How CEOs Can Confront the Challenge of Collaboration

Within the past decade the workplace as we knew it, is no more. Driven by evolving technology and the need for workplaces to become more digital, organisations are placing collaboration at the heart of their businesses.

According to Dominik Birgelen, CEO at oneclick, this comes with the intended aim of creating a more efficient, productive and driven workforce.

A recent survey, the Wainhouse Research survey, showed 97% of businesses believe collaboration in the workplace, driven by technology, is key to remaining competitive over competitors. Though, it is important to note that these collaborative techniques and tools may vary throughout different businesses and work teams, depending on their individual working dynamics. But, the end goal of creating a satisfied workforce, remains the core objective across all industries.

The benefits of enhanced workplace collaboration have been widely reported within the past couple of years. From increased productivity, better work-life balance for staff and employee engagement, business owners generally accept that fostering a collaborative culture is key to ushering in a mindset built on success in addition to attracting and retaining top talent. However, whilst the benefits of technology-driven collaboration is apparent, it seems many are still struggling to take it from concept to reality within their organisation. As companies recognise the need for teamwork, there is still a lot of foundation that needs to be laid in order to enable a truly collaborative workplace.

As companies recognise the need for teamwork, there is still a lot of foundation that needs to be laid in order to enable a truly collaborative workplace.

A significant roadblock for businesses trying to implement more collaborative working practices is that business leaders are failing to lead from the front. As a result, employees may initially be confused on what tools their company suggests to use, if any. To foster in a collaborative culture, managers and business leaders need to effectively communicate which collaboration tools they want employees to use based on their roles and ensure they stick to these processes. However, with a number of tools available, decision makers can often become overwhelmed by the choice and fail to implement anything at all – putting their staff at a disadvantage.With UK office workers wasting 1.8 billion working hours every year because the technology they’re given isn’t good enough, employers are having to reflect on whether the tools they provide are effective and what their staff want.

The struggle can often lie in business owners falling at the first hurdle when attempting to implement the right technical support for their staff. However, whilst  it may take time to find the correct solution which fits the needs of their employees, the long-term results make up for this effort.

To begin this process, employers need to turn to their workers to discover where their needs lie. Using this as a core checklist, it is in the hands of the employer to seek a solution which ticks every box. This can seem like an intimidating task at first glance, leading to business owners sticking with their traditional desktop computers, servers and software licenses for fear of rocking the boat. However, this proves to be restricting for both parties. Working on a traditional desktop means documents can only be accessed within office walls and regular technical inconveniences mean wasting time and money on IT support. But most importantly, leads to a void in employee satisfaction as their technical needs are not being met.

Switching to a cloud based solution, can make these issues a thing of the past. End users are able to work flexibly and securely on one platform. If a staff member is unable to come into the office, they are able to work remotely in any convenient location. Whilst this is enabling productivity and increasing employee satisfaction, those with the appropriate access can monitor this workload to ensure quality is being sustained. Additionally, communication between staff is enhanced. Several end users at a time are able to access, edit and comment on documents when shared on the platform. This replaces the process of waiting for a physical document to be proofread and edited, increasing and accelerating productivity.

As businesses continue to evolve to become more collaborative, employers need to recognise that IT is the solution to fostering this culture of working more openly. The technology to create a stable, collaborative workspace already exists but the challenge to implementing these tools is a lack of understanding how employees will use them. Reflecting on how these tools are needed across their organisation will enable business leaders to understand the challenges their company is experiencing and how these solutions will solve them.  Doing so, will create a platform where employees can work collaboratively, productively and remotely.

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