In an ideal office, communication and teamwork would transpire openly, harmoniously, and productively. The office environment is changing, however.
Today, teams are composed of freelancers, remote workers, and onsite employees; spanning different age brackets and generations. What’s more, preferences toward communication and teamwork often differ from one employee to the next.
As a result, you need ways to ensure communication and teamwork in the office regardless of logistics, team composition, and employee preferences.
For starters, be flexible in your approach to internal communication – consult with your team, consider their preferences, and utilize both in-person and electronic communication.
Also consider that in many instances, the right communication and collaboration software can help.
Employing more and more tools may seem like a logical way to ensure communication and teamwork. But that’s not necessarily the case.
According to leading neuropsychologists, multitasking impairs your ability to focus. Worse yet, only 2.5% of people do it effectively. Switching back and forth between chat windows, audio and video communication, virtual collaboration tools, and project management software creates an environment of distractions which pull your attention in different directions.
Consolidate your toolkit where possible. Start with an all-in-one enterprise communication and collaboration software to centralize your real-time communication and teamwork, security, and administration.
These days there’s a tool for everything. Do your research. Consult with your team. Take advantage of free trials and freemium versions. But don’t go overboard. Tool overload can hinder team efficiency.
Not addressing issues, questions, or even ideas as they arise is a recipe for slow team communication, inefficient productivity, disagreements, and poor team camaraderie.
An open-door policy, on the other hand, eliminates barriers to communication, promoting approachability, free-flowing communication, more efficient dissemination of information, and healthier working relationships.
Whether your team is in-house, distributed, or entirely remote, keep the door open – either physically to invite meaningful in-person contact and communication, or virtually by using real-time communication.
Ensuring effective communication and teamwork is more than simply making use of a common chat to promote group communication.
Diversify your chat spaces by establishing chat rooms to show appreciation and promote two-way feedback, for instance.
Showing appreciation and facilitating feedback regularly and in real time not only enables mutual and ongoing communication, but also boosts spirit, teamwork, and performance.
Unsecure instant messengers are prone to hacks while some platforms allow outsiders to join the network and yet more don’t feature robust enough security protocols.
As opportunities for security breaches, data leaks, and privacy violations are ever-increasing, consider a unified approach to security, such as that offered by Brosix Instant Messenger, for example.
Employing multiple lines of defense across one unified platform better safeguards your data, information, and communications from both internal and external threats.
Team-building often invokes images of trust exercises or obstacle courses. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated or cliche. Simply gathering together socially gives employees a chance to unwind together without the constraints of schedules, tasks, deadlines, and meetings.
As a result, mutual respect is earned, trust and camaraderie are built, and employees feel more invested in each other.
Having lunch together, meeting for drinks after work, or just taking group coffee breaks all allow employees to bond. Better yet, attending a fitness class together or doing a fitness challenge could help build competitive spirit and boost teamwork.
And while you may not think of team-building as a viable option for your remote teams, nothing could be further from the truth! It just takes a little more creativity, as well as the right platform, to implement.
For example, over an enterprise instant messenger you could:
Today nearly everyone has a smartphone at their disposal. Thus you need an effective mobile app capable of ensuring communication and teamwork regardless of the physical location of employees – in the office, on the metro, or from the couch.
Better yet, whereas free instant messengers can pose risks to security and privacy, team communication and collaboration apps provide a safe and secure chat space while still enabling efficient and effective teamwork.
Aside from various federal regulations mandating the record-keeping of electronic communications, tracking internal communications improves how your team interacts and collaborates.
Consider this – what if you knew not only which team members communicate with each other, but how and when, as well. In a data-driven world, this information is power – and comprehensive chat history archives provide it.
Discover teams’ preferred features – text chats, chat rooms, voice and video chat, file transfer, and so on – as well as who’s using them and when; so you can pinpoint productive times and maximize teamwork.
Or let’s say a team member misses the group chat regarding the upcoming marketing campaign. A simple keyword search of the chat history would reveal conversations by colleague, topic, or date and ensure time is ultimately spent productively.
Being an administrator isn’t just another title with some added responsibilities. It’s also knowing how to foster an environment of efficiency, productivity, and teamwork.
In many instances, the right communication and collaboration platform can help. For example, having enterprise-grade administrative tools at your disposal enables you to administrate more dynamically.
Remote and distributed teams and freelancers have changed the nature of the office. As such, you can’t just expect communication and teamwork to magically occur.
Leverage tech to your advantage to foster an environment where, regardless of dynamics and logistics, communication flourishes and teamwork yields results.
Transfer presentations, monthly reports, product, company and onboarding material, and images – regardless of size or number – via encrypted peer-to-peer channels. This way time isn’t wasted uploading or retrieving from the cloud. Nor is security compromised by potentially vulnerable cloud databases or third-party servers.
Research increasingly indicates that too much screen time impairs us physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Schedule your breaks. Always take them. And more importantly, disconnect – no scrolling through social media, memes and viral videos, and no IMs or emails.
Instead, get up. Take a walk. Read a book. Do some brief yoga or stretching. Taking screen breaks can help you forge deeper connections, improve health and well-being, and even boost productivity.
Communication and teamwork in the office aren’t a given. Oftentimes, various methods and approaches are needed to foster an environment that not only suits individual preferences, but encourages productive communication and effective teamwork.
By considering the technology at your disposal, utilizing a variety of diverse channels and mediums, and leveraging capable security protocols and comprehensive enterprise tools, you can begin to ensure productive communication and effective teamwork in your office.