08 Jan Collaboration: A Competitive Advantage
Our 2012 Mobile Workforce Survey found that more than half of our respondents’ time is spent on collaborative work, which includes face-to-face meetings, conference calls, and online collaboration including Skype’ or other screen-sharing technologies. Furthermore, two-thirds of our respondents are either mobile within their company’s facility, working at a client’s office, working from home, or working on-the-go at an airport lounge, a cafe, or a library.
Collaboration is the way to get work done and maintain your competitive edge.
Are your workplace and people practices conducive to collaborative work? At the same time, do they provide enough privacy so that your employees can do solo work, think, and be creative?
Take Action to Facilitate More Collaboration at Work
Collaborative work is here to stay. With people increasingly using mobile devices and social networking tools to communicate with each other, find information, and conduct research, you simply cannot ignore this trend. Strategic leaders who take action to shape a work environment and culture that foster employee collaboration will gain an edge over their competitors and see improved business results.
Here are some questions to get you started on creating a conducive work environment and culture that encourage collaboration:
Resources and Physical Work Environment
- Do you have online tools that facilitate collaboration across time zones, geographical locations? Are they accessible to all or most employees?
- Do you have workspaces where employees can get together for collaborative work?
- If so, how would you describe this space? Is it bland and boring or does it have toys and props that can stimulate creative thinking?
- Do you have individual workspaces or offices employees can reserve if they need some quiet thinking time to work on their projects?
Organizational Culture and People Practices
- Do your employees feel most productive if they are “busy” working?
- Is “thinking” frowned upon or encouraged in your office?
- Do employees have the flexibility to determine how and where to best get their work done?
Employee Trust and Team Cohesiveness
- Do your leaders know how to build and maintain a cohesive team environment?
- Do you organize social activities outside of work to build employee relationship and trust?
- Do you know what your employees are thinking and why?
- Are you asking the right questions in your employee surveys about collaboration and innovation?
How did you encourage collaboration at your workplace? What worked? And what are the lessons learned? Let me know.