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4 Strategies to Increase Workplace Collaboration

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, How to Successfully Implement Collaborative Idea Management (28-page PDF document). Are you effectively using the creative potential of your employees, customers and partners to address your innovation challenges? Collaborative idea management is a method to learn from the "wisdom of the crowd" in order to drive innovation. This in-depth article gives you an introduction including [read more]

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shutterstock_79336345When you enable employees to collaborate freely, you set the stage for business growth. Many people don’t feel like their employer facilitates collaboration, however—in a worldwide survey on workplace communication conducted by Queen’s University, 39 percent of respondents felt their organization didn’t collaborate enough. These findings indicate a desire to work together and communicate effectively, which you can cultivate at your workplace with positive results. Read on for four tips that will increase collaboration at your business and make communication one of your biggest strengths.

1. Provide the Right Tools

Provide support and encourage discussion between teams and departments. Apps such as Skype and Google Hangouts can help off-site employees stay in touch via instant messaging and video conferencing, and there are others, too. Millennials, especially, expect this type of tool to be available to them. According to the Queen’s University research, approximately half of millennials in the workforce support social tools for collaboration.

2. Share Digital Assets Securely

To facilitate collaboration, you must connect all files, teams and devices in real time. A cloud platform like WebDAM enables you to manage and provide controlled access to your digital assets, so teams can find the files they need to work together at anytime and from anywhere. Of course, with this type of collaboration comes the threat of unleashing sensitive material to the masses, so make sure the platform you use uses enterprise-level data security protocols, including data encryption and the ability to control user and asset access settings.

3. Make Space to Collaborate

According to findings in a Steelcase Workplace Satisfaction Survey, 82 percent of workers feel that working with others throughout the day is the way to succeed. However, many companies do not offer the space to collaborate in this way. Supporting an atmosphere of innovation requires the space to do that. Consider providing a variety of conference rooms for everyday use, and an open space where assigned seating isn’t mandatory.

For this purpose, leasing office space may be a perfect choice, as these spaces come already fully furnished and well-designed, containing all necessary amenities, such as meeting and resting rooms. If you are a U.S. located company looking for a collaborative space in a business-friendly location, considering a live workspace for rent in Denver or other U.S. cities is seems to be a beneficial investment and a key to creating a productive working culture.

By creating an atmosphere of buzz and energy within your organization, employees will naturally collaborate to get work done.

4. Make Collaboration a Valuable Component to Success

A part of business strategy needs to include how collaboration is valued and implemented within your organization. Prospective candidates looking to join your enterprise need to know how you make communication a priority so that as you bring them on board, they are already aware of your commitment to working together. Promoting the best work possible means that you support collaboration every step of the way.

A recent survey shared on ESNA states that 65 percent of employees reported being more productive while working from home. Why not make working from home a viable option by making communication possible no matter the space? By using the tools needed to communicate on a global level, you can show how working from home is seen as a benefit at your organization, and self-directed work is not only possible, but encouraged.

Collaboration is the way to take your business to the next level, and implementing the four tips outlined above will have you well on your way to explosive growth.

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Team work is not only an effective tool within the organization, it is a competitive tool for those companies that grow it as an organizational skill! What are the essentials for team building. What is the difference between a group and a real team? How to address the issues of collaboration? [read more]

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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