On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy
Tag Archives: collaboration
It’s proven that remote teams work more productively than teams in an office environment. One survey found 77% of workers were more productive when working remotely. Another found that 76% of workers were distracted less often than when working in an office.
Remote workers may be more productive, but there are still challenges to working efficiently in a distributed team. Coordinating developers across time zones can present a logistical headache. Remote developer teams need the right tools and platforms to ensure they can share work efficiently and capture the full benefits of productive remote work. These are the best ten tools for helping distributed teams of developers coordinate. Read more of this post
It’s a much-debated topic and a growing trend, but most companies still don’t seem to take a deliberate approach to flexible working. Instead, they just offer a vague middle ground of “flexible working” on a case by case basis.
There are strong arguments for encouraging remote working and, conversely, arguments for bringing everyone together under the one roof. As recent examples highlight, there is no “one size fits all” answer. The key is to tailor your company’s approach to your objectives, operating rhythm, desired culture and workforce composition.
Back to the office
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer famously abolished working from home in 2013, saying that “people are more productive when they’re alone, but they’re more collaborative and innovative when they’re together. Some of the best ideas come from pulling two different ideas together.”
It’s a powerful argument. It also contains an inherent assumption that working from home increases productivity, which may not always be true. But Mayer had to do something to shake up Yahoo!’s culture and she put collaboration ahead of flexibility, which is what she felt the company needed at that point in time.
In 2014 Reddit decided to consolidate its workforce in one location, San Francisco, and abolished remote working. Reddit’s reasons were similar to Yahoo!’s.
More flexible companies
Here is another informative infographic, submitted by Circa Interactive. This one explains various aspects of achieving cross-functional integration for companies: why cross-functional integration is necessary, how it can be helped along with information gathering, marketing benefits of cross-functional integration, obstacles to achieving it, and how it can be implemented.
A growing number of organizational management experts are promoting the use of cross-functional integration within corporations. Although choosing to adopt this form of hierarchy would require reorganizing and redistributing responsibilities, implementing cross-functional integration is an appropriate response to the increasing prevalence of big data and other recent trends.
Better Collaboration is back! As a break from the lecture-style format of our events, we’re inviting attendees with interest and expertise in virtual work arrangements to actively participate in an informal discussion and initiate a community of practice. One topic of interest is obstacles to widespread telework adoption and steps we can take to overcome them. However, as this will be more of an open-ended discussion, attendees are welcome to introduce other relevant concerns.
This event will take place on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, from 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern time (EST)/1:00-2:00 PM Pacific time (PST). As always, there is no cost to attend. Simply click on the red bar for the Meetup group below to register and RSVP. A link to access the event will be emailed to those attending. Read more of this post
In the past year, Better Collaboration has had the honor of featuring a number of distinguished presenters speaking about virtual collaboration issues at our events. The subjects of these events ranged from demonstrations of collaboration platforms and tools such as Sqwiggle, Sococo, and Rofori to actionable methods for ensuring effective virtual meetings as well as facilitating virtual team collaboration, social cohesion, and productivity. To summarize, here are all of the presenters in chronological order: Read more of this post
Introducing the next Better Collaboration video conferencing event! The information that will be presented is specifically geared towards organization leaders who’re interested in learning about the best practices for virtual collaboration. This event will take place on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern Standard Time/11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. To register, please visit the Better Collaboration Meetup site. Details follow: Read more of this post
Online collaboration tools empower us by providing the opportunity to maintain a presence in multiple locations at once. This concept is illustrated by the latest video created by the Flipside Workspace team. To truly appreciate the rich scenery and immersive experience however, don’t just watch the video… give Flipside a try! Having done so myself, I can tell you that this platform holds special appeal to untold numbers of Generation X and Y members who’re already adept at navigating interactive virtual environments. In other words, we can take to this like a fish takes to water.
Sometimes when working in an alternative workstyle, you really do need to be in two places at once. As a consultant, it’s the only way to be productive AND responsive to your geographically dispersed clients.
Readers of this blog know we created Flipside Workspace as the online collaboration platform for the consulting arm of Duncan+Coleverria, Inc. It’s worked so well for us, we’re slowly opening it up to other companies and small businesses. We decided to approach the introduction of Flipside Workspace using video, since most people have difficulty grasping the concept of using virtual worlds in a business setting.
It’s too early to tell if we’ve been successful, but we did have a lot of fun creating this. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into making it just right. Soon, Anna Marie (AKA The Awkard Gawker) will be writing about how we put this together in…
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Everywhere I look, various experts are heralding the benefits of group work over solo, independent work. Insisting on working alone is selfish they say. Collaboration fosters more creativity than solo work they say. It’s one thing to be describing the work style that brings out the best for the bulk of the “bell curve,” however if there’s one valuable lesson to learn from decades of studying psychology it’s that, when it comes to people, it’s impossible to generalize about a great, many things. Still worse is to subject the people who don’t fit to the “tyranny of the majority.”
So here I am working alone, independently on my blog and other creative writing, art, and musical side projects. I’m blissfully happy. Life seems great. Everything seems alright with the world. And yes, any creative inspiration that has struck me may owe its existence to the synergy of ideas I’ve gained in past encounters with people, films I’ve watched, and books I’ve read. However, I am producing my work now alone, on my own and it feels great. So the last thing I wish to witness is a mass movement that pushes one style of working (group work) over another (solo work).
Those of you who know what it’s like to be a “misfit” in one way or another, I think, can appreciate how statements about working “this way” or “that way” is better for everyone are ill-thought out. To maximize productivity and creativity across a whole society, it would be ideal to maximize freedom for everyone to work in the way that suits each person best. If you are most productive and creative while working in a more collaborative manner… great! If someone else is most productive and creative while working alone… great! Different strokes for different folks. The Industrial Age is characterized by standardized, one-size-fits-all work policies. Here’s hoping that the push towards group work with the simultaneous denouncement of solo work goes the way of the Industrial Age as well.
To my relief, I’m not alone in my leaning towards working alone. In this post, Patrick Ross makes a powerful argument about not making this an either-or situation. While celebrating the ways in which today’s digital tools foster collaboration, it’s not necessary or even desirable to denounce solo, independent work. As it turns out, many writers and artists would agree.
- Should Collaboration be King? (sherrylangland.com)
By the way, if you are interested in optimizing collaboration, the next Better Collaboration online Meetup, takes place on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2:30-4:00 pm EST (11:30-1:00 pm PST): Innovating the way dispersed teams collaborate!
Featured speaker in this event will be Paul Brody, CEO and Co-Founder of Sococo. Sococo is an innovative tool for fostering impromptu collaboration without having to physically be at the same place. Everyone can see who is around and, with one click, can immediately start a conversation or meeting (voice, video, chat, multiple screen shares).
These educational video conference series are geared towards organizational leaders wishing to learn more about improving collaboration and productivity through the use of online tools. Visit the Better Collaboration website or register here at on the Better Collaboration meetup page!
Consider yourself lucky you’re not my wife. Every morning she is forced to endure a rant from me about something I’ve read in that day’s Washington Post. Sundays provide multiple opportunities for fist-shaking, but one editorial this past Sunday hit a nerve: the topic was creativity.
The headline said it all: “The end of lone-wolf capitalism.” For years now digital utopians have first insisted that we all believe in a myth that creativity and innovation comes from solitary thinkers; then they knock down their straw man by pointing to the power of collaboration. Citing the Firefox browser (volunteers maintain and upgrade it) and Facebook (the content comes from us, not Mark Zuckerberg), Neal Gabler wrote this: “In our global, networked economy, the lone wolf is rapidly becoming an anachronism, one that threatens to impede innovation rather than fostering it.”
Perhaps I’m sensitive to the suggestion that…
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Introverts like myself heave a huge sigh of relief upon reading Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. In the chapter titled, “When Collaboration Kills Creativity,” Cain explains the origins of this recent, increased call for in-office collaboration and presents compelling research studies that run counter to the assumptions and reasons behind the move towards the open office plan and the usually, taken for granted requirement for employees to work collaboratively in teams. Yes, I’ve always loathed projects that required teamwork in school and, although I can’t speak for everyone, I’ll say that I’ve always come up with creative ideas on my own while group brainstorming always inhibited idea generation. Read more of this post