The last decade has seen huge shifts in the way teams and companies work together. Today, it’s increasingly more common for businesses to engage remote employees, outsource to service providers, and invite flexible working. Here are seven teamwork trends that will impact your business.
Businesses must learn to collaborate on a greater level.
To meet with the dramatic changes in the way that teams work, it’s imperative that companies learn to collaborate on a greater level. Communication needs to be responsive and in real-time, while management needs to be collaborative and engaging.
In 2020 and beyond, trends in workplace technology reflect the changes to teamwork and its particular increasingly virtually connected environment. It’s the rise of collaboration and communication tools, as well as the changes in management styles and methodologies that make teamwork possible.
Seven teamwork trends that will impact your company.
#1 The Increasingly Distributed Office
While this isn’t a fresh trend, it’s one that’s likely to continue steadily to grow. Businesses are becoming increasingly geographically (across cities, countries, and continents) and organizationally distributed.
Many organizations no longer have one central office, and people that do no longer depend on a centralized workspace. Instead, there has been a substantial shift toward a cross-functional collaboration.
Driven by way of a desire to reduce labor costs or to access skills maybe not readily available in the local area, companies opting for to reduce the amount of employees.
Instead, it’s cheaper, much more comfortable, and, arguably, better to outsource work to service providers and freelancers. Outsourcing will mean that today, organizations are made up of employees, suppliers, contractors, and clients located around the world.
However, in addition to being geographically distributed, decision-making is also dispersed throughout the broader organization by, for example, satellite teams positioned in markets nearer to customer bases.
#2 The Increasing Importance of Cross-Functional Collaboration
Cross-functional collaboration is when a crowd, each with different expertise, work together to generally meet a common goal. This is as simple as a group of people across multiple departments working together to provide a joint project.
Modern workplaces understand the impact that cross-functional collaboration can have on overall business performance. It’s a powerful tool, allowing teams and departments to stay aligned while increasing transparency and promoting diversity.
There are numerous benefits of cross-functional collaboration. For instance, once you bring together multiple departments to provide one project, it’s better to discover different perspectives and identify innovative solutions to match the client and the business it self.
Not only does this ensure different viewpoints are heard, but it also challenges old a few ideas and the status quo and fosters a culture of learning and cooperation. The former playing field is leveled with traditionally lower down associates, allowing them to offer solutions as opposed to receiving instructions from the very best down.
While there are lots of benefits to cross-functional collaboration, it will have its fair share of challenges. It requires trust, plainly defined goals and tasks, and exceptional communication.
#3 Team Culture Has Changed
Remote working and outsourced providers have shown that teams can perhaps work together virtually and successfully.
People can work together across locations and time zones, solving problems, and building innovative solutions without the necessity to ever meet face-to-face.
Also, open-plan offices have been found to hinder, not help, team collaboration. Studies show that “rather than promoting collaboration, open-air spaces caused employees to withdraw into the world of electronic messaging.”
With 86% of employees reporting that they are more productive once they work alone, it’s clear that team culture has drastically changed over the last decade.
But how can companies manage remote teams and overcome the inherent obstacles?
- First, it’s more crucial than ever to help keep track of employee activity via project management tools and status updates.
- Second, clearly defined expectations have to be established so that every team member knows exactly what’s expected of them, so when.
Other recommendations include promoting communication and opportunities for employee engagement, all of which could be aided with the right collaboration and communication tools.
#4 An Increasing Variety of Collaboration Technologies
The changes in business structures mean that management styles, work methods, and collaboration and communication technologies have evolved so that they can keep up.
The rise of cross-functional collaboration and distributed offices are mirrored with a growth in collaboration technologies for teams.
Team collaboration comes in a number of forms, as do the various tools:
- Project Management and Document Collaboration: These tools allow teams to handle projects and collaborate on documents effectively.
- Kanban Boards: The boards allow teams to collaboratively manage projects and workflows. By setting out clear expectations, they may be helpful in limiting scope creep.
- Video Conferencing and Instant Chat: Communication tools allow team members to easily come together in real-time via chat and video.
- Time Tracking Tools: These tools track the full time that individual team members invest in deliverables and projects. As well as simply tracking time, some tools can connect to invoicing systems to produce quotes and invoices.
The tool(s) you will need will depend on your use case(s). Unless you merely need one tool for a very specific task, you will need to watchfully consider if the tools will play nicely together.
Unfortunately, the rise of collaboration tools has created an unique set of dilemmas. If you’re not careful, you can get a web of connected tools with complex zaps or trigger events.
Instead of just counting on your email inbox, at this point you need to check always Slack, Asana, Trello, etc to find the information you need.
If you do need certainly to use multiple tools, consider an email-based project management tool like Gmelius, allowing your team to collaborate on project and client management without leaving their inbox.
A good email-based project management tool should have the exact same functionality as numerous other collaboration tools. However, the benefit listed here is that by living within your inbox, it won’t complicate your workflow or require your team to learn new software.
#5 A Growing Number of Communication Tools
There is really a greater increased exposure of work-life balance in modern workplaces, with much more flexibility. Today, it’s common for teams to work together across different locations, time zones, and even continents.
While some organizations allow employees to work at home, others have moved to a remote-first environment. With this in your mind, it’s more important than in the past that associates can communicate easily and quickly.
It’s no more viable for team members to send lengthy email messages; alternatively, communication has to be responsive and in real-time. Luckily, whatever the mixture of in-house employees and outsourced teams, there exists a wealth of tools open to help you communicate seamlessly together with your team.
The usage of tools to help real-time communication has increased dramatically. This includes the integration of chat services, phone, video, instant messengers, commenting systems, and so on. These tools can be found across a variety of devices, to help you keep up up to now even when away from home.
However, like collaboration tools, the rise of communication tools has put into the complex web of resources we have now rely on every single day. Instead of fixing the issue, it contributes to it.
More and much more people are moving toward an all-in-one tool, like email-based project management tools, which allow you to not just manage assembling your shed from within your email inbox but to also comment and chat in real-time with co-workers.
#6 Agile Team and Methodology
Traditionally, agile methodologies have now been the wheelhouse for tech and development agencies and departments. Development teams, competed in an agile method, like Scrum, would implement the practices so that you can increase productivity and improve quality.
However, other kinds of teams and companies are now finding successful results by applying agile principles. Organizations are expanding agile methodologies into product development, portfolio management, and human resources.
What is agile? And how does it benefit your company?
Agile is a process that helps teams provide responses to feedback on a project. It also enables a project’s direction to be assessed through the development or delivery cycle via regular meetings called “sprints” or “iterations.”
But nowadays, agile is much greater than a process. Agile involves a team’s environment and, for example, the office layout and furniture. Everything ought to be designed to allow tasks to be flexibly delivered, in the most efficient way.
It allows companies to construct the right product and regularly analyze and improve the product throughout its development. The process should enable the delivered product to be fit for purpose, valuable, and competitive in the market.
Alongside improved productivity, other benefits for agile working include:
- a sense of autonomy and freedom for team members;
- increased happiness, job satisfaction, and morale; and
- lower costs and higher efficiency of working.
#7 Companies are Rethinking Traditional Performance Reviews
Studies have shown that one-third of U.S. companies are ditching the annual/biannual performance review.
These formal reviews have now been replaced with regular, informal updates between managers and employees. Instead of looking forward to a year, companies are conducting frequent but informal manager-and-employee check-ins.
Annual reviews often focus primarily on financial rewards or punishments for historic work. While understandable, the concentrate on past behavior misses the ability to provide feedback to improve performance and increase skills dancing.
On the other hand, ongoing discussions about performance and development shift the focus to improvements, which are very important for the long-term survival of companies.
Most people would agree that the blending of the digital and physical world has massively impacted, and certainly will continue to impact, team collaboration in the workplace.
Today, companies are a complex web of individuals, devices, tools, and services that come together through multi-dimensional communication.
Collaboration and communication tools change the ways that people come together and how businesses deliver projects. The tools enhance productivity and invite managers to engage talent, whatever the location.
However, it’s the emerging changes in general management styles and methodologies, along with the tools and technologies, that allow employees and employers to come together to reach a typical goal, productively and transparently.