There’s no denying that hybrid work is here to stay. In fact, a whopping 58 percent of workers worked remotely at least part of the time in 2022, with 35 percent of job holders working from home full-time.
But how are businesses approaching this evolving need for better collaboration—and, more importantly, how can your business leverage those trends to empower your team’s best work?
Let’s look at 5 trends to capitalize on to improve team collaboration in 2023:
1. Tech adoption that supports remote and hybrid workers
When the pandemic hit, organizations were forced to move to remote operations immediately—which meant workers who suddenly transitioned to remote or hybrid overnight often relied on their existing devices and tech. This meant that, sometimes, that tech wasn’t quite up to par.
Also read: Deloitte Predicts 5 Key HR Trends for 2021
But employees need the right tech (and tech support) to do their jobs—particularly when they’re working remotely. According to research from Cisco, 76.8 percent of employees cite good technology and support as the top success driver for hybrid work success. Additionally, 57.4 percent of workers consider it critical for companies to continue investing in technology. So, in order for teams to collaborate more effectively, organizations need to adopt and deploy technology that supports remote and hybrid workers.
The good news? Investing in tech to support remote and hybrid teams is definitely trending in 2023—and, as such, vendors are rising to the challenge to help organizations with evolving IT needs in a variety of ways, including increased cloud-delivered and SaaS apps, expanding VPN capacity, and adoption of different unified communications methods.
For example, a collaborative work platform like Talkspirit can help provide teams with the tools and functionality they need to navigate a remote or hybrid workplace empowering them to effectively work together—no matter where they’re working from. Talkspirit comes equipped with all of the features hybrid and remote workers need to collaborate with their colleagues, including a shared drive, chat platform, and video conferencing tool.
If you want to improve team collaboration in the coming year, start by analyzing your business’s IT needs. Look at the devices and tech your employees rely on for getting the job done and push solutions to streamline collaboration and enhance connectivity. Roll out devices that provide uniform access to collaborative tools—regardless of how and where your employees work.
In order for teams to effectively collaborate, they need to be invested in the work they’re doing. But the truth is, many employees are spending a good chunk of their workweek on tedious, repetitive tasks. In fact, a 2021 survey from UiPath revealed that office workers spend an average of four and a half hours per week on tasks they believe could be automated. And according to a recent report from Zapier, 73 percent of workers spend one to three hours per day looking for information or specific files.
All that time not only cuts into individual productivity, but it can lead to collaboration issues as teams get pulled away from collaborative projects to manage “busy work” or search for important information.
Luckily, there’s a trend that can help employees take their time back—and use that time to better collaborate with their team! And that trend is automation.
According to a survey by McKinsey, most organizations believe it’s possible to automate at least one-quarter of their tasks by 2027—with 70 percent of organizations currently piloting or using automation technology.
While there is a wide variety of automation technology (from document management and processing tools to voice assistants and chatbots), if the goal is to help teams collaborate more effectively, implementing technologies that automate project management and knowledge management can help support that collaboration goal, reducing how long employees spend on time-consuming tasks and helping them more effectively share and communicate information.
3. Asynchronous collaboration
Many organizations have employees spread across a variety of cities, countries, and time zones—which can make it hard for those employees to collaborate.
But not all collaboration happens in real-time—which is why a trend that organizations need to jump on in 2023, particularly if they have team members that work during different time frames? Asynchronous collaboration.
Adopting asynchronous work policies empowers your team to effectively collaborate and complete projects—even if those team members never work at the same time. But many companies are lagging in creating these policies (according to Buffer’s 2022 State of Remote Work report, 62 percent of companies lack asynchronous-first policies)—even though the majority of employees (52 percent) want those policies.
Prioritizing asynchronous collaboration is all about moving away from meetings and real-time conversations and focusing more on a digital workplace that includes tools employees can access from anywhere at any time—like shared whiteboards, document co-editing, a shared drive, and recorded webinars.
So, what does that mean for you? By jumping on the asynchronous collaboration trend, you’ll be ahead of the curve—so not only will you empower better collaboration within your team, but you can also gain a competitive edge in the market.
4. AI and machine learning
AI is one of the biggest trends in technology today—and that trend is having a huge impact on team collaboration. For example, ChatGPT is changing the way companies manage their communications, allowing leaders to quickly and easily draft everything from press releases to internal emails—while image generators like artssy allow social media teams to generate original social graphics with the click of a button. Adopting AI and machine learning has the potential to transform your business—but what about its impact on team collaboration?
AI and machine learning can support better team collaboration in a variety of ways. But arguably one of the most impactful is the optimization of service operations—which, according to data from McKinsey, has been the most popular use case for businesses using AI for four years running.
Service operations optimization uses AI and machine learning to analyze data and identify business problems. This empowers teams with deeper insights into what’s happening with their business and customer and where potential challenges may like—insights that can help them better work together to find a solution. For example, a team might use AI to analyze customer interactions at different points of their customer journey (like when they’re interacting with the brand on social media, reading product descriptions on the company’s website, and chatting with brand’s customer service chatbot) to identify areas for improvement.
From there, impacted teams (like marketing, product development, and customer service) can work together to provide the most comprehensive solutions for their customers—instead of each team working in silos and trying to solve the customer issue that presents at their stage of the journey (which doesn’t give them insights into the bigger picture in the same way the AI analysis does).
5. Augmented and virtual reality
The metaverse—virtual worlds built in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)—began to take shape over the last couple of years. And while it can be easy for some to dismiss it as a passing trend, the truth is, the metaverse represents another trending collaboration tool in 2023.
But how do AR and VR work in the business world—and how can they improve team collaboration?
It can be challenging for remote workers to feel connected to coworkers they’ve never met. AR—and, in particular, VR—simulate face-to-face meetings in virtual workspaces and other locations, letting colleagues “meet” one another in a more personal way.
Adopting the metaverse can also help remote-only companies use virtual office space in a way that mimics physical real estate—just without the overhead. For example, employees can meet in a virtual conference room, using whiteboards and other tools to brainstorm ideas and share concepts, just like they would in person. This mirroring of real-life collaboration can make collaboration among distributed employees feel more natural—which, in turn, can make it more effective.
Now, it’s important to note that just because the metaverse is trending in 2023 doesn’t mean every company is going to give up their office space and open up a virtual office. Some companies and roles will naturally gravitate towards working in the metaverse—while others will prefer to stay firmly planted in the “real world.” How much of a trend this will be in 2023 (and beyond!) remains to be seen—but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on in the coming year.
Want to improve team collaboration in 2023? Try Talkspirit
Taking advantage of trends to capitalize on to improve team collaboration in 2023 requires a powerful and versatile collaborative platform—and that platform is Talkspirit.
Talkspirit provides all the features you need to facilitate more effective collaboration between your employees—whether they’re in-office, remote, or hybrid. Use tools like knowledge management and shared drives to streamline convenient access to data, chat and videoconferencing to power async communication, and webinars to provide access to video recordings and shared whiteboards.
Interested in learning more about Talkspirit and how it can help you capitalize on trends to improve collaboration in 2023? Schedule a demo or sign up for your free trial today!