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The Importance of Teamwork in a Digital Workspace (A Guide Ffor Leaders & Managers)

Cubo writersOct 11, 2022

Whether the entire team — a part of the team — or a hybrid team working digitally, digital collaboration has highlighted the importance of teamwork and the existing pitfalls when embracing a digital workspace. 

Teamwork is the foundation of a high-performing team, able to reach goals and meet objectives within deadlines.

Why is teamwork important in a workspace? 

Diverse coworkers having online conference in modern officeThe foundation of teamwork's importance in the workplace stems from the notion that "a burden shared is a burden halved." In this sense, teamwork is important in the workspace because it enables workers to share ideas, offer assistance to colleagues, provide resolutions to problems, and divide responsibilities and duties.

These basic elements of teamwork reduce the stress associated with highly engaging or demanding work, enabling workers to perform at a higher level because they are more productive, meticulous, and thorough.

Why is digital collaboration important in the workplace?

Digital collaboration has made teamwork seamless and more synergistic by providing the team with a convenient way to communicate ideas (brainstorm), problem-solve, and get feedback whenever it's necessary to complete a task. 

Digital collaboration enables the team to reach resolutions and expedite results without hindering the workflow of an individual team member. 

How does digital communication facilitate teamwork?

An illustration of people from different parts of the worldDigital communication facilitates teamwork by providing employees with the tools to quickly and effectively share information, retain guidance, and troubleshoot. The result is a self-reliant workforce since team members can provide colleagues with support for individual and group tasks.

Why should leaders care about the importance of teamwork?

Whether your team is part of product development, sales, marketing, finance IT, or tech departments in an organization, working in a silo is detrimental to the company — and its bottom line — leading to:

  • An increase in task duplication

  • Slow production

  • Avoidable misunderstandings

  • Employee burnout

Besides, the data supports the importance of teamwork for overall success, as:

  • 86 Percent of executives and employees point to a lack of collaboration as the reason for workplace failures.

  • Employee turnover is reduced by 50 percent in businesses with effective communication strategies.

Your role as a leader is to tap into the benefits of teamwork. Teamwork, by design, is collaborative and accommodating, whereas isolation is the foundation of a toxic workplace that encourages impedance.

Not only will your team struggle to make any meaningful progress; but when the individual is working in isolation or in competition with colleagues, the outcome is a more cost-intensive project budget as employees don't rely on existing resources.

But by caring about the importance of teamwork and creating employees who do as well, you can:

Reduce wasteful expenditure

Small companies — with fewer than 100 employees — lose an average of $420,000 a year because of poor communication. That figure jumps to $62.4 million per company for large corporations with over 100,000 employees.

Reducing poor communication can reclaim that expense while increasing revenue.

Stay on-schedule

Attaining targets, objectives, and goals is easier when every employee embraces — because they understand — the importance of teamwork. In such an environment, you are less likely to postpone or delay key project timelines because there isn't a break in the chain.

Avoid employee apathy

Employee apathy is infectious and often presents as employees only doing the bare minimum required of their job. Most teams can't function in such an environment as high performance is what drives results.

Foster boundary-less collaboration

Resolutions exist at any level, which means when employees have the freedom to offer insight to management without the need to make an appointment, problem-solving is accelerated.

Thankfully, getting your team excited about the importance of teamwork is as simple as embracing SaaS tools that support the digital workspace.

How can you improve the teamwork of your digital workspace?

Digital teamwork is far more challenging than in-person teamwork. None of the reciprocity, instantaneity, or context exists online, where conversations — especially among colleagues and professional connections — can often be two-dimensional. But effective communication is three-dimensional: verbal, non-verbal, and visual. Leveraging three-dimensional communication will enable your team to perform better in the group and within individual tasks. You can incorporate this type of dynamic communication using the tips outlined below. 

Rely on digital collaboration tools built for optimum user experience

Assess your current workspace: what are your weaknesses, how does communication fail, and how do employees communicate most effectively? Your digital collaboration tools don't need to mimic every aspect of in-person communication; instead, these SaaS tools should:

Build/expand current digital collaboration

Use SaaS tools that allow you to communicate solely digitally without the need to use multiple platforms. Often, communication is lost in the hoards of apps and systems employees have to install or use to communicate efficiently. Rather than use different apps for different purposes, migrate to one SaaS tool designed for:

  • Text communication

  • Video and audio communication

  • Group and one-on-one communication

  • Scheduling

  • Informal conversation

Include result-driven elements of in-person communication

For your digital workspace to embrace teamwork, it should embrace the most rewarding aspects of in-person communication.

Remote teams collaborating on CuboIn-person communication is either formal or informal. Most digital collaboration tools embrace the former without the latter. But informal communication is responsible for: 

  • Increasing productivity: reducing the burden of going through a hierarchical chain of command.

  • Encouraging healthy workplace relationships: which removes unhealthy competition and miscommunication.

  • Improve Retention: keeping employees engaged in tasks and the workplace ecosystem.

  • Enhancing Motivation: providing peer-to-peer interactions that can reinvigorate commitment to a project or task.

Therefore, your digital collaboration tools should digitize aspects like water cooler conversations, lunch break chats, and so on.

Encourage the use of digital services for communication

Even if your workforce isn't entirely digital, encourage the use of digital collaboration tools irrespective of whether an employee is remote or in-office.

Encouraging the use of these tools will ensure most of your team's work is central, making tracking, reporting, and managing it easier to do.

It also ensures the team doesn't have a break in the digital chain because of communication that happened outside of digital channels.

Lean on tone tags

Tone is often the most confusing aspect of text communication.

Accordingly, 50 percent of text recipients misconstrue the sentiment of a text. For example, a two-word text or email like "great work" or "nice job" is taken out of context and interpreted as being sarcastic 60 percent of the time. But the text is here to stay in the workplace, and emojis mean different things to different people. Therefore, create a short glossary of tone tags employees should use at the end of a text conversation, especially if there is no context history.

These tone tags can include:

  • Genuine question: /gen

  • Half-joking: /hj

  • Joking: /j

  • Not upset: /nu

  • A Little upset: /lu

  • Reference: /ref

  • Rhetorical question: /rh

  • Serious: /srs

  • Sarcastic: /s 

Embrace video and voice-over text (where possible)

Although tags can resolve some misunderstandings and miscommunication, humans are intrinsically more visual, relying on visual and audio cues to ascertain the tone in which a message is being relayed.

Therefore, embrace video and audio communication among peers. Ask employees to send video or audio notes rather than text to create a seamless process.

Teamwork really does make the dream work, which is why building a team that collaborates, communicates, and offers support is the first step to performing on target.