collaboration platforms, systems and tools an organisation can and should utilise, whether it be a standalone enterprise collaboration tool or a full content management system (CMS) with a range of functionality to achieve additional business goals, such as a corporate intranet hub, with social intranet tools.
Here are some examples of enterprise social networking tools that you can consider:
- Team workspaces
- Company wiki
- Instant messaging
- Facebook-like profile pages
The benefits of collaborating using the above are fairly obvious.
Employees from different departments can add to the company wiki pages, offering a comprehensive and easily accessible resource for everyone within the organization.
Blogging is useful internally for similar reasons to a wiki; employees with expertise in varying fields can share insights on the company blog, allowing other employees to access the information at their fingertips. Blogs are also a great way to promote internal news, events and achievements, helping employees gain a greater understanding of what the company is doing and cultivating a positive company culture.
Online team work spaces enable members to easily participate in conversations, quickly share the most up-to-date documents and collaborate anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Fortunately these tools and many more are offered as part of a good CMS and can be utilized to create a thriving digital workplace, resulting in a happier, more collaborative and engaged workforce.