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Cup of Joe

Connecting for Better Collaboration During COVID

After almost a year of remote working and distance learning, it’s no secret that we are all seeking ways to maintain and improve connectivity during the COVID pandemic.

If your school or office is returning in-person or remaining remote, we all want to be well connected to our teachers, classmates, managers and colleagues – whether they are in our local community or around the world. The right connectivity tools enhance collaboration, create stronger company cultures, and are conducive to better learning environments and more productive organizations.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article titled, “7 Strategies for Promoting Collaboration in Crisis,” research shows that how well organizations collaborate during a crisis like the pandemic is a significant marker for their future success.

And International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that, by 2024, enterprises with intelligent and collaborative work environments will see 30% lower staff turnover, 30% higher productivity, and 30% higher revenue per employee than their peers.

After speaking with our global team and extended network, we agree that if you haven’t already made changes to improve collaboration, it’s not too late. We have come up with the below list of the top five ways for your organization to build better connectivity and collaboration during this time, whether you’re working in person or remote.

  • First and foremost, beyond the weekly Zoom calls, host regular touchpoints with your company, or your teams, to simply collect feedback and answer questions. For instance, host a monthly “Town Hall” that highlights the latest achievement and provides some valuable Q&A time. Allow employees to submit questions in advance. Be transparent. It’s important to hold more frequent touchpoints during a crisis, or a time of significant change, to break down silos and foster alignment.
  • Implement a gamification challenge to keep employees connected both mentally and physically. You can create an internal competition with incentives for employees to adopt healthy behaviors from walking more steps, to incorporating meditation in their daily routines, eating healthier and drinking water, or even a sustainability-focused challenge. Walking challenges are typically the most popular especially when you can make it easy for the employee to sync it directly with a fitness tracker they already own vs. requiring manual tracking. These types of “challenges” can also promote a stronger work-life balance by encouraging employees to do something outside of work.
  • Consider an instant message/chat service to allow seamless communication across the organization. Teams or departments can have their own channels, creating opportunities for brainstorming and more focused conversations. It’s a cost-effective way to add efficiency with communications, reduce interferences and improve customer service.
  • Invest in a centralized project management tool and performance dashboard to encourage collaboration and communication, and keep employees engaged and on track. If you’re not already using cloud-based systems like Asana, Basecamp, or Trello, now is the time to implement. Managers can easily assign tasks and employees can quickly provide status updates so projects are well managed.
  • Update your meeting displays to ensure your team is well connected whether they’re in the office or staying remote. If anything, business meeting frequency has increased during the pandemic. Meetings are critical to collaboration and the decisions making and success of almost any business. With Philips interactive C-Line professional displays, employees can physically work together directly on the display which is controlled and managed either by hand, passive pen or via traditional keyboard and mouse. User-friendly video conferencing and interactive digital signage encourage smarter collaboration and help strike the right balance for teams that stay safe and connected whether remote or in person.

As more and more organizations return to the office, and the pandemic slowly ends, there will be new lessons learned and best practices developed when it comes to connectivity and collaboration in the workplace. Technology that allows teams to collaborate effectively and efficiently is here to stay and will allow organizations to be flexible and set up well for future.

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