The Collaboration Conundrum: How to Enable Your Workforce

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Working Remotely May Increase Team Fragmentation

Providing people with more flexibility and control over how they work can positively affect their health, motivation and productivity. However, while the ability to work remotely can be a good thing for individuals, it can negatively impact a team as a whole in the long term. For example, considering that only one in four people are naturally good networkers, it’s easy to see that face-to-face interaction can play a large role in enabling teams to collaborate better.

The way people work is rapidly changing for most organizations. Technology now provides a new level of mobility for professionals that enables them to work how and where they want. But as these tools have brought employees freedom, teams are struggling to stay united. How can organizations work to deliver both flexibility and team trust while maintaining optimum productivity?

For example, some organizations that focused heavily on virtualization have now been forced to bring employees back together again as a result of fragmentation. Digital solutions allow teams to communicate more easily when apart, but it’s very difficult to fully replace the need for face-to-face interaction to improve the effectiveness of those communications. Technology may be providing new avenues for the workforce to collaborate while apart, but it’s possible that basic trust needs are preventing these efforts from reaching their full potential.

Everyone works differently and how people feel can further influence this process. We need to recognize that collaboration does not come naturally to everyone and enabling professionals to work with others more effectively is not an easy task. In this slideshow, Dr. Nicola Millard, head of customer insight & futures for BT Global Services Innovation Team, outlines five areas that companies should be aware of and work to improve.


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