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The Anatomy of Workstream Collaboration

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Why Understanding the Anatomy of WSC is Crucial for Success

The Workstream Collaboration (WSC) market is on track for massive growth. Recent data suggests that within three years, 70 percent of teams in the digital workplace will primarily use workstream collaboration platform apps to communicate, coordinate, cooperate, and connect. Essentially, applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams have fundamentally changed the way we work. These platforms are touted for increasing productivity and improving communication. Teams that are scattered across the globe are now more closely connected than ever before, and workers are increasingly adopting workstream collaboration platforms to enable flexible working terms both in and out of the office.

The caveat? As noted by Gartner, this is an adolescent technology — leaders responsible for the deployment and adoption of these tools “must understand the dynamics of this rapidly evolving market” to see long-term success. Because workstream collaboration has, similar to the human body, so many critical components, we thought we’d break down the core anatomy of WSC functionality and how to better use it.

Making the Right Connections

Every day your brain is constantly sending and receiving communication from different parts of the body – it triggers stronger reactions to help you prioritize your basic needs. Within the workplace, users rapidly contribute information while being blasted with chats, calls, emails, meetings, informational websites, etc. Because of this, it’s important to connect the right form of communication to the right task and the right people. Chat is quick and informal, but not suited for essay-length messages. Channel posts are versatile, but not guaranteed to be read by all the right people. Mentioning key people can be a good strategy for making sure your content gets acknowledged, but it’s important to not trigger unnecessary notifications. Video chat is an essential component of workstream collaboration, and knowing when to suggest a video meeting rather than a drawn-out IM conversation can save time and energy.

At the same time, it’s important to consider if the people with whom you’re sharing information are really supposed to be reading it. Guest access issues are a growing concern, forcing IT to evaluate how carefree the flow of information within a workspace should be. The brain is an excellent router and safeguarder of information, and with the right policies in place, your workstream collaboration platform can be too.

Appropriate Notification Settings

If the constant flow of information is the lifeblood of workstream collaboration, then the creation of appropriate notification settings is the kidneys. Consider which channels are relevant to you, and moreover, which you’re expected to monitor. Beyond notifications, sorting groups and channels based on priority is a must, while advanced users may choose how often to check each workspace based on an assigned priority level. Many teams also choose to have a fun channel, which can be a way to promote a shared company culture. However, if you find yourself stressed trying to keep up with all the fun, you may want to consider using the “mute” functionality to take a step back by limiting unnecessary notifications.

The Give and Take

Your lungs breathe in air, introduce oxygen into the bloodstream, and breathe out. Similarly, good workstream collaboration involves taking in information and giving out information. With a few key exceptions like announcements, workstream collaboration should be a back and forth, reciprocal exercise – not one directional. In fact, it’s more like the circulatory system, with constant new information contributed by an entire team listening and weighing in. It’s interactive, not just silent reading. There are many forms of positive communication styles, with many new options for having your voice heard, some as simple as “liking” a post.

Embracing Your Inner Marie Kondo

It’s important to remove waste from your system – the raison d’etre of the human body’s large intestine. When it comes to your workstream collaboration apps, have you considered if your installed apps spark joy, or is your bot continuously poking you to update its settings? Similar to managing your notifications, you should also tidy up your workspace, a la Marie Kondo. Make a concerted effort to avoid duplicate groups and take the time to delete any unused channels or teams which you own, to help limit workspace sprawl. If your organization has a naming convention for new groups or channels, you should absolutely be using it.

Digesting Information Overload

Workstream collaboration is great for ensuring continuous real-time information availability, but it can be easy to feel information overload and to be unsure of where to engage. The large and ever-expanding set of available AppStore apps within workstream collaboration platforms like Workplace by Facebook and Slack are a lot like our stomachs. They allow you to customize your digital workspace so you can digest all the information efficiently and collaborate with ease. If you love organizing your projects on digital post-its or crave a good news feed, there’s an integrated app for you. Bots are another option for surfacing relevant information or even managing your appointments.

Removing Unwanted File Changes

Your immune system is constantly at work – it monitors the entire body, detects foreign pathogens, and destroys them. With so many possible document editors in the world of workstream collaboration, it’s easy for important information to disappear as a file is repeatedly revised. Luckily, version control helps you seek and destroy unwanted changes, restoring your document to its previously healthy state. Real-time editing and file sharing are now simpler than ever before, with the ability to insert files into chat channels and collaborate directly within the document. Version control is a vital feature for proper maintenance of the multitude of now-accessible documents.

The Heart of Great Workstream Collaboration: You

You have the unique ability to shape a new WSC platform to suit your own working style. There are infinitely many ways to customize your Microsoft Teams or Slack experience, and your choices can not only shape your communication experience, but also that of the rest of your colleagues. Only you can create your perfect workplace cloud presence.

The Last Mile

When it comes to the last mile of quality experience, as much as Microsoft or Slack would have us believe otherwise, the ultimate complexities of making workstream collaboration truly work well at a global scale are simply too hard to do alone. Tools like PowerSuite analyze the end to end collaboration and communications experience of the end user from the users’ desktop backward to the cloud, ensuring the “last mile” of user satisfaction and ongoing system effectiveness.

Ready for the next generation of workstream collaboration? Let’s talk.

 

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