In the Private Sector as well as in government roles, collaboration is more prominent now than ever. Collective intelligence achieves much faster progress and the completes more tasks than solo work. Put simply, two, three or ten minds are better than one. Thus, by pooling the skills, know-how and experience of multiple people, you are encouraging efficiency, creativity, innovation and productivity. Furthermore, you will complete your projects on time and in budget.
Discover the advantages of collaborative working for your business.
What is collaborative working?
According to linternaute.fr, collaborative working is ‘a non-hierarchical way of working in which people share their creativity and skills in order to reach a common goal.’
This co-operation is made possible thanks to new information and communication technologies. Some tools have become indispensable because they facilitate the maximisation of productivity and creativity for those involved in the project, even those who are working from a distance.
Collaborative working promotes communication, exchanges and knowledge sharing. Without a hierarchy, all of the team members are established on the same level. Everyone can give their opinion and put forward their ideas, the relationships are horizontal and there is a collective responsibility.
At the heart of businesses, collaborative working encourages exchanges between the different departments, the defragmentation of the working environment, as well as contributing to improving customer experience.
The 6 advantages of collaborative working
1. Save Time
In the workplace, time is a precious resource. With collaborative working, you will definitely save time. How? Thanks to the centralization of all of the resources and documents on one unique platform that everyone can access. Furthermore, you avoid wasting time searching for a document or asking for information. Everything is accessible and readily available in just a few clicks.
Moreover, collaborative platforms are generally equipped with a versioning system (or version management), which means that you are always working on the most up to date version of a document, but you still have the option to return to previous versions if you need to. Gone are the days of wasting time making sure you are working on the most-updated version.
2. More flexibility and creativity
Every project has its fair share of changes and surprises. Collaboration and team work allow for more reactivity and versatility in cases of sudden change. Collaborators, therefore, see these changes as challenges to overcome.
3. Improvement of the workplace atmosphere
Whilst working together, colleagues will naturally become better acquainted with each other. It allows them to make a connection, improve their relationships and appreciate each other’s work. Working confidence is cemented when the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed. Real cohesion and team spirit develop and workplace conflicts decline.
4. Network sharing
Collaborative teamwork encourages people from different backgrounds and experiences to work together and help each other out. Everyone can contribute their knowledge, talents and skills to the group. They also suggest new ideas that help resolve their difficult problems, enabling their projects progress.
Collaborative working enriches professional life because it is based on sharing and exchanges, and it gives the opportunity to learn new skills and working methods.
5. Increased productivity
Collaborative working is facilitated by updating the various digital tools (collaborative platform, the business’ social media, instant messages, video-conferencing…) that make co-workers more productive. The exchanges are simplified and the documents are more easily accessible, which allows people to save time and be more efficient, all the while optimizing the quality of work done.
6. Shared responsibility
The key to collaborative working within a business is to put everyone who is working on the project on the same corporate level. Vertical hierarchy fades out in favour of a horizontal management system.
Each individual is free to take the initiative and propose their ideas to further the project, but also to improve their day-to-day lives at work. The proposals are then checked by the team. Responsibility is no longer down to an individual but is rather shared by the group. Teams are given responsibility and are encouraged to reflect and not just carry out their own tasks.
How to facilitate collaboration?
Do you want to develop collaborative working and improve project management at the heart of your community or your business? You have to adopt one of the numerous tools/applications that are available on the market. Collaborative platforms, project management software, instant messaging, a business’ social media network or even video-conferencing all enable you to foster communication, sharing and exchanges between teams.
Let’s take Wimi for example: this tool enables a team to organize their projects, boost their productivity, improve their relationships with clients and group all of their documents and projects in one place, all whilst guaranteeing the information’s security.
Still not convinced? Well, you can try Wimi for free with no commitments for 14 days.
It is true that collaborative working has many benefits that can save you time (in almost all cases). However, you must understand that it is not necessarily a synonym for productivity or speed. In order to guarantee its effectiveness at the core of your business, this type of operation must be introduced progressively and must spark the interest and be adopted by all team members concerned.