‘Team-building’ is one of those business topics that will set eyes rolling. It can conjure up all sorts of images where colleagues are flung together into awkward scenarios which they would have rather avoided.
Research from Citrix has shown that 31 percent of office workers say that they can’t stand team-building activities. So why do team-building activities remain a staple of offices everywhere? Despite employee perception, there is plenty of research supporting the benefits of activities that foster healthy team culture and group dynamics.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, knew the importance of collaborative work. “He believed that Apple’s great advantage was its integration of the whole widget – from design to hardware to software to content-he wanted all departments at the company to work together in parallel,” writes Walter Isaacson in his biography, Steve Jobs. Jobs involved all departments in the development process. “Our method was to develop integrated products, and that meant our process had to be integrated and collaborative,” Jobs said.
But funnily enough, this collaboration took place around a big table, where various departments would thrash out ideas and offer their own perspectives. Imagine how he would receive the array of online business collaboration tools now making their way into the workplace!
It’s an all-too-common scenario: You’ve been asked to join a project that involves co-workers in one country and stakeholders in another. Meanwhile, you’re stuck in the middle, time zones apart.
Although in-person, telephone and email interactions have their place for projects like these, the ability to meet together online, see each other via webcam and collaborate on documents can speed up the process substantially.