Remote work prospects offer a ton of flexibility to how, where, and when you operate in a collaborative workspace. This flexibility has opened up the entire globe to different employment opportunities, which both enables employees and companies to hire and work from anywhere. While this is a huge step forward in terms of flexibility, it can sometimes hinder collaboration.

Engaging in a collaborative workspace becomes much more difficult online and feels more disconnected than in person. In this article, we will talk about why collaboration is so critical and how visual collaboration transforms your workspace. If you are new to Fresco, check out our thought lab, and if you want to learn more about visual collaboration take a look at our comprehensive guide.

An image of a collaborative workspace, showing people working together on multiple platforms.

Collaborative Workspace Issues

It has always been necessary that teammates collaborate in the workplace, and when you are working remotely collaboration becomes much more difficult. Remote workspaces are inherently less connected than in-person workspaces, and even in-person you can experience similar problems. Here, we will outline a couple of road bumps that come with a collaborative workspace.

Lack of communication

Collaboration begins and ends with communication. It is the most important part of working as a team and without it, your work crumbles. Communication is vital to having a healthy work environment in the first place, and if your work involves collaboration it’s vital to prioritize communication. 

Lack of engagement

Collaboration rides on the contributions of everyone in the team, and when people are not as engaged as they would be in-person, it stunts the entire team’s ability to collaborate. Engagement is key to collaboration, and without the full engagement of your team, the entire collaborative workspace suffers.

People working on puzzle pieces, showing how to work together in a collaborative workspace.

Lopsided responsibility and contributions

Similar to lack of engagement, collaboration also relies on balance. When the balance of contributions is askew, or one person is far too involved, it makes collaboration harder. The results don’t actually reflect the values of the entire team if only a couple of people are contributing, which skews the entire purpose of a collaborative workspace.

Lack of alignment

People often struggle to collaborate when they aren’t moving towards the same goals. When teams aren’t properly aligned they struggle to work well together because they are moving towards different endpoints. This issue can be compounded with communication issues and others but is important to address on its own.

Collaborative Workspace Solutions

These problems are very common to people collaborating in the workplace, and to address these issues there are a lot of solutions directed towards traditional workspaces. These traditional solutions may not directly apply to online workspaces, but they do carry some value that you can apply to your online collaborative workspace.

Switching Environments

One common solution to these collaboration issues is actually changing the environment people work in. People’s work environments have surprising effects on their ability to concentrate, communicate, and collaborate. By changing from cubicles to an open floor plan, from separate corner offices to a larger shared space, the dynamics of interaction, communication, and collaboration shift entirely. Changing people’s work environments significantly improves their ability to communicate and collaborate.

It’s more difficult to completely change environments working in an online workspace. Because of this, online workspaces try to create a unique environment of their own so users don’t feel stifled with their collaboration. Visual collaboration tools like Fresco offer a holistic workspace your team can use individually and together. You can pair this with other tools that allow for the organization and alignment of teams to take another step towards replicating a healthy work environment online.

People communicating in a workspace, demonstrating the importance of solid communication.

Collaboration Difficulties

People often simply dislike collaboration and for that reason may be unengaged or aligned differently to their other co-workers. For this reason, it is vital that you find ways to integrate new and exciting collaboration methods. Whether it’s new technology, new strategies, or new organization, keeping people’s interest levels up is critical in how effective they will be at collaborating. Interest leads to engagement which leads to more positive collaboration. Not only will you have better outcomes, but your participants will be happier for it.

Visual collaboration tools pose the perfect platform for this solution to flourish. With hundreds of pre-made templates and the ability to create your own entirely unique method of collaboration, Fresco, and other tools create a stage for groundbreaking collaboration. Not only are their new platforms to collaborate on, but the methods of participation and analysis are innovative as well. This is a breath of fresh air for those tired of traditional collaboration and pumps innovative and exciting techniques into your collaborative workspace.

Communication

Another thing that can help push collaboration is assisting people in communicating with one another. Sending group emails back and forth is not a sustainable fix for collaboration. There are many different tools you can use to increase your workspace’s ability to communicate effectively with each other that completely replace the need of sending tedious emails back and forth. Using one of these messaging tools will make communication far easier between everyone in the workplace, and as we already know, collaboration begins and ends with communication.

Different people using different channels of communication in their shared workspace.

Not only do messaging tools help promote workspace collaboration, but visual collaboration tools like Fresco help out as well. Visual collaboration tools help stimulate communication both during and after a workflow while messaging tools are better at involving an entire workspace. By being able to use a chat function, collaborate in real-time, and follow through with a task manager, Fresco enables free-flowing communication for the entirety of the collaborative process. By using multiple visual collaboration tools side by side, communication will never get lost in the void.

Conclusion

Working remotely or not, it is always critical that you operate in a flowing, collaborative workspace. The solutions presented help those who are using online workspaces now but can also be well applied to those operating in traditional workspaces. No matter what you’re doing, visual collaboration tools can always provide a boost of productivity and stimulate your team effectively.


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