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10 Foolproof Ways to Ensure Communication and Teamwork in the Office

September 10, 2019   Instant Messaging

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.

Here’s how!

  1. Consolidate Your Toolkit

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.

Beyond that, it may be necessary to employ a few productivity or organization apps like a project management tool, automation tool, note taker, to-do list manager, or time zone tracker.

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.

  1. Keep the Door Open

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.

For example, instant messaging channels and voice and video capabilities facilitate:

  • Ongoing discussion and conversation
  • Faster access to information than email or phone calls
  • An environment of constant communication
  • Greater trust, clarity, efficiency, and effectiveness

  1. Diversify Your Communication Spaces

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.

  1. Showing appreciation is an effective way to demonstrate to your employees that they’re valued. Appreciation is a fundamental need and showing it is a quick and almost effortless way to boost employee morale.
  2. Two-way feedback is a sign of both healthy communication and a healthy work environment, allowing for all parties involved present comments and concerns, self-evaluate, as well as coach and be coached.

Showing appreciation and facilitating feedback regularly and in real time not only enables mutual and ongoing communication, but also boosts spirit, teamwork, and performance.

  1. Unify Your Approach to Security

Unify Your Approach to Security

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.

  1. A private team network ensures communication and teamwork transpire only between users authorized to join the platform – reducing the risk of outside interference in internal matters.
  2. Peer-to-peer channels enable direct communication flows between sender and recipient, bypassing possibly vulnerable cloud databases and third-party servers.
  3. End-to-end AES 256-bit encryption helps ensure data and information remain visible by the sender and recipient, scrambling communications, providing only the intended parties the keys to view them, and making it much harder for hackers to gain access.
  4. Anti-virus and malware integration in the platform further defends your data, information, and hardware from viruses, malware, and spyware.

  1. Don’t Forget the Fun

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:

  • Launch a video chat and play a game like Charades
  • Have virtual cafe sessions or eat lunch together
  • Play Pictionary or other drawing games via a virtual whiteboard conference
  • Hold a photography competition

  1. Use Mobile Communication

Use Mobile Communication

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.

  1. Track Your Communications

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.

  1. Know How to Administrate

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.

  1. Hone team collaboration and improve efficiency through chat room controls. Customize and fully administer group chat spaces by hand-picking participants and locking rooms; ideal for an onboarding or HR chat room, for example. Or opt for a more flexible approach by leaving a room open, perfect for discussions which require open feedback, such as app iterations.
  2. Individualize your team network by utilizing features control to create bespoke user experiences. Grant and restrict access to tools and features as you see fit – to comply with internal communications policies, to mitigate misbehavior, or just to maximize productivity.
  3. Customize contact lists on both an individual and group level. Add users to certain groups, like a tech writer to a group of QA specialists, or grant permission to chat with team members platform-wide, ideal for IT support. Contact management allows you to effectively control who can chat with whom, empowering more productive teamwork.

  1. Leverage Tech to Your Advantage

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.

Other collaboration tools like instant screenshot and remote desktop facilitate teamwork that’s both active and visual, enabling:

  • More effective how-to demonstrations
  • More thorough proofreading, editing, and collaboration on copy
  • More efficient remote support
  • More engaging meetings
  • More thoughtful questions and feedback

  1. Take a Screen Break

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.

  • Working onsite affords an added advantage over your remote colleagues – you can get up and chat with your coworkers in person. Grab a coffee together and just have a chat.
  • If you’re working remotely, you can still break up your screen time by getting outside, running an errand between tasks, trying a new co-working space, or scheduling an afternoon coffee with a friend.

The Takeaway

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.