Collaborative work can help you improve your business performance and
enhance the team’s skills to work toward a greater goal for the business.
Collaboration leads to innovative approaches to projects, new processes
to accomplish key tasks and shared ideas on varied responsibilities. There
are advantages and disadvantages to collaboration in the workplace.
Understanding these pros and cons goes a long way toward addressing
any conflict that may crop up as a result.
A business may work collaboratively to achieve a number of key business
Knowledge, good practice and information sharing
This is key to collaboration, knowing how to share your knowledge with
others in a relaxed environment. This is very important because if you
have never done a collaboration task before when gathering up a team
it could feel very strange at first. You need to be able to make sure your
team gets involved by sharing their views, facts or opinions. You should
be able to use people’s strengths when it comes to collaboration, one of
these could be budgeting, organisation or leadership. These are very
important strengths to have in business, as it can be developed and used
in many departments. With your team members collaborating
together, people start to think and bringing new ideas to the table. This
results in people bouncing ideas off each other toward improving the
business services or products. Several thoughts and ideas can come up
with different ways to address a situation, thinking of creating,
developing, enhancing, improving and having ideas about how to go
about the task in hand.
— S.M.A.C.talk Podcast @DanielNewmanUV @iSocialFanz (@SMACtalkLIVE) May 9, 2017
Unless you don’t have a collaboration system for your team, it likely
means that your team relies on communication methods like phone
systems, text chat or email. While phone and email are essential, they
can lead to broken, incomplete or missing information. Instead of
important information being available everyone who needs to know it,
it’s buried in individual inboxes. A common problem is that one person
was told about something, but never shared that with others on the
team who need to know. In short, despite all the communication tools,
you can have an information gap. However, there are many
cloud-based collaboration options available, so information is more
widely available to everyone who needs to know. Information is only
valuable if it’s available to the right people at the right times, so they
can make use of it for your business.
Clarity & Efficiency
Through better collaboration, your employees can gain clarity in
their roles. Clarity helps each person know what they are supposed
to do. They know what others are doing — or not doing. Clarity
through collaboration frees employees to focus on specific parts of
your task, at specific times — without costly overlap or gaps. This
will result in things flowing more smoothly and gets the job done
right the first time, which means lower costs for the business, and
faster turnaround times.
Stronger and united work force
Collaboration really helps people to come together, in ways they
might not have before. It helps the team work together and share
their thoughts and opinions. This helps people that might have
thought they weren’t as appreciated as before. As it can be difficult
sometimes in a larger organisation to give praise where praise is
deserved. Keeping track of employees work can be difficult,
however, they stand out with collaboration. You can keep up to
date knowing exactly what they are doing and when they are
doing it. For smaller businesses, it can be a way of team members
showing off their strengths when working in a team. When people
are given a chance to share their views it not only helps them but
shows the other people around them that they can do the same.
Confidence is a big part of collaboration, your team members
need to feel that they are comfortable in sharing their ideas.
When you encourage your employees to work together on
projects, you also get the benefit of each person being able to
work on activities that are most suited to their specific
strengths. Projects can be divided up more effectively based on
skills. When employees are doing work they are suited for or
are good at, they will do a better job and in turn will achieve
more – for themselves and for the company. This creates
improved productivity over the long run and also saves you
money on hiring and training new employees.
People know people. This is a great way for getting to know not just
your team members, but also who and what they know. If one
person knows three to four other professionals in different
companies or sectors this means you can use these people to
gather more contacts. This could be an opportunity to
collaborate with other businesses too.
Access to Better Workers
Through the use of cloud collaboration tools, you widen the potential
pool of employees. For instance, there are many tools where you
are able to hire more remote workers who you otherwise wouldn’t
relocate. Also, employees may be able to work from home a few
days a week (something important to those with family obligations).
You can attract and retain valuable workers by giving them
geographical flexibility. Instead of limiting yourself to just those in
your immediate area, you can hire the person who’s best for the
job, regardless of their location. And if you’re able to hire the best
possible workers, you’re more likely to get more done and be more
effective as a business owner.
Conflicts in Working Styles
This can be a major problem, when in a group with different people
together to collaborate on one project. There may be a conflict in the
working styles of the individuals within the group. This can end
up holding up progress on accomplishing the job at hand, while
team members disagree and cause conflicts by the different ways
team members approach the work. For example, there might be
numerous people who want to lead the group or some people whose
professional abilities may be better focused somewhere else.
This can be very real when you have a collaborative group, you may
sometimes end up with too many people trying to lead the group.
This will result in not enough members that are willing to do what
it takes to get the job done. This will show in other areas of the
work environment, causing more tension among the rest of the staff,
including those that may not even be involved in the collaborative
Another conflict could occur when the stronger personalities within
a group are so influential that they manage to take over the
discussion and replace their ideas as the result. This can be difficult
for people to be comfortable in a situation where their ideas are
shared within a group.
Collaborations can mean that your campaign moves more slowly
because you need to gather information, agreement or check with
the other players regarding every decision. You should have a good
understanding of the levels of self-sufficiency that you have. Working
in a group can also mean that sometimes people may not be as efficient
to time keeping as you or someone else may be. Organisation and
timekeeping are very important in tasks with a deadline if people do
not pull their weight in tasks you may fall behind.