How Successful Teams Collaborate in the Digital Workplace

cloud-tools

“U.S. team members waste up to 9 work weeks per year trying to collaborate on projects using an average of 4 partial tools” *

These days, most employees have to act as project managers by coordinating and communicating with multiple people on multiple projects. The problem is, most employees are not project managers, and they do not have the time or expertise needed to manage team communication.

Teams in today’s complex and fast moving business environment thrive when they mutually understand when, where, and how to successfully collaborate with each other. With an increasingly mobile workforce and more dispersed teams, employees rely more on technology as a support system, but the way this technology is utilized makes all the difference. It is up to companies to supply, setup, and support employees in their quest for the most successful day to day communication.

Many companies are providing employees with one tool for communicating, planning tasks, and managing resources in order to streamline collaboration and remove the burden employees feel when trying to figure it out on their own. The all-in-one collaboration tool is quickly becoming the go-to solution to the new digital workplace.  And here’s why:

Better accessibility and visibility – A survey by PGi found that 79% of knowledge worker respondents had the ability to work remotely at least one day a week. So with remote work on the rise, it is more import than ever for companies to empower employees to work how and where they choose.

A tool that offers a wide variety of features is the most ideal for remote workers because it’s versatile enough to meet their needs, but structured enough so that all communication is centralized. So, each employee is given the freedom to choose how they utilize the tool, yet there is still some control over where all communication is accessed. It’s a win-win situation for managers and employees.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

Scalability – It is important to consider how a tool or a process can support a company as it grows. There are many companies who grow so rapidly that the tools they implemented early on can no longer support their new operational demands.

Most all-in-one tools allow companies to easily scale from a startup to a large corporation. They offer the utmost flexibility and versatility for growth.

Save time –  IT departments will celebrate with the time they save in technology support and maintenance. They will only have to deploy and ramp up a single tool and dealing with one vendor also reduces the time spent contacting customer support departments.

HR departments can join in on the celebration because one tool means a streamlined and simplified onboarding process as well as a faster learning curve for new employees.

Saving all this valuable time means saving money too!

Happy collaborating!

15 Statistical Benefits to Flexible Work

 

working at coffee shop

 

If you want happy employees, consider this: a recent study revealed that “nearly half of all employees prefer flex work over a pay raise, [and] nearly one-third said they would change employers if offered flexible work elsewhere.”

Avoiding a stressful and time-consuming commute, achieving better work-life balance, being more productive, and finishing work they can’t complete at the office, are just a few of the reasons why workers are now demanding flexible work opportunities.

But, in case you need even more convincing, here are 15 recent stats on remote working:

  1. Telecommuting increased 79.7% from 2005 to 2012
  2. 79% of U.S. workers say they would like to work from home at least part of the time
  3. Among the 15 largest U.S. metro areas, San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos (CA) has the highest concentration of people who consider home their primary place of work (4.2%)
  4. A typical telecommuter is 49 years old, college educated, a salaried non-union employee in a management or professional role, earns $58,000 a year, and works for a company with more than 100 employees.
  5. The federal government has the highest proportion of teleworkers
  6. Approximately 69 percent of the employees surveyed cited higher productivity when working remote, and 75 percent of those surveyed said the timeliness of their work improved.
  7.  According to Cisco’s Internet Business Services Group, the company has generated an estimated annual savings of $277 million in productivity by allowing employees to telecommute and telework
  8. In 2008, Cisco teleworkers prevented approximately 47,320 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the environment due to avoided travel.
  9. Cisco employees report a fuel cost savings of $10.3 million per year due to telecommuting.
  10. More than 91 percent of the Cisco employees surveyed said telecommuting is somewhat or very important to their overall satisfaction.
  11. According to The Anywhere Office, 72% of U.S. employees say that flexible work arrangements would cause them to choose one job over another.
  12. Enabling employees to work remotely makes it possible to reduce the corporate real estate portfolio by as much as 40% – 50% by offering employees an opportunity to work from home full- or part-time
  13. Multiplied out across the U.S. economy (for the 40% of the workforce who could function remotely), “workshifting” (coined by Citrix Online) could save employers over $650 Billion per year.
  14. After 18 months, SCAN Health’s alternative work program received 40% return on investment for program development and deployment
  15. SCAN also reduced the cost of workforce support by 38% as a result of its distributed work program.

Sources: Image from Flickr, “People At Work” by Jay“; Telecommuting Statistics”, Global Workplace Analytics; Cisco Newsroom; “Work Unchained the Competitive Edge of the Anywhere Office”, Workshifting

 

5 Videos Showing the True Power of Teamwork

 

We all know how important teamwork is in business. We hear it all the time. And, all the most successful businesses in the world seem to have it mastered. But to truly master it ourselves, we have to understand what teamwork really means.

Straight out of dictionary.com (because my paperback now lives at Goodwill), teamwork is a cooperative or coordinated effort from a group of people who are acting toward a common cause. Some other words which describe teamwork are: collaboration, unity, harmony, participation, partnership, and synergy.

So, with these terms fresh on your mind. Let’s discover the many different ways teamwork is demonstrated.

The following videos show the true power of teamwork, carried out in very different ways.

 

1. This time lapse of a huge barn being built over just a few hours, really captures the harmony that results from amazing teamwork.

 

2. A man’s life was saved from the quick thinking of one person and the help of many others to carry out the rescue plan. This demonstrates how important a clear purpose is to success. Everyone knows what they need to do to help.

 

3. An athlete who is struggling with her studies, while in training gets some much needed help and support from her friends. This kind of teamwork demonstrates camaraderie and having each other’s back. Helping just to help.

She says, “If you want to go fast you go alone, but if you want to go far you have to go as a group”.

 

4. A marching band gets creative and works in unity to perform this awesome display. Their coordination is very impressive!

 

5. Great teamwork occurs all the time in the animal kingdom and sometimes it could mean the difference between life and death. This video, called “Battle at Kruger” shows a struggle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa after a baby buffalo is attacked. The herd of buffalo stand strong together in their common cause of saving the young victim.