Collaboration. It’s a word we hear a whole lot in the context of work. Collaboration skills. Collaborative workspaces. And in recent times, especially, online collaboration tools.
A collaborative organisation is something every business wants to achieve. So how do you improve collaboration in the workplace?
In this guide, we define collaborative working and why it’s important and look at how to improve communication and collaboration in the workplace.
Workplace collaboration FAQs
What is collaborative working?
Collaborative working is where individuals share their skills to reach a common goal.
Usually, a special team of individuals from different departments are brought together to work on a project or task because their skills work well together.
Why are teamwork and collaboration important in the workplace?
There are plenty of reasons why collaboration is important in the workplace. Collaborative working is proven to be a seriously efficient way of getting tasks done quickly and more effectively. And it’s not all about the output: team members can inspire and motivate each other and share their skills, which can help boost employee engagement. Want to know more about how important collaboration is at work? Download the guide to collaborative working.
How to encourage collaboration in the workplace using online collaboration tools
Online collaboration tools are web applications that are used to… you guessed it… collaborate. They are not a new thing – collaboration tools have been in use for years. However, since the shift to full-time remote working during the pandemic, businesses have relied more on virtual tools to build collaboration in the workplace.
Online collaboration enables employees to work together and stay organised wherever they work. These tools can be central to ensuring that projects stay on track.
At Work.Life, we use a range of collaboration tools in our day-to-day work. Some of our favourite online collaboration tools are:
- Slack– The ultimate online workspace for collaboration, we use Slack to send direct messages to our team, share files, and make video calls.
- Asana– Great for project management, Asana allows our team to track progress, set deadlines and set reminders for upcoming deadlines.
- Trello– At Work.Life, we use Trello for both personal organisation and team collaboration by creating boards and sub-tasks, which can be assigned to the relevant team member.
How to build collaboration in the workplace with collaborative workspaces
A collaborative workspace (sometimes referred to as a collaborative office space or a collaborative space) is an office where design, layout and general work environment are built for cooperation. The objective is to bring team members together by creating an environment to encourage socialising, meeting, and productivity.
As more and more businesses are recognising the benefits of collaborative workspace and are interested in having a collaborative work environment themselves, modern workspace designs are leaning towards open collaborative settings. Coworking spaces are purposely built with collaboration in mind, with many features to help facilitate it – such as collaboration spaces in offices and meeting rooms equipped with collaborative technology.
Want to know what a collaborative workspace involves? Download the guide for more.
How important is collaboration in the workplace?
The rise of collaborative workspace isn’t brand new. In recent years, businesses in many different industries have recognised the power of collaboration for creating innovation, improving team relationships and helping their teams work more efficiently. Building a collaborative workplace is high on many business agendas, impacting how they set up and use office space, their organisational structure, and even hiring goals.
How to improve communication and collaboration in the workplace through company culture
To make collaboration work, it needs to be embedded in the business. Collaboration shouldn’t just occur if someone initiates it ad hoc, on a specific project. Collaborative workplace culture is one where collaboration is consistent, deliberate, and implemented into every process. Working in collaboration should become a constant for employees.
Online collaboration tools and collaborative office space can help businesses build a collaborative culture.
What is successful collaboration in the workplace?
Successful collaboration in the workplace can be measured by output. Are tasks getting done more quickly, and to a better standard? With workplace collaboration, efficiency should be directly impacted.
Successful collaboration at work can also be measured by employee satisfaction. If your staff are more motivated, feel more valued and are learning from each other, it’s a clear sign that it’s working within your business. Try running an employee engagement survey to find out whether your team are more engaged with collaborative working.
What is the difference between teamwork and collaboration in the workplace?
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but there’s a key difference! Teamwork tends to refer to a group of individuals functioning as a team, who will often be from the same department.
Collaboration is more likely to be team members from different departments working together towards the same goal, who will be able to learn new skills from each other. The end result may be more creative, as the team working on the project are from a more diverse array of backgrounds. Combining skills and knowledge from very different individuals produces the best collaboration!
Next steps for encouraging communication and collaboration in your workplace
Encouraging collaboration in the workplace is a goal for many businesses, but knowing how to improve workplace collaboration is where it gets a bit more tricky. It is important to define a purpose and embed collaboration into every project and process, so it becomes second nature!
For businesses looking for collaborative spaces for their team in London, Manchester or Reading, Work.Life’s shared workspaces provide a modern professional environment, including super-fast WiFi, unlimited coffee and access to private office spaces and meeting rooms should you need it. Visit our website to discover coworking spaces to help encourage your team’s collaboration.