So, you’re looking for more effective team collaboration? You want everyone to feel more empowered at work and you know team communication is central to that. So, here’s an idea—why don’t you tell your boss that you and your team are all working from the bar today? 🍻
After all, group chat makes everyone more productive, right?
You see, the problem with online team collaboration solutions that centre solely around chat is that lots of people can ‘feel’ busy and productive without actually moving work forward.
You wouldn’t for one minute think that sitting around a table in a bar, with five work colleagues every day, would actually help you get more work done—but that’s exactly the premise of so many online chat tools.
Online Chat Tools Can Improve Communication
Let’s be clear, I’m not knocking online chat tools. Tameday has it nicely baked into its feature set, but we understand online chat (or real-time chat) is best used in certain circumstances:
- Asking a quick question
- Sharing a joke, a fun fact, a silly GIF—it’s social
- Sharing a useful link
- Quickly getting agreement on something that’s a yay or nay.
Online chat addresses a social need for remote teams or those who occasionally work at home or at different locations. It can help foster a sense of teamwork and togetherness. But it’s lousy at maintaining focus!
Successful Communication Needs Context
Let’s be honest, if chatting made everyone more productive, we would all head to the bar and work from there.
The truth is, successful communication is much more than just being able to reach out to colleagues when you want. It’s about communicating around work tasks, events, discussions and files. It’s about keeping things in context and to the point.
That’s why successful project management and team collaboration software requires a blend of tools. It must enable conversations to take place around the things we encounter every day.
That’s the truth and we all know it deep down.
Being able to talk easily to one person or a whole group is extremely useful, but problems arise because expectations around chat are not aligned with getting work done.
Effective Team Collaboration is Respectful of Everyone’s Attention
Let’s go to the bar scenario again.
Let’s assume you’re there to work, to get your tasks done, whether that’s writing a blog, creating a website, phoning clients or leads.
Would you expect to get your work done whilst every one of your team could consistently chat with you, and consistently expect you to answer them almost immediately?
Of course, you wouldn’t. Whatever solution or conditions you create for your team in the workplace, it has to be respectful of people’s time and attention.
We are in work to, well, work! But how often do you hear people saying they’ve got to come into the office early or stay late to get work done?
That’s an absolute travesty and sad indictment of how many companies have come to accept this culture of ‘always available’, ‘endless meetings’, ‘chat’ etc.
Related: 9 Ways to Foster Team Collaboration
The Real Key to Effective Team Collaboration
Part of your job is to agree what has to be done with your boss, your manager, your colleagues, your clients—and to review this fairly regularly, to keep everyone in the loop—but when things are agreed, let people focus on what’s at hand and get on their work.
Don’t put ‘busy’ stuff in front of them that takes away people’s focus. Don’t micro-manage their work. If you hired them for a particular job, trust that they can do it and manage their own priorities.
Put in place a system that allows for communication around work tasks and discussions, that promotes respect for people’s time and that allows people the ability to manage their own work days and weeks.
We think that system is Tameday, a new project management and team collaboration tool that has the perfect blend for teams and small business.
Why not try it free for 30 days and see if work flows better, your team collaborates more effectively, and more stuff gets done?