Asking successful CEOs what got them to the top, they’ll probably admit that it was always a group effort. While strategy, direction, and leadership can guide an enterprise to global success, it usually depends on a team of dedicated professionals that work to make that vision a reality. Before the era of the “next-normal,” organizations were creating the conditions that fostered teamwork and promoted communication while providing a safe space for individuals to air their concerns, ideas, and thoughts.
Today’s business leaders must enable work collaboration regardless of the challenges posed from remote or Work from Home (WFH) environments. Keeping staff engaged, motivated, and productive while transitioning to a new hybrid office/virtual model depends on innovative strategies and deploying the right tools to bridge the distance gaps between employee locations.
How to Enable Work Collaboration in Your Hybrid Teams
The modern economy is hypercompetitive and depends on innovation while reducing the time-to-market for new products. To achieve this, companies need their teams available, engaged, and responsive no matter where they find themselves at any particular time. Collaboration between individual employees and cross-functional teams builds social cohesion and creates shared trust. It underpins the company culture, providing a foundation for all interactions while strengthening team dynamics.
With teams now expected to work from anywhere, maintaining these values depends on a committed leadership team and access to the technology stacks that enable effective collaboration between all business units. To ensure your teams can continue working together in the new hybrid environment, consider the following collaboration strategies.
- Create Boundaries between Autonomous and Collaborative Work
Employees need to know what tasks depend on collaborative effort and those that remain within their control. It is the team leader’s responsibility to define the boundaries between the two. Though, they should give employees the freedom to reach out to colleagues when it may benefit the project. Intrinsic value exists in both autonomous work and cross-boundary collaboration. Leaders should know where independence will better serve the team’s goals and when to allocate organizational resources to a shared initiative.
- Invest in Communication Solutions that Enable Work Collaboration
In any remote work environment, communication becomes vital to ensure productivity. Written communications still serve a purpose, but to collaborate effectively, teams need the ability to hop on a video conference, discuss a complex issue, and work together on the same information to solve the problem.
Video communications and team chats are two ways a company can overcome the three types of distance challenges.
- Physical distance – Geographical, temporal, and organizational distance challenges.
- Operational distance – Communications, task loading and switching, and readiness to take on additional work or provide support to other team members.
- Affinity distance – Cultural differences, a lack of social relationships, and a shared purpose within the organizational team.
Leaders will need to develop new strategies to overcome all three of these distance challenges to maintain the levels of collaboration on which the company relies. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is an effective solution that bridges the gap between geography, operations, and affinities.
- Provide Clarity on Roles and Team Integrations
Agreement on who remains responsible for any particular task will still be essential. Defining the roles of individual team members within the group’s purpose will provide clarity for each employee. When staff knows how they can work together, challenge each other, and debate issues in a collaborative framework, the organization gains tangible benefits. For each task, delegating authority and establishing boundaries between work products will support remote collaboration.
- Maintain the Principles of Collaboration in Your Remote Teams
The principles that create a collaborative work environment will still apply in remote settings. Using the soft-skills required for effective leadership may require department heads to review their methods and strategies to enable work collaboration. Leaders should still develop their listening, communication, and feedback processes while remaining willing to compromise when it’s required. Finally, leaders need to ensure they remain dependable, be a trusted source when an employee raises concerns, and be open to new ideas or strategies that arise from their teams.
Deploying UCaaS to Enable Work Collaboration in Hybrid Team Environments
As teams continue to embrace the work from anywhere situation, leaders need to refocus their strategies and provide the tools required for effective collaboration. The “next-normal” is only possible by embracing innovative approaches and adopting the latest technology stacks that aid team leaders in keeping their resources engaged, productive, and motivated regardless of their current work environments. To ensure your organization can enable work collaboration, you should deploy the latest tools and strategies to limit disruption and promote teamwork.
For more information about how TN Team’s UCaaS solutions can enable work collaboration, contact us today!