Collaboration 101 – Your Essential Guide
Your Guide to the Future of Collaboration
Collaboration seems simple enough at first glance.
We’ve always relied on teamwork to achieve incredible things in business. After all, teams that work together can innovate faster, accelerate company progress with agile problem-solving, and eliminate information silos.
However, as the workforce as we know it has begun to transform, the nature of teamwork has changed with it, altering the way we define “collaboration.” In the past, collaboration used to be a process that involved sitting around a table with a group of people, sharing ideas on a whiteboard. Today, teams need to be able to collaborate just as seamlessly as they would in-person as the workforce becomes more dispersed with through the rising trend of remote working.
Collaboration has become a process of connecting the dots in an increasingly complex work environment. Here, we’ll look at everything you need to know about the collaboration trend.
What is Collaboration, How Does it Work?
Collaboration is the process of working in a unified environment with a team of people to complete projects and generate new ideas. For decades, strong collaboration has been an important component of company culture. However, it was far easier for teams to collaborate when they were all located in the same physical space.
Today, work has become less of a physical destination, and more of a shared concept or collection of values. People don’t need to visit an office every day to perform crucial business tasks, which is why trends like remote working and flexible scheduling are on the rise. Today’s businesses can hire experts from around the world and allow those individuals to work in their own time, using a series of tools delivered over the cloud.
Collaboration empowers and activates communication, but communication and collaboration aren’t the same things. While communication focuses on allowing people to share ideas and concepts, collaboration is what happens when people work together to bring those ideas to life. Communication can easily exist without collaboration – for instance, when you talk to someone about the latest developments in a business or share news. However, collaboration isn’t possible without communication.
The obvious connection between collaboration and communication is one of the reasons why so many vendors now offer UC solutions that come combined with collaboration tools for file sharing, instant messaging, presence, and more.
What Are the Benefits of Collaboration at Work?
Fundamentally, collaboration is the ability to bring people together and empower those individuals to work cohesively as a team. In today’s digital environment, that hub for effective teamwork is particularly important, because it ensures that you can continue to run an effective and productive business, even if your staff is located all around the world.
The benefits of collaboration are essentially the same benefits of better teamwork. For instance:
- Faster innovation: Connected team members that can collaborate on shared projects can bounce ideas off each other, experiment with different concepts, and potentially come up with innovative new ideas much faster than dispersed employees.
- More efficient remote teams: Strong collaboration strategies ensure that your remote employees are just as productive out of the office, as they would be sitting alongside their co-workers. This means that you can create a more diverse, globalised
- Improved employee satisfaction: Staff members that can work together effectively with their fellow team members are happier at work. Having satisfied employees not only promotes your company culture, but it can also lead to better retention too, so you spend less time and money on turnover.
- Improved compliance: When people have a set of standards they can use to work effectively together, issues with compliance and security are less likely to occur. Your business can keep running smoothly, without any unnecessary
- More satisfied customers: When employees have better access to their team, and the information they need about their business, they can deliver consumer solutions more quickly, leading to better customer experiences.
Top Collaboration Vendors
The market for collaboration services is growing more rapidly every day. Today’s experts predict that collaboration software will grow at a 13% CAGR between the years of 2016 and 2024. On top of that, the value of collaboration is expected to exceed $8.5 billion by 2024. Countless companies are already exploring the collaboration space:
Trends in Collaboration
Trends in collaboration are driven by the latest technology in the consumer and business markets, and a changing demand for more lucrative employee interactions. As the marketplace for collaboration tools grows more competitive, vendors are forced to experiment with more advanced tools to ensure that they stay ahead of the game. Some of the recent trends in collaboration include:
- Augmented and virtual reality: Now that today’s employees need to be able to work together effectively from locations all over the world, collaboration tools need to be able to create immersive experiences that transcend geographical borders. We’ve already started to see the benefits of video conferencing, but now companies are beginning to experiment with augmented and virtual reality too. Experts predict that AR and VR will grow to a value of $16.1 billion by 2025.
- Big data management: The amount of data available in the enterprise environment is growing at record Today, capturing and recording vast amounts of data isn’t difficult. The tricky part is ensuring that your people can work together with the same data, without risking compliance and regulatory concerns.
- Artificial intelligence: Collaboration in the workforce is no longer just about people working together with other people. Bots and artificial intelligence solutions are now becoming a part of the workforce, supporting companies by giving them access to the information they need when they need it most. Virtual assistants can retrieve customer data with a voice command, saving time for employees who would otherwise have to search manually through hundreds of files. AI assistants can even provide advice and guidance on how to improve teamwork.