Gartner® Predicts 2024: build a sustainable and collaborative digital workplace infrastructure

Social Collaboration

[oc_spacer height=”15″]Social media’s intuitive interaction functions are increasingly replacing slow communication structures in businesses. Along with new forms of networked cooperation, a fundamental change in the way we communicate and work together is emerging. For most people, digital communication has become an integral part of their daily lives: Quickly check where a buddy spent the weekend, see who is going to attend an event while posting something in a group chat. Precisely due to the large extent synchronous digital communication is used outside of work, it seems almost unbearable to wait for a meeting, a conversation, or even just a reply to an e-mail at work. Many employers recognised both their employees’ digital communication competence as expert social media users and the benefits of Social Collaboration for the business.

The German Collaboration Study 2018 conducted by consulting firm Campana Schott in collaboration with the Technical University Darmstadt shows that this year, digital forms of collaboration will for the first time be used more frequently than traditional ones.

The aim is to optimise work processes using social media techniques. As the Collaboration Study reveals, networked cooperation achieves just that since businesses which have a high maturity degree regarding Social Collaboration, work up to 30% more effectively. Aside from the increased productivity, Smart Collaboration boosts employee satisfaction: 36% of interviewees stated that they are more motivated to work thanks to modern tools.

For businesses, Social Collaboration is an important step towards digitisation. Aside from the interconnection of teams using platforms or communication channels and technological aids, Social Collaboration also stands for a change in the way people work and communicate.

Through intuitive collaboration, much-requested teamplay is lived: all departments work together in one environment, regardless of whether some team members work from home, are on a train or abroad on a business trip. By shifting communication to a digital space, collaboration becomes faster, easier and more intuitive. Employees receive updates on the status of team projects via activity streams, rather than requesting and waiting for status updates from individual colleagues. Within seconds, data and apps can be shared and collectively used by all team members.

Besides location- and time independent working, Social Collaboration enables the creation of a huge knowledge data base, which is indispensable for the daily work of a team. Employees can share their experience and know-how in wikis, blogs or chats so that a team member struggling with a new problem can simply post their question in order to immediately receive feedback from experts and discuss possible solutions with colleagues.

Most employees love Social Collaboration:  in addition to the increase in work motivation by more than one third, about every second team members speaks of a changed corporate culture. Hierarchies and department borders are broken down, employees enjoy the liberty of choosing where they want to work and optimised processes, as well as the quicker realisation of innovations help get work done more easily.

Despite the far-reaching improvements regarding communication and networked cooperation, there is still a lot of potential for innovation. A mere 9.2% of employees indicate that they are absolutely satisfied with the technological equipment of their workspace. It can be assumed that the creative potential of the remaining 90.8% of employees is limited by insufficient technical means.

For most businesses which would like to boost employee satisfaction and productivity as well as implement Social Collaboration, platform services could be the ideal solution. These services offer a large number of functions, are generally designed modularly so that the environment can be flexibly adapted to changing requirements and serve as a cost-effective alternative to formerly separately operated solutions. In addition, platform services such as oneclick fulfil employees’ wishes who, according to the Collaboration Study 2018, are unhappy with the technical equipment of their workplace. Thanks to terminal device-independent access via the browser, all tools, data and cloud services are available any time and can be instantly used for networked collaboration.