This article will explore the tech that offers practical solutions to many of your collaboration challenges in the workplace. But let’s spend a minute on what collaboration actually is on a human level first; collaboration starts with mindset after all.
We covered the wider set of attitudes and principles in our recent article on what is collaboration but here are the basics:
- A mental attitude where individuals support the collective achievement of goals through cooperation
- A working practice that can be fostered in the right environments, whether on digital platforms or in physical spaces such as shared meeting rooms
- Important for a number of reasons, including workload distribution, producing better-quality work, fostering stronger relationships within your team and building a greater collective knowledge bank
Now we explore some of the most common problems surrounding collaboration in the workplace and offer some modern-day solutions.
This isn’t a new concept but many of us default to platforms like Google Hangouts, Teams, Zoom, using our laptop’s built-in webcams. While this can work for the odd one-to-one meeting just fine, what happens when multiple people need to attend the same remote meeting?
A laptop’s built-in webcam, or even a dedicated USB webcam accessory, is not very effective in a larger meeting room. If you want to include everyone in the room with high-quality images and sound, then it’s best you look to some more professional solutions.
Devices such as the Revolabs Yamaha video collaboration system, with its 120-degree ultra-wide camera, are specially designed to equip huddle and meeting rooms with everything you need for a successful video conferencing event, bringing everyone in the team into the picture.
No one enjoys meetings that feel too much like static university lectures, with attendees struggling to stay focused. Touchscreens are a brilliant way to bring your content to life, prompting individuals to stand up and contribute, or interact with the presentation themselves.
They’re especially useful for more creative meetings, where concepts and ideas are being created on the spot. Large touchscreen displays offer employees the functionality to take turns, fully illustrating their ideas.
Sometimes things are just too confusing to even start thinking about collaboration. This can lead to certain individuals taking on the lion’s share of the workload themselves, opting for more work rather than face the frustration of trying to coordinate large numbers of people.
Intranets and project management systems, that integrate project processes and internal communication, enable employees to work harmoniously across different departments and across different tasks (or at least the good ones do).
These systems also help to create an ongoing record of your project’s progress, in case it needs to be referred to in the future. Simple examples of this are Monday or Trello, while more comprehensive versions include Asana, Slack and Teamwork.
Fiddling about with connectivity is a serious waste of valuable time and resources. Also, accommodating different devices and technology is a frustrating task if you don’t have the set-up in place, with the necessary wires and connectors.
We’ve seen a wave of great devices aimed at solving this problem, acting as a central hub that enables various users to link up and project images on a single display. For instance, BenQ's InstaShow is a unique no-software solution that allows multiple presenters to present on any connected display device whether a projector or large format display, with the simplest plug and play operation requiring no driver installation or execution and compatibility with any OS or hardware platform.
Barco ClickShare is another fantastic product that enables multiple users to very easily contribute to a shared meeting room display screen with ease from a variety of personal devices.
In an ideal world, anyone should be able to connect and share content wirelessly on a big meeting room collaboration screen, even if they’re just passing through the office. This is a dream that devices like the Barco ClickShare are turning into a reality.
Similar to BenQ's InstaShow, these options allow multiple users to very easily contribute to a shared meeting room display screen with ease from a variety of personal devices, including a laptop, tablet or smartphone device.
LED panels, projector technology or other types of display technology are all great ways to get your content displayed at a larger scale and keep your audience engaged. This is especially important when you are working on projects that go far beyond the roles of each individual employee.
There’s nothing like seeing the scope of the project on a large screen to show people the bigger picture and help keep everyone on the same page. Also, the act of simply gathering around to view an engaging presentation does a lot to foster a sense of community and collaboration.
Top collaboration tips
- Actively share human resources between projects
- Standardise your work storage and communication practices
- Use a real-time project management solution
- Have more discussions
- Create dedicated teams
- Organise team events and presentations
Technology will certainly help you to achieve your project goals, but collaboration is more than just having the right equipment. To really harness the power of company-wide collaboration, you’ll need to encourage an overall sense of openness and willingness for sharing and cooperating.
Management should look at supporting this attitude in more ways than one. Whether it’s investing in the right equipment and physical work environments or organising team activities outside of the workplace – there’s a lot that can be done to encourage collaboration. After all, collaboration relies on certain fundamental human skills that are best used when people feel connected.
For more on what collaboration means and how to invest in the right equipment, get in touch with us at Projectorpoint or take a read of one of some of our other articles on the topic of workplace collaboration.