How technology can unify your team
One of the reasons businesses give for not embracing remote and flexible working practices is the concern about reduced sense of team. But does less face to face engagement really mean a reduced connection? A growing body of evidence suggests this fear is unfounded.
In a world of dispersed teams, who often never meet in person, the key to success is the right technology, used in the right ways.
Providing employees with the ability to work remotely in a way that works for them and their life commitments has been shown to increase engagement. Yet some businesses still fear that flexible work can lead to reduced productivity.
The biggest threat to productivity is employee engagement. An employee who is not engaged and does not feel valued will find a way to be unproductive. It is about the person, not the tools or the environment in which they are working.
Technology helps to make virtual work more human
Water cooler chit-chat. A coffee in the communal kitchen. Grabbing a sandwich together over lunch. These are just some of the interactions that employees can miss out on when working remotely.
But technology is allowing progressive workplaces to give employees the flexibility they need, without losing these personal connections that can be such an important element of work.
Video conferencing means your team can all be “together” for a meeting, even when they’re apart. Or instead of sending multiple emails back and forth, you can say “Hey, make yourself a cup of tea and Skype me in five minutes so we can chat about next steps on this project?” Not all communication needs to be formal, and increasingly technology is allowing us to be more human in how we connect with our team mates, clients, partners and suppliers.
Work has always been a social network
Some business leaders have despaired over employees accessing social media platforms during work hours. But it’s no big secret that, for many employees, work has always been social. A quick gossip in the kitchen over what you did at the weekend, talking about last night’s episode of Masterchef at the water cooler, complaining about how long Sue from accounts takes each month to pay your expenses – these things have always been a part of office life.
Smart workplaces are embracing the connections that social media allows and using this technology to unify their team. Workplace specific social networks, like Yammer in the Office 365 suite, can help to fill the humanity gap for remote and dispersed teams. Deeper connections and friendships at work can increase employee engagement. And engaged employees are loyal employees.
Ready to find out more about how technology can help to unify your team?
GreenDot is a certified Microsoft partner, working with some of Australia’s largest organisations to get maximum value from Office 365 deployments. We’ll help you to define your business goals and how tools like Office 365 can make your team work more collaboratively towards common goals. To find out how we can help you, call us today on 1300 80 11 88.