Creative Ways to Collaborate: A Roundtable Discussion
As the world keeps shifting and remote work evolves, the Phire Process & Collaboration Committee recently led a discussion about collaboration and how we can continue to improve working together remotely. In this discussion, we reviewed available tools and strategies to encourage more collaboration among the team.
Working together to solve problems and find solutions not only creates more well-rounded work but also leads to greater satisfaction in the workplace and greater efficiency. People who collaborate on the job and have access to digital collaboration tools are up to 17% more satisfied with their job and workplace culture.* Individuals who work in collaborative settings at work are more than 50% more effective at completing tasks than those who work independently.* With this in mind, here are some strategies that can lead to more collaboration:
It is estimated that 65% of the general population are visual thinkers.** Using something visual in a meeting or brainstorming session can encourage more participation and undivided attention from participants. Visuals do not need to be complex. Even if they are simple and silly, it still encourages engagement and participation. Some examples could include: visual agendas, shared screen/team note taking, white board sessions, dashboards, and more.
Using a visual can keep relevant and useful information top-of-mind for participants and help to spark ideas. Visuals also create a record of the discussions that take place and the decisions that are made.
Work “Side by Side”
Pre-pandemic, if you needed to problem-solve or work through a challenge, you would walk up to a co-worker’s desks. In a virtual world, this is much different. Working side by side is a strategy to simulate an in-office collaborative environment, creating an open invitation and meeting link to work on a shared project at the same time.
During these sessions, you can easily stop and ask teammates a question or ask for feedback when you get stuck. You can pop in and out of the session as questions arise. This strategy is also effective if a particular task is difficult. Knowing that someone is present with you can be a good incentive to overcome approach avoidance or procrastination.
When all else fails, sometimes meeting in person can be a great option. Using the opportunity to have an in-person collaboration session to work through a challenge or brainstorm a big idea can sometimes be the best way to work together. Meeting in person can help energize the team and promote problem solving. We have found in-person sessions can be especially effective for working through internal goal setting and planning, because it allows for more free-flowing conversation and sharing of ideas.
While some of these strategies may seem fairly straightforward, it can be helpful to create dedicated and intentional spaces for collaboration, especially as we continue to work remotely.