What is Collaboration?
Learn why collaboration is critical for team success, explore different collaboration styles, and discover its key benefits
The days in which an entire company (or business unit) is comfortably located in the same building may never return, which magnifies the need for collaboration. People routinely work from home, in cafes, at the airport, and even in different cities, states, and countries. Consequently, many organizations use a variety of tools and approaches to promote collaboration, even when it happens remotely.
What is collaboration?
Collaboration is an effort in which multiple parties work together on a single project, goal, or assignment. Collaboration can take place synchronously; that is, in real-time with people interacting with each other live in-person or via a platform like Zoom.
Collaboration can also take place asynchronously (when teammates are not necessarily online at the exact same moment) with people providing feedback on one another’s work via chat or email.
People in distributed, remote locations use digital collaboration tools so they can work together as though they were in the same building.
Common collaboration tools
Examples of collaboration tools include video conferencing options like Zoom or Google Meet. Platforms like Slack enable employees to communicate with and monitor each other’s progress in real-time.
Business process management (BPM) platforms, like Pipefy, enable collaboration on almost any aspect of the business process, from ideation of marketing campaigns, approval from CMOs, and implementing feedback from telemarketers about what worked well via a shared mailbox.
Benefits of collaboration
Remote collaboration with effective digital tools translates to a number of tangible business benefits. Some of the more important advantages of digital collaboration include:
Effective communication statistics show that employees involved in collaborative teamwork tend to contribute to improved communication. And effective communication generates 4.5 times higher talent retention.
A recent study by Deloitte Digital found that employees who collaborate are 10 times more likely to be satisfied with their job. A third of the 1,000-strong sample of employees and managers surveyed say that collaboration helps them work faster with three-quarters acknowledging that collaboration improves the quality of their work.
There may be substantial savings for companies that encourage remote collaboration, including reducing real estate expenditures by allowing employees to work remotely. Aetna, a U.S. insurance firm, used remote working to minimize 2.7 million square feet of office space and saved $78 million.
Types of collaboration
Digital collaboration takes many forms. The most frequently used types of collaboration include:
- Shared Workspaces: This form of remote work management is a common collaboration method for the enterprise. It’s a cloud-based digital space in which remote workers in distributed locations can work on the same platform, document, or messaging center.
- Google Workspace is an example of a shared workspace and involves numerous collaboration tools: Google Calendars to stay abreast of project deadlines, Google Docs to modify the same version of a business proposal, and Google Drive to store all items in the workspace.
- Social Collaboration: Social collaboration refers to the use of collaboration tools, such as Slack, StaffConnect, Bambu, and others, designed to function like popular social media platforms. They are great for increasing and measuring employee engagement, eliciting feedback, and boosting communication among a remote, distributed workforce.
- Virtual Meetings: Video conferencing options like Zoom or GoToMeeting enable distributed workers to see and talk to each other with real-time video streaming data. It’s an ideal way to give and attend seminars or training sessions, for example. Virtual meeting platforms also allow participants to present documents, slides, and PDF files so workers can follow presentations.
- File Sharing: File sharing tools support the secure sharing of large files that are too big for email. Solutions like Box typify this sort of file sharing collaboration.
Supporting team collaboration with Pipefy
The HR team at James Delivery did just that. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused an increased demand for delivered products. The company grew quickly, and the HR team was overwhelmed with documentation. By introducing workflow automation, the HR team streamlined the recruiting and onboarding processes, from data entry to communication. They achieved an astonishing 134% ROI in just two months!
Effective collaboration depends on a company’s ability to enable the smooth sharing of information and feedback among employees and stakeholders. Teams can uncover problems and brainstorm solutions that no individual could realize on their own.
Pipefy is a secure, no-code workflow automation platform that brings customers, vendors, and partners onto the same platform as your internal team, making it easy to collaborate and track a process from start to finish. It allows businesses to increase efficiency, integrate end-to-end operations, and trade chaotic to-do lists and email threads for clean, repeatable workflows.
With Pipefy, you can make remote work more effective with automated workflows, easy reporting, and a clear line of sight into each stakeholder’s role.