The Collaboration Conundrum: How to Enable Your Workforce

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Offices as Fluid Workspaces

In order to better accommodate different working styles, the office of the future should work to be more fluid in its design. For instance, individual office spaces may be good for specific quiet work, but aren’t necessarily ideal for permanent occupation. Instead, companies should look to create varied areas across an office to accommodate quiet working environments, mid-level individual or small group conversations and large team collaboration. These areas may also vary throughout the week depending on the time of year or other activities taking place. Everyone works differently, so increasing productivity means enabling all members of your workforce, rather than catering to a few.

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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