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What is collaborative work?

collaborative work

Collaborative work here, collaborative work there… You hear about it everywhere. How should we approach these two words that promise mountains and wonders? You’ve come to the right place.

Let’s go back together on what collaborative work is, how it changes our habits, and how to encourage it within your company.

Collaborative work: what is it?

It is a way of working that makes mutual aid and teamwork the key elements in a team. What’s the idea? Team members can easily cooperate together to achieve a common goal. In short, the definition of collaborative work can be summed up in three words: “working better together“.

Working together is above all based on the sharing of values, projects, knowledge, resources and tools. Skills are pooled in order to advance better together. Everyone makes a contribution to the team.

In essence, and for everyone to feel involved, collaborative work puts employees on an equal footing and tends to erase hierarchies. Involving everyone, leaving no one on the sidelines, that’s the basis.

The old model has lived, long live the new one. With collaborative work, the world of work where everyone works in their own corner and comes to present the outcome of their work at the weekly or monthly meeting is over. The projects involve several collaborators and are accessible in real time, following a logic of accessibility of information and transparency.

A revolution in the way we work

The trend towards collaborative work is closely linked to the development of many tools. Collaborative ones, too. Whether it’s digital workplaces, corporate social networks such as Talkspirit, shared storage spaces on the Cloud or on an internal server, or online calendars: these new tools facilitate and encourage collaborative practices.

Put together, these collaborative work tools are revolutionizing the way we work.

It is no longer even necessary to work in the same place. At the American company Buffer, for example, the 82 employees are spread over 42 cities, 15 countries and 11 time zones! Collaborative tools make it possible to eliminate geographical boundaries.

What’s more, the first observations of this ongoing revolution speak for themselves:

  • the productivity of the employees increases;
  • the results obtained are of better quality;
  • employees are more satisfied, regardless of their status.

These are all good reasons to consider, if you haven’t already done so, promoting collaborative work within your company.

How to promote collaborative work in companies?

Avoid improvisation

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Establishing – and above all deploying – a collaborative way of working is not something that can be decided overnight, on the spur of the moment. It is a shift that must be made gradually, including by your collaborators. An important prerequisite is the presence of common trust between the members of the same team.

The ambition to move towards more collaborative work is also part of the process. In the structure of the work environment. So privilege open spaces, bright and warm, which promote conviviality and proximity. Also offer friendly spaces where your employees can meet in an informal setting during their breaks.

5 keys to encourage collaborative work

Are you determined to take the plunge? Here are 5 keys to explore, to make the transition go smoothly:

  1. Make sure everyone has a say. A collaborative platform or a corporate social network like Talkspirit are ideal collaborative tools to allow everyone, even the most reserved, to express themselves on an equal footing;
  2. Divide roles to ensure that two people aren’t working on the same task at the same time;
  3. Set a clear direction and specific goals. This is what collaborative work is all about: working together towards a common goal;
  4. Strengthen cohesion and team spirit by organizing team events outside of work;
  5. Focus on transparency: so that everyone knows, in real time, who is where, who needs a hand. Share difficulties as well as good news.

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To begin your transition, the corporate social network is a particularly effective collaborative work tool. If you are considering setting one up in your company, don’t hesitate to contact the Talkspirit teams, who can help you with your project and help you take things in the right direction.

– Author: Paul Maubareyt

L'équipe talkspirit

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