A growing business often reaches a point where team collaboration isn't creating business impact.
Work gets duplicated, managers become bottlenecks, there are silos emerging and you’ve got queries coming out of your ears. Everyone, from C-suite to intern, is out of sync. It's a common drain on ROI and everyone's happiness at work.
But small companies are now adopting smart, simple tools to overcome these problems and drive growth. Here’s how tech can help with team collaboration (and make us a bit more human in the process):
A ticket out of paperwork purgatory
We all know about paperwork purgatory. The Dark Place full of forms, in-trays and out-trays. The place where you find lost souls floating around, waiting for confirmations months later. We can’t believe you forgot about them either. Bad manager.
Nobody likes paperwork. But while it still exists, we can digitalise it to make it easier. To get things back and forth quickly you can use mobile scanner apps, editable documents, and digital form-signing - we like DocuSign.
To go one step further, shift all your purchase orders, expenses and time-off requests online with an app like Turbine so you never lose track of requests. This way the whole team can do quick end-to-end paperwork with no drama.
More time for human work
Still, collaboration is hindered by more than just paperwork. On average, we spend 40 percent of our workday on our primary tasks, according to the State of Work report by Workfront. Employees reported frustration at the lack of time for 'real work.' As Steve Hunt says:
Humans excel making emotional connections, scanning environments and recognizing patterns and adapting their behavior in the moment to anomalies.
Although admin is an essential part of our working lives, the time we spend on it isn't. So what's the solution? Automation tools. There are tools for social media, communication, marketing and even sales, so regardless of what's eating up your time, there's a way to get it back. These are cost-effective solutions for saving time and boosting happiness.
If you give your employees back their time, they can focus on market gaps and insights, as well as emerging opportunities - because it's more exciting than repetitive zombie work. Everyone wins.
Better information sharing
But what’s the point in all this brain power if we don’t share it effectively? According to research, 'we spend 20 per cent of our time looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.’
Not only this, but newer employees often think what's happening in management is smoke and mirrors so don't know how to contribute ideas or ask questions.
Companies are tackling these problems through cloud-based collaboration technology. You can check out some of the options here. This type of tech allows for transparent, unified communications (UC). This means everyone in the company can share, search and discuss information easily across one platform.
Fewer internal meetings
Face-to-face communication is important. But how productive are meetings for team collaboration? Back-to-backs often mean no time for preparation. And what about colleagues tapping us on the shoulder, or popping into the office for an impromptu mini-meeting? It's bad for our workflow.
Cloud systems let us respond to each other at a time of day that fits our schedule - this is called asynchronous collaboration, if you want the technical term. By working this way, your team will be naturally more thoughtful about communication and make 'informed decisions about collaborative activities’, according to HBR. This leads to fewer, but more productive meetings.
Happy days on cloud 9
Adopting tech to help with team collaboration and is a really valuable investment for growing businesses. Browser-based, software-as-a-service empowers the whole team and lets us be better, happier colleagues all round. It's about getting the most out of our human resources.