A highly effective and productive workplace needs to be more than just a sum of its parts. Sure, it’s always good to have great individuals working on their own work streams, but to really make amazing things happen and to exceed the norms of what’s expected on any given project, collaboration in the workplace has to be nurtured and allowed to blossom.
The advantages of collaborative working are manifold and can have a huge impact on the outcome of your projects. So, if you are looking to start actively incorporating it into your management planning, here are some of the most important advantages you can be looking forward to.
Increased creativity and out-of-the-box thinking
Greater innovation is one of the clearest advantages of collaborative working. It can be fostered by bringing together people with complementary or even contrasting skills and engaging them in activities, such as brainstorming solutions to an issue facing the project. With some guidance and a solid frame of context, varied ideas from programmers, marketers or accountants can be blended together to solve problems that one department on their own would have had trouble with.
More flexibility in project direction
When your team is aware of and embraces the variety of skills and opinions that it comprises it improves its ability to change direction and adapt to situations. This is because a truly collaborative workplace will engender mutual respect, so if something occurs the team will not be rendered inert by different elements believing “my way is the best, so we have to stick to it”, but rather have a positive attitude from staff who are supportive of following a new path if it’s the best thing for the project.
Increased learning possibilities
When a team is engaged in collaborative working, they are exposed to skills which lie outside of their own education or training. As well as picking up new ways of working, cross collaboration can also pique the interest of team members to pursue learning possibilities in a new field which will enhance their skillset and improve their worth to the organization.
Higher employee productivity
The advantages of collaboration can also be seen in terms of individual output. Creating a sense of teamwork and building bonds encourages team members to work for the collective rather than just themselves. This can inspire increased engagement with work to make sure they don’t let the team down.
Greater geographical spread
With the great technological advances in collaborative and management software, collaboration in the workplace can now expand to include team members working across vast distances who still feel like they are part of a unified team. If done well, this greater geographical dispersion of your team can bring many new approaches to work practices while not necessarily losing any of the cohesion of a single-location team.
Enhanced stakeholder relationships
Having a collaborative work atmosphere is not just about getting team members to work better together, it also encompasses engagement with stakeholders. Having the right mentality towards collaborative work can create greater synergies with other departments, suppliers and customers.
If you’re looking to capitalize on the collaborative potential of your team, Clarizen provides one of the world’s best platforms for integrating, sharing and improving how your team works together.