The more we get together!
The popularity of establishing a collaborative work culture has been spreading like wildfire. So just what exactly does a collaborative work culture entail?
The notion behind a collaborative work culture is to add an element of openness to business. Contrary to common belief, it goes beyond just having a physical office setting with an open concept. It is the act of coming together and working collectively towards achieving a common goal or goals; it is built on the premise of effectively interacting to create something beyond the ability of any person to produce individually.
Gone are the days of adhering to a strict hierarchy within a company. By having a collaborative work culture, everyone is on an equal playing field, thus facilitating decision making processes which are expected to be more efficient because ideas and thoughts can be exchanged spontaneously across all levels.
Aside from the efficiency and creativity that a more open work space promises, here are some benefits of encouraging a collaborative work culture.
The pinball effect
While working in an environment that encourages and facilitates interaction and collaboration, it is possible to bounce off each others’ thoughts to come up with something that could otherwise be overlooked should the work environment be more closed or “compartmentalised”. This means more dynamic brainstorming sessions which could result in a wider plethora of creative ideas and solutions – and higher productivity as a result!
Putting it out there
Some people are guilty of getting so carried away by work that the people they work with tend to get forgotten or marginalized. With regular collaboration and an open office culture, closer relations and camaraderie more likely to established over time. A tightly knit team would bode well for overall office dynamics, job satisfaction and in the long run, employee retention.
Service above self
On an individual level, a collaborative work culture can train a person to be more respectful, tactful and explicitly conscious of the self and others. By being exposed to different personalities, people learn to overlook individual preferences and reach compromises to benefit the team. Likewise, through understanding how the thought processes of others work, it would be easier to negotiate and find ways to communicate to overcome differences.
Agreeing to disagree
As with any idea that challenges the norm, collaborative work culture has sparked several areas of debate. One issue that is a cause of concern would be the occurrences of disagreements. However, bear in mind that disagreements would naturally arise from time to time anyway, and this applies to companies anywhere or in any office setting. Given that collaborative office culture embraces interactions on a perpetual basis, it is therefore expected that disagreements would occur more frequently.
But every cloud has a silver lining – effective collaborators would see that tension in disagreements can be used as a bridge to come up with something different or with better solutions. People become more aware and learn the working styles, quirks and habits of other members of the company. With that said, the tendency for disagreements to arise would dissipate over time as people learn to respect and accommodate one another.
The key is to realise that it is all about the bigger picture. Attaining glory, so to speak, is no longer about the individual, but rather to tackle the work or task at hand.
A collaborative work culture does not necessarily imply the need to be personal but it does encourage a free flow of communication and thinking between the persons involved with the company. In return, a more enjoyable, productive and engaged work environment would be created.
By Yasmin Md Basir, PR Associate @ Corporate Media Services