Collaboration in the workplace is a sign of an effective, high-functioning team. Today, companies are placing more emphasis on a balance between enabling employee collaboration, where and when they need it and allowing workers time alone to brainstorm and complete individual tasks. Unified communication and collaboration (UCC) technology allows employees to have this balance, facilitating real-time communication, information sharing, and collaboration between employees.
A new generation of technology is surfacing, giving workplaces across the world a new outlook. With so many employees worldwide working in virtual teams, many business relationships have become reliant on technology. This is not necessarily a bad thing - as long as the right technology is being used appropriately.
The Importance Of Collaboration
A big factor in workplace success is whether or not employees are able to work together as a team. With increasing industry competition, it has become more and more important to foster office creativity, improve productivity, and promote healthy employee relationships.
A lot of waste in business derives from miscommunication and missed opportunities. Many teams don’t know the real value of collaborative work. Effective collaboration allows all members to pool their skills to find the most optimal solution to every problem.
There are many benefits to implementing better and more efficient workplace collaboration. We outline a few of them below.
Studies show that when employees use digital workplace solutions like unified communications (UC), they feel more productive and are able to finish projects more quickly and efficiently. The mobile capacities of collaboration technology permit employees to capitalize on a sudden explosion of creativity and productivity.
Is More Effective
The most effective workplace teams are able to balance individual focus and team collaboration. Teams and departments will be able to collaborate more easily, share information, and communicate more efficiently with UC.
Can Save You Money
UC tools like web conferencing can save your business money on travel and office space. Business leaders can schedule web conferences to take place right in the office, in lieu of spending money to fly employees out to meet with partners or clients. Instead, when it makes sense, video conferencing and desktop sharing can be used to link end users.
Facilitates Employee Learning
New employees learn the most from their co-workers and from higher-ups. This learning can be best achieved through collaboration via phone, chat, video conference, and so on. Collaboration can help create mentor-mentee relationships between these new employees and their senior counterparts, inspiring and engaging both groups even more.
Appeals To Millennials
Millennials will soon take over the workforce. These younger, tech-savvy employees are more likely to lean toward collaboration technology, considering that technology is already a large part of their lives.
Results In Closer Collaborations
In many instances, virtual collaboration replaces traditional boardroom collaboration. Collaboration today is done, more often than not, through virtual teams. With collaboration technology, documents can easily be edited by multiple people all over the world at the same time.
Employees are expressing a growing need for flexibility. Collaborative technology, like tablets and smartphones, enable employees mobility and flexibility--in other words, freedom from traditional workday hours. This allows many end users to work from home or on the road, and lets employees take advantage of real-time collaborative capabilities with their remote co-workers from around the world.
Improves Work-Life Balance
Employees will be happier with this flexibility allowing them to better fit their work to their lifestyles than a strict eight-hour workday may allow. A workplace free of time zones and office hours can be valuable, allowing employees to have more balanced and happy lives. A large percentage of workers report that they come up with their best ideas out of the office, rather than within it.
Engages Remote & Work-From-Home Employees
Regardless of the benefits of working remotely, employees may often feel isolated from their co-workers. By promoting a high level of collaboration, a company can ensure that all employees, working from any location, can benefit from real-time information and constant communication.
Implementing Collaborative UC
Mobile communications are great, however, it also means that there is a lot of digital clutter to keep track of and a great amount of time spent every week gathering and compiling information, all of which can cost businesses time and productivity.
UC is a tool that is able to put this information together. With UC, the digital collection of data, including conference call notes, video conference recordings, text conversations, and more, are arranged into a single stream and can be recalled anytime.
UC expands the definition of the workplace, allowing employees to switch from device to device as they please. It also allows co-workers, customers, and clients to know when an employee is available and provides the best method for reaching him or her. Voicemails, for example, can be sent in text or email so employees do not have to miss an important message.
With today’s technological advancements, cloud-based programs are a great option when it comes to fulfilling the need for an effective communications system. A cloud platform can run all the applications that UC requires.
Workplace Collaboration Technology Has Value
Collaboration allows team members to brainstorm, provides value, and gives everyone equal opportunity to participate and share ideas. It encourages employee responsibility, accountability, and raises employee motivation levels.
Workplace collaboration also increases business efficiency. Multiple individuals are able to team up and divide and conquer with these collaborative options, accomplishing tasks in less time. Workplace collaboration tools not only promote a more productive environment, but also make the job more rewarding, pleasant, and easier to manage.
The solution to the challenges of the evolving workplace is not to ditch technology for a more human way of working, but to transform technology into operating in a more human manner.
The Human Aspect
Oftentimes, workplaces miss out on opportunities for increased productivity that new collaboration tools offer. For example, video conferences are often seen as a more productive option than phone conferences due to the increased level of focus that face-to-face interaction requires. Collaboration technology is more effective when it involves a higher level of integrated human connection.
This technology also allows workers to become more sociable and to proactively reach out and develop strong relationships. Surprisingly, social media has also been bringing people together, by filling the humanity gap that many global workers feel is lacking in impersonal email chains and conference calls. In fact, one of the key predictors of employee engagement is whether or not they have close friends at work. Real relationships formed through social networking can make a great impact on productivity.
With all these technological options, employees have more ways to communicate than ever before. UC acts as a single interface that organizes your business’s collaboration tools. Without UC, employees are creatively stifled, unable to freely share their ideas. UC enables your business to benefit from workplace collaboration tools in an efficient and organized way, making it possible for your business to become an active participant in the modern technological workplace.