It is fair to say that collaboration can have a hugely positive effect on business. When more people get together, more ideas are shared and steps taken to build something better, and of course, productivity can soar as a result too.
That being the case, not only are you going to want to encourage more collaboration within your business but you are also going to want to make use of these neat collaboration hacks to ensure that you get the most creatively, and productivity-wise, out of your workforce.
1. Embrace the Power of a Good Docx Editor
Remember the days of emailing document versions back and forth? Version 1, Version 2, Version-2-Final, Version-2-Final-For-Real-This-Time… It was a nightmare! Modern document editors like the best docx editor, have changed the game. Multiple team members can work on the same document at the same time, leave comments, suggest edits, and even chat within the document. It’s like having a meeting, but without the awkward silences.
2. Virtual Whiteboards for the Win
Sometimes, you need to get visual with your ideas, and that’s where virtual whiteboards come in. Tools like Miro or Jamboard allow your team to brainstorm, plan, and map out ideas in a fun, interactive way. It allows everyone to really see what is going on and what they need to do, while adding to the plan, without the risk of you losing it all or making it inaccessible to some.
3. Break Down the Walls with Communication Apps
Email is so 2005. Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Discord can be your team’s communication lifeline. They allow for instant messaging, file sharing, video calls, and even integrating other work apps. They basically allow team members to have an office chat without having to actually be in the office, which is great in these times of remote and flexible working.
4. ‘Gamify’ Your Collaboration
Who said work can’t be fun? Introducing some gamification elements can spice things up. Set up challenges, leaderboards, or rewards for meeting collaboration goals. It could be something as simple as a virtual badge for the most helpful team member of the week or a fun team activity for hitting a project milestone.
5. Regular Check-Ins (But Make Them Fun)
Regular team meetings are important, but they don’t have to be a snooze fest. Start with a fun icebreaker, like a quick round of two truths and a lie, or have everyone share the most bizarre thing they saw that week. It’ll lighten the mood and make everyone more comfortable sharing their ideas.
6. Make the Most of Project Management Tools
Tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com can help keep your business projects organized. They’re like the Marie Kondo of project management – everything has its place, and you can see at a glance what needs to be done, who’s doing what, and by when.
7. Encourage ‘Office Hours’ for Brainstorming
Set aside a regular time each week where team members can drop in and discuss ideas, problems, or just catch up. It’s like having open office hours at university, but without the cramming for exams.
8. Embrace Asynchronous Collaboration
Not everyone needs to be working at the same time, especially in teams that are spread across time zones. Encourage asynchronous work where people can contribute when they’re most productive, whether that’s at 5 AM or 11 PM.
9. Use Feedback Tools
Constructive feedback is crucial for collaboration as it will let you know what is running smoothly and where things could be improved for greater communal working. Tools like Peergrade or even simple Google Forms can, therefore, make giving and receiving feedback more structured and less intimidating.
10. Don’t Forget the Human Touch
As a business owner, you really do need to remember that at the heart of collaboration are people. That is why you should always make time for non-work-related conversations, celebrate personal milestones, and check in on each other as well as getting together just for work purposes. A little empathy goes a long way in building a strong, collaborative team, which is just what you want, right?
11. Shared Digital Notebooks
Think of tools like Evernote or OneNote as your team’s collective memory bank. These digital notebooks can be a great place for storing meeting notes, research, ideas, or even inspirational articles and videos in a place that is easily accessible to everyone at any time, so they do not have to waste time hunting these things down.
12. Rotating Meeting Leadership
Why not spice up your regular meetings by rotating the role of the meeting leader? This not only keeps meetings fresh but also gives everyone a chance to develop their leadership and facilitation skills. Plus, it’s always fun to see what different people bring to the table (literally and figuratively).
13. Idea Jams
One fun thing to do, which can really bear fruit, is to simply set aside regular times for ‘Idea Jams’ where team members can pitch new ideas, no matter how outlandish. Create a safe space where creativity is encouraged, and there are no bad ideas. You never know where the next big thing might come from!
14. Mentorship Programs
Pair up team members for mentorship and it will really help to bring everyone closer together. It could be a senior team member mentoring a newer one, or even peer-to-peer mentorship. This can be a great way to share knowledge, build relationships, and foster a culture of learning.
15. Employee Swap
If feasible, have team members ‘swap’ roles for a day or a few hours. This can help build empathy and understanding of different roles within the company, and can lead to more innovative ways of working together.
16. Use of Mood Boards
Create digital or physical mood boards where team members can pin inspirations, ideas, or just things they like. It’s a visual way to share and spark creativity in and around the office.
17. Personalized Communication Channels
Recognize that different team members may have different communication preferences. Some might prefer quick IMs, while others might like more detailed emails. Understanding and adapting to these preferences can improve communication and collaboration.
Remember, collaboration is about bringing out the best in each other and working towards a common goal, not just ticking off tasks on a to-do list. Happy collaborating!