Power to the People: The Rise of Team Collaboration
The growing demand for teamwork tools
The old way of working, where you clock in at 9 am, and out at 5 pm, sit through endless meetings, and sift through countless emails – is over. Companies are evolving, driven by the demands of new generations, and the rise of pioneering technology. Work is no longer a place you go to; it’s something you do.
A crucial part of this evolution is the rise of a more social, collaborative workforce. In the old world, collaboration was all about board rooms, team meetings, and whiteboards. Today, 83% of professionals rely on technology to connect with their teams.
So, why is technology at the heart of today’s collaborative experiences? The simple answer is that we no longer have to be face-to-face to be connected. While it’s a part of fundamental human nature to seek “connectedness” in life, we can just as easily communicate and innovate through real-time messaging, video and file sharing as we could in-person. Because team collaboration tools also give us access to endless documents and knowledge, digital teamwork may even be more effective than in-person conversations.
It’s no wonder that Global Market Insights suggest collaboration software will be worth more than $8.5 billion in the next 5 years.
The Rising Demands of Generation “Why”
In recent years, social connectivity has become a critical part of many everyday technologies. It’s no surprise when you consider the fact that social media platforms reached the same number of subscribers in one year that television took 13 years to achieve. We’ve long appreciated the ability to be able to connect anywhere, at any time with our friends and family. It only makes sense to take that convenience into the business space.
Generation Y and other younger demographics have grown up seeing what’s truly possible with the right digital tools. As a result, they’re demanding more work/life balance, fewer borders between countries, and better team collaboration at work – because they already know it’s possible. This new “Generation Why” approach, combined with the rise of cloud technology, which keeps teams connected wherever they are, means that today’s employees are asking why they can’t have the simplicity and flexibility they enjoy in their consumer life at work.
The rise of team collaboration software over the cloud removes barriers like time zones and geography and overcomes the exhausting issues of email. We’re discovering a new world where software can address almost any challenge a modern team can face. Whether you’re concerned about helping teams work together in real-time on projects, or you want to deliver face-to-face interactions without global travel, team collaboration software can help.
The Benefits of Team Collaboration Software
In the age of remote work, globalisation, and experience, collaboration isn’t just a meaningless buzzword anymore. It’s a critical method of driving bottom-line results. According to a joint study into 1100 companies, collaborative working means that businesses are 5 times more likely to be high-performing. So, how is collaboration driving these bottom-line results?
1. Improved Communication
In the past, an overwhelming amount of crucial knowledge was locked up in email inboxes. In today’s agile and competitive environment, we simply can’t afford to rely on the slow and unpredictable nature of email. Businesses need to facilitate the consistent flow of information and ideas in the workplace. Team collaboration software helps with that, by:
- Allowing for real-time file and screen sharing
- Providing easy access to historical knowledge
- Supporting real-time messaging and presence features
- Delivering instant voice and video calls
Ultimately, collaborative systems eliminate the information gap caused by data locked in a single person’s email inbox or Dropbox account. It means that information can be available to everyone who needs it, and communication flows more freely. The result? More informed, engaged, and connected employees. McKinsey studies show that internal collaboration boosts productivity by up to 25%.
2. More Efficient Performance
Innovation thrives on workplace cohesion. It’s hard to accomplish anything in an environment where the right-hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. In settings where everyone is siloed into their own separate group, things often fall through the cracks. The outcome is that projects take longer to complete, customers end up unhappy, and the company spends more time and resources trying to fix issues that could have been avoided.
Collaborative tools like Slack, Asana, Microsoft Teams and so on deliver benefits in the form of clarity. Everyone knows where they stand in the context of the rest of the business. You can even align your collaborative tools with workflow management systems to assign and track projects. This means fewer overlaps and better first-time results. What’s more, better results means happier, more satisfied customers.
In the age where “experience” is the only real differentiator a business can have, collaboration makes for meaningful moments across the enterprise. Not only are your employees more informed and empowered, but their access to greater knowledge and support means that they can better serve clients too. Everyone wins.
3. Access to Better Talent
The use of collaborative tools on the cloud also gives businesses greater access to a broader range of employees. With cloud systems, you can embed professionals into your team from around the world, without asking them to relocate. This means it’s easier for any business to attract and retain valuable talent through flexibility.
You no longer have to limit yourself to the talent that’s only in your immediate area. You can hire the absolute best employees for your needs, regardless of where they are. What’s more, because you’re actively encouraging your best people to work together on projects, you also facilitate better outcomes too.
Projects can be adjusted and delegated based on crucial skills; businesses can tap into the strengths of each worker. This way, everyone achieves more, and your company doesn’t have to spend extra to get things done.
The Future Rise of Collaboration Software
Going forward, the popularity of team collaboration software will only increase.
As businesses continue to recognise the values of keeping their teams connected, we’ll see more exciting innovations in the collaborative tools available online. For instance, we’re already exploring trends like:
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: By next year, Gartner predicts that the average person will have more conversations with a bot than with their spouse. What’s more, virtual assistants will help employees eliminate the repetitive and time-consuming tasks that take up their day. Assistants can do everything from taking minutes in a meeting, to scheduling future conferences
- Integrations and APIs: The demand for APIs has been growing rapidly Companies want to be able to infuse their favourite applications with their necessary tools to create a more cohesive experience. In the future, we’ll continue to use APIs to combine everything from file-sharing tools to communication and workforce management systems
- Virtual and augmented reality: It seems that VR and AR aren’t relegated to the realm of video games after all. By 2025, the market is expected to grow to a value of $16.1 billion. Vendors are already experimenting with technology that will allow companies to create more immersive experiences that help employees to feel as though they’re in the room with their team members
The professional team has evolved. It only makes sense that the tools we use to collaborate would develop with it. How has the rise of team collaboration software affected you?