Collaboration with Technology

Collaboration is a part of everyday life for almost everyone, no matter their occupation. If you’re a doctor, you collaborate with other doctors to figure out the best way to treat a patient, as someone in Business, you collaborate with others to make sure you have the best plan, and the most efficient way to solve a problem. Some people love that collaboration is a part of their day to day life, and some people hate it. In this article, they talk about how collaboration can actually hinder someone’s efficiency because it requires them to constantly be reporting back to a supervisor, or another employee about what they’re getting done.

An article by The Economist makes the point that “Whereas managers may notice the benefits of collaboration, they fail to measure its costs.” They argue that “workers spend 70-85% of their time attending meetings (virtual or face-to-face), dealing with e-mail, talking on the phone or otherwise dealing with an avalanche of requests for input or advice,” this leaves them almost no time to actually get work done. They say that with all of the other stuff going on, it leaves a lot of them with work to bring home, which doesn’t make for a happy employee.

Collaboration can be stressful, especially if you can’t trust all of the people you’re working with. An article I found talked about how important a company’s culture is. When a company’s culture is good, that means you know you can trust everyone to get the job done, and to get it done the right way. One example they gave was the company Airbnb, a quote from their CEO Brian Chesky, “The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial. And if we have a company that is entrepreneurial in spirit, we will be able to take our next “(wo)man on the moon” leap.” If every collaborative project was done by people who could trust each other, collaboration would be a looked higher upon between employees.

To really make sure a company is putting forth its utmost effort, it is important that each employee feels appreciated. According to Lifewire, “Empowerment is a form of approval for individuals and teams to make decisions. Starting with executive collaboration, key leaders of your organization may need to support shared goals for empowering people if they don’t already, through communication and collaboration.” They also talk about how important it is to create value in a collaborative environment, “In Bloomberg Businessweek, Evan Rosen emphasizes every worker contributes knowledge to the business. Using an example at Dow Chemical, he writes, “The day’s sales and inventory numbers are shared with everybody in the company, including the people doing the heaving lifting on the front lines… People will do a better job when they know their actions contribute or detract from business results” If each employee knows that what they are doing is appreciated, and that they’re working together towards a much bigger goal, they’ll be much more motivated to work and to get their jobs done.

To make collaboration easier, a variety of tools for collaboration have been created. Microsoft Corp. launched a workplace collaboration service, dubbed Microsoft Teams, that weaves in various pieces of its Office productivity software franchise to compete with Slack Technologies Inc.” This product will be available in early 2017. There are many features to their new product, including but not limited to, digital chats and Skype videoconferencing. Microsoft is not the first company to release a product like this, as mentioned earlier, one of their biggest competitors will be Slack. Slack is a company that makes communicating between employees simpler, and makes it easier to get in contact with only the people that you need, and not the people that you don’t, which in return means every person will get fewer emails.

Overall I think that technology will greatly improve the collaboration between employees. Instead of sitting in a couple hour long meeting that you need to travel to, you can quickly get ahold of someone and share the project with them and solve the issue much faster. Along with this, the software that is being developed to help with collaboration has so many features that will make life a lot easier for employers, and employees.

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