Collaboration is all the rage these days, and for good reason. Most simply, collaboration allows companies to benefit from increased productivity and stronger results. That’s why it comes as no surprise that the cloud collaboration market is expected to grow to $21.4 billion by 2019, according to MarketsandMarkets.
There are many reasons why collaborative organizational culture is vital to the success of the modern company. Here are five of them:
1. Collaboration makes employees more productive
Thanks to the emergence of an endless amount of collaboration platforms and business messaging services — like Slack, Trello, nCore, Asana, and Teamwork, to name a few — it’s easier than ever for workers to collaborate with one another digitally. This technology enables employees to collaborate both in real time and asynchronously — whichever makes more sense for the particular project at hand.
Collaboration tools enable workers to make progress on group projects at the times that are most convenient for them. If, for example, a marketing team is putting together an e-book, a graphic designer could make layout changes at 11 p.m. when their coworkers are asleep. The team can then pick up where that person left off when they start work the next day. Altogether, this translates into increased productivity: acording to a recent infographic from Clinked, 97% of businesses that use collaboration technology say they can service their clients more efficiently.
2. Collaboration leverages each team member’s individual strengths
Every worker has a different set of skills. One member of a team might be great at thinking outside the box and coming up with fantastic original ideas, but they might be chaotically disorganized. Another member might be impeccably organized and great at managing and delegating responsibilities, but they might be terrible at thinking on their own.
In collaborative settings, workers are generally able to play to their strengths. This is why collaboration often produces better results (think “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”).
3. Collaboration helps engage remote workers and distributed workforces
It can be difficult for remote workers and members of distributed teams to stay on the same page with their colleagues and feel consistently engaged with their work.
When a company embraces collaboration as a cornerstone of its operations, folks are more likely to feel like integral parts of a team because they will be communicating with their coworkers in real time — and often. Since engaged workers are considerably more productive than their unmotivated peers, this is nothing to scoff at.
4. Collaboration is a great team-building exercise
Your employees see each other every day. In order for them to produce the best work, they need to get along with one another and have each other’s backs.
By its design, collaboration is a great team-building exercise, as your employees are forced to put their heads together to produce great work. When difficult projects are well received, employees will feel that much closer to the members of their team who were in the trenches with them.
5. Collaboration forces teams to be creative and think outside the box
Brainstorming sessions are part of many collaborative processes. We all know how they work: everyone more or less shouts out ideas that pop into their heads without giving them much thought. Sure, some of these — if not a vast majority — might be the worst ideas you’ve ever heard. But there will almost certainly be a number of gems as well.
Instead of having one person guide every decision, brainstorming allows teams to tap into a much deeper well of ideas. This usually produces better, more diverse results.
Despite the fact that nearly three out of four employees say collaboration is very important, 39% of workers feel as though their organizations don’t collaborate enough, according to an infographic from Queens University of Charlotte. Is your business guilty of doing the same?