The Future of Work is Collaborative with Microsoft Teams, Slack and Other Collaboration Platforms to Empower Your Team
For decades, Corporate America has depended on ‘traditional’ methods for communication but the introduction of workplace collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Slack have led to an interesting inflection point as it relates to interactions at work. These new platforms have sparked a flurry of different reactions — some employees are quick to get onboard, while others shy away from using the apps. Scrappy startups are generally more open to workstream collaboration platforms where established corporations might take a little more convincing before there is enterprise-wide adoption. The generational changes of our growing workforce paired with overwhelming business and team benefits provide growing evidence that collaboration platforms are the future of our workforce. But why is that?
Generational changes in the workforce
Back in 1926, Henry Ford invented the 9 to 5 work day. Working 40 hours each week was the norm in a lot of industries for nearly 80 years, but the latest wave of the technology revolution has since upended virtually every industry. Thanks to technological innovations, it’s now possible for workforces to be distributed beyond the cities where offices reside. Digital nomads can work from anywhere and new tech platforms are shifting the way we look at productivity and outputs. With the introduction of each new technology (i.e. email, web, mobile phones, instant messaging), there are generally a few hurdles to overcome before achieving wide-spread adoption. The growing generation of adults that grew up with technology have started to shift the way business gets done. At the end of the day, businesses rely on the people they employ to meet and achieve objectives. Recent innovation in workplace collaboration platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams have changed the way we as humans collaborate.
Removing “busy” from business
Workstream collaboration platforms are improving business on both a macro and micro level. Let’s start with macro: the business. Getting away from the one-on-one aspect of email and communicating to the masses introduces a new level of transparency in any organization. Clear, transparent communication across teams cuts down on the busy work that can stem from something as small as not understanding the “why” of a project or task. Cutting down on busy work immediately improves productivity and business agility. Contrary to the belief behind technology sprawl, or having too many tech apps that inhibit our daily workflow, it isn’t the problem we think it is. These applications are not meant to replace email or calendaring, but rather integrate with and improve the way we use them.
Power to the people
The impact doesn’t just stop with the overarching business but trickles down to the micro-level: the people that comprise the organization. There is a power in presence. Knowing when people are online and available can increase accountability and participation from teams. Junior employees that might never contribute in a face-to-face meeting will feel empowered to participate in group chats solely based on the fact that they were invited to be a part of it. Workplace collaboration platform environments also ensure no conversations or problems are left unresolved because they go beyond a one-on-one conversation. Where employees may ordinarily require verbal communications to resolve a misunderstanding, the loop now needs to be fully closed in the collaboration chat to avoid confusion with other members.
On the flip side, organizations should consider that this type of presence might instill fear within teams. Employees might think all eyes are on them, and that there is an expectation of 24×7 availability. Yet management can easily mitigate this trepidation by setting up team chat guidelines so that team members know what is expected of them. There will always be team members who let the fear get the best of them — setting themselves to “away” and refusing to get onboard. Leadership can alleviate this by not only setting expectations early on but by making sure a few leaders set a good example. Upon implementing a workplace collaboration platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams, the results will speak for themselves. With stronger internal teams coupled with location flexibility, distance is no longer an obstacle, but a common aspect of modern business communication made productive through technology.
Learn more about intelligent communications and collaboration in the workplace with workstream collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams.