A traditional business problem has been getting the right people to collaborate effectively. However, modern team working is becoming more and more distributed. Spreading a team across disparate locations, disciplines, partnerships, departments, projects and countries.

While this paradigm shift can be healthy (as it increases the talent pool for business), it can also prove to be a challenge and throw up barriers between teams and workers especially with regards to communication and collaboration.

The result is common and one that we’re sure you’ll be familiar with – a lot of siloed information which is difficult to access and hard to trust. This forces already dislocated teams to work on disparate data – ultimately creating a negative effect on business.

What are these dangers?

A distributed team/information model, when not underpinned by robust collaborating techniques, creates communication barriers and leads to a dangerous and destructive work pattern.

  • Silos limit communication, culture and collaboration. People who don’t collaborate in a business environment are inefficient.
  • Disparate teams lead to repetition, mundanity, lack of innovation and redundancy where disconnected workers are doing the same work or looking for the same information over and over again – a drastic reduction in business productivity.
  • An inability to discover and leverage skills, information and people mean that workers spend an inordinate amount of time searching for information that is either blocked from them or hidden in a convoluted file structure.

How can we overcome these pitfalls?

Technology would be our suggestion. A robust, scalable communication platform can be the linchpin for effective collaborating.

Find tools/technology to foster integration

Collaborating should be seamless across organisations and people. A technology platform that integrates people, applications and information will help employees to collaborate on all manner of information and projects. Additionally, the platform should be available from anywhere and on any device.

Adopt team-orientated tools

Teams need to interact and a platform that support enterprise social networks is essential in breaking down walls. The creation of cross-departmental and cross-company collaborative groups will empower employees to engage and share ideas. This is the lifeblood of user adoption AND collaboration.

Interaction and engagement

Out of sight out of mind. A phrase that shouldn’t apply to a good collaboration platform. You may not be sitting in a room with your team, but you can be co-operating much more with tools such as instant messaging, voice calling and conferencing. Harnessing functionality such as multi-editing of documents can prove invaluable if you have a global team that all need a say on a project document’s output.

Your chosen platform should provide a choice of mechanisms with which your employees can collaborate and build better relationships.

But how can you implement such culture, process and activity? Well, chances are you already have it – SharePoint and Office 365 do this. Dislocated teams need not be disconnected – call us to discuss the benefits of Office 365.