Every workplace has its challenges, but one consistent theme of working in the modern office environment tends to centre on how teams of varying diversity can work together more productively.
Everyone has a different way of working and sometimes barriers in the form of internal processes, cultural or language differences and miscommunication can hinder this.
We’ve outlined five steps to consider within your organization to start introducing new, more productive ways of working and encourage stronger synergy as one team.
1. Creating an Intelligent Workplace
It might not come as a surprise that motivation, happiness and working environments are linked together. While a confined working environment can cause employees to feel constrained, there are also links between the open-plan office causing distractions. In some cases, this also saw an increase in the use of email and instant messaging. What once seemed like the answer to motivation issues can instead create a productivity problem, creating a vicious cycle – so what’s the solution?
It’s about the workspace being more intelligent, enabling flexibility to meet the needs of individual colleagues. As we previously highlighted in our article on intelligent workplaces, adopting a ‘zoning’ mindset when considering your office’s design acknowledges the varying needs for employees to work productively, enabling both collaborative and private working spaces.
2. Cut Out Unnecessary Communication
The average worker spends almost a third of the working day reading and answering email. The consequences of such a time-consuming task not only affect productivity, it can also lead to polar-opposite approaches to managing them, with some enforcing clean inbox policies or only checking emails at set times of day, and others losing track of their email threads altogether.
There are a few simple things you can do to reduce email noise and ensure you have time to focus on the ones that count:
- Consider whether Cc’ing a colleague is necessary at all (it usually isn’t)
- If your email is turning into a small essay or you’re spending too long checking through it, pick up the phone or have a face-to-face conversation
- Set up team or categorized channels for instant, relevant communications
- Cut out the need for endless meeting follow-ups with tools that can record, annotate and help you collaborate more effectively
3. Microsoft Teams to Navigate the Working Day
If you’ve already adopted Microsoft Teams or Webex Teams within your organization, you’ll have started to see how you can use this to navigate the working day much easier. With a suite of mobile-ready apps, designed to act as the hub of your team, you can access chats, meetings and files in one place and in real-time.
We put together this infographic to help illustrate a day in the life of a busy director, helped along with Microsoft Teams.
In the following video, you’ll see how Cisco Webex can help you create a trusted experience that will last beyond tomorrow.
4. Accept that Change is an Ongoing Improvement
Rolling out changes at work can be daunting for all involved, whether that is in the physical environment or by introducing new processes or tools. We tend to naturally detect change as a threat or even criticism, so the best way to start is by involving colleagues at the earliest point rather than stating change as ‘the way it is’. Gather feedback on proposed changes and use this to inform the way you communicate with different groups of stakeholders.
Importantly, try to see new phases as ongoing improvements and not simply something that happens overnight. You’ll need to work closely with your teams during this time to communicate clearly, take on feedback and champion the reasons for implementing change
5. Lead by Example
If you want to improve productivity across your teams, you need to lead by example. Just as you can’t expect everyone to adapt to new ways of working overnight, you also need to understand and experience what this involves for yourself, whether that’s in utilizing different spaces to work in the office environment or by spearheading a new communications policy.
Stepping into the shoes of your employees will help you to understand what concerns there may be around new practices and better inform your communications during roll-out phases.
Are you looking to improve ways of working within your teams? Get in touch with our team today to discuss how our collaborative solutions can help you.